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Quick Thoughts: TCU 41, Nicholls 6

TCU improves to 1-1 on the season behind 326 total yards and 3 TDs from Chandler Morris

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 09 Nicholls at TCU Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Special Plays on Special Teams

Another day another blocked kick. After blocking a FG in Week One, the Mark Tommerdahl-led unit once again made itself known early on Saturday. On Nicholls’ first drive, the Colonels lined up for a punt from the 30 yard line when Trent Battle flew in to swat the punt to the grass where Blake Nowell found it and brought it home to the endzone for TCU’s first points of the day. Elsewhere on Special Teams, Griffin Kell bounces back after his key miss vs. Colorado to crush a career-long 57-yard FG to close the first half, while adding a 42-yarder in the 4th quarter and making all his extra points.

Defense Stands Tall

It was not perfect, and certainly against another level of competition potentially some of the WR drops become big plays for the opposing offenses, however holding any team to zero touchdowns is a win for a defense that was torched a week ago. TCU’s defense played with intensity all the way through the final whistle of the contest, forcing two turnovers and two sacks in the second half. The Colonels were forced into four 3-and-outs and averaged a 3rd down yards-to-gain distance of 8.1 yards. The Nicholls State offensive drive chart: punt (blocked, returned for TD), turnover on downs, punt, punt, punt, punt, field goal, punt, field goal, punt, interception, fumble, turnover on downs, end of regulation.

Redzone Turnover Streak

Josh Hoover had a rough night behind center. He had to enter the game for a single play in the second quarter as Chandler Morris’ helmet came off - it was the 11th play of a drive that had gotten the Frogs inside the 10 yard line. Hoover was unable to handle the snap and Nicholls recovered the fumble. Hoover also threw an interception in the 4th quarter when meant to be in his showcase period during mop-up duty. While starting QB Chandler Morris did a much better job in decision making and protecting possession, the Frogs once again allowed sure scoring chances to pass without converting into points.

Whose First Down Line is it Anyway?

The TCU offense had a rough time finding the first down marker on Saturday. Too often, the play call resulted in some horizontal jet sweep action and losing yardage on 4th and short or a pass play short of the line to gain, asking a pass catcher to make multiple defenders miss tackles in order to find the first down. And while that worked swimmingly for Colorado against the TCU Defense last week, the Horned Frogs were not able to find the same success against Nicholls State. TCU ended up keeping the drive alive on just six of 16 on third & fourth down attempts, with two turnovers on downs. The play calling again confounded frequently, as the TCU Offense scored just two TDs against Nicholls State through 50 minutes of game play.

TCU will open Big 12 Conference play next Saturday September 16 at 7:00 PM on the road in Houston for the Cougars’ (1-1) first ever Big 12 contest as a league member, coming off a loss at the hands of fellow H-Town resident Rice Owls.