Monday, September 22, 2008

Every "That's What She Said"

Don't miss the season premier on Thursday at 8pm NBC

Inside the Numbers

After the 48-7 beat down against a pathetic SMU team, here is how we stack up nationally in several categories.

Total Defense:........#1
Rush Defense:........#1
Pass Defense:.........#15
Scoring Defense:....#6
Pass Efficiency D....#4
Tackles For a Loss...#3
Time Of Possession..#1
Turnover Margin...#2

Morning Dump

TCU makes top 25, but second ranked Oklahoma awaits Star-Telegram

Sooners, Horned Frogs provide interesting match up Dallas Morning News

DFW football follow-up: TCU beats SMU
Pegasus News

MWC has three in top 25 for first time Salt Lake Tribune

MWC news and notes The Sports Network

Non-BCS power rankings ESPN

Little guys in some lofty company Chicago Sun-Times

This Week's Opponent

Horned Frog fans already eying Sooners Oklahoman

OU football: breaking down TCU Oklahoman

Sooner offense cruising so far Tulsa World

America, F@#K Yeah

Weekley's antics brought lighthearted feeling to U.S. at Ryder Cup -ESPN

"After whuppin' Euro behind, Weekley celebrated as only he can. He galloped around slapping hands with fans, then joined in the champagne-spraying celebration behind the clubhouse. When he reported to the postevent news conference, the lapel of his suit coat was up and he was double-fisting beers. "

Week 4: SMU Cocaine Impaired Petting Zoo Peruna Ponies

Do I really need to write a caption ridiculing this picture?

* Disclaimer - this turned out much, much longer than I anticipated. I apologize. *
Another Saturday, another domination. Going into the game I think deep down in all of us there were a few nerves... my feeling was that SMU would keep it close early based on their crowd and being inspired by the rivalry, but man was I wrong. It only took six minutes for the Frogs to put two TDs on the board and put the game far out of reach. I know the return of Aaron Brown was a huge step, and he was even named player of the game on the telecast, but man, our defense! I haven't seen something like this in a long time (well, actually probably every game this season)... TWO INTs by defense linemen? Beating your rejuvenated rival by 41 points, and that not even telling half the story? Hell, if our receivers could catch the damned ball in the end zone, it would've been even worse. I took the safe route and predicted a 35-3 finish... which was close to being accurate, except I didn't take into account Marcus Jackson turning into Usain Bolt. Man, what an excellent, excellent game.

Started the day off by cruising the WE DONT TAILGATE WE BOULEVARD in order to check out the scenery, have some rage juice, and get some shit talked to me. Definite affirmative on the first two... the last one? Not so much. WWHD got a, "Welcome to the real deal" comment from some dude, but I'm getting the feeling that all of this newfound interest in the SMU football program is hogwarsh. lyle lanley and I have a friend from SMU who invited us to his and his buddy's tailgate on the BLVD, which was nice because we had an 'in' somewhere, but was also nice because these guys actually enjoy SMU football, and I was fairly certain this would mean the insults would start flying. Unfortunately, other than some guy, referencing my all over print Albertson's Couture TCU shirt, ascertaining, "You definitely regret buying that right?" My answer, "for 15 bucks at Albertson's, no, absolutely not," that was it. Heck, even the near Mrs. Wesley got in on the action, asking, "Surely you're not wearing that, right?" Say what you will about it, but that's the luckiest gameday shirt I own, and if you don't think I'm wearing into the heart of Norman, Oklahoma next week.. well, you're wrong.

Anyway, fortunately right across from this tailgate was an open spot, which we promptly commandeered and set up our own Frog flavored tailgate. Say what you will about SMU, and I do, but it's pretty hard to knock their tailgate situation. Sure, it's the biggest wanna be Grove rip off imaginable, and sure I personally feel its worthless for girls to dress up for day drinking (day drinking is a slob activity, and they definitely aren't going into the games), but having tailgates on the grass in the shade under a bunch of trees? Not bad. Pretty good turnout by all, including our very own lt4heisman, bucknasty, theredbarron, WWHD, thefinch and lanley. If we had a situation like this at TCU, it'd be incredible, but I'll take spot 235 in lot 2 over anything SMU has anyday. Booze ran out just in time for kickoff, which was perfect because it wasn't worth coming back during halftime for, although if you were an SMU fan, it appeared that may have been just the opposite.

Now, on with the show.

Offense - A-/A. When you win, and win big, you can be nitpicky. The offense finished with 498 total yards, including 271 rushing (currently 13th in the nation in rushing YPG at 241.3), 23 first downs, no fumbles or interceptions,. 13 of 18 on third down, TOP 36:22 (still first in the nation) and they scored all six times they were in the red zone. Truthfully, it's hard for me to drop this below an A, and I probably wouldn't even have to think about it, except those three red zone drops, while overall not an issue this week (with Dalton running in a TD in one instance), will KILL us next week if they happen again. While the Bryant drop wasn't a perfect throw, and the last drop was to a fullback, the Kerley drop is unacceptable. Kerley would probably tell you that the ball was a little high, but I re-watched the game on Tivo yesterday, and for a guy that's supposed to be the real deal, that catch HAS to be made. I know he's young and he was thinking ahead about the TD and just took his eye off the ball, but that is a mental error that has to be corrected this week in practice. There were no footsteps to be heard and this just further solidified how absolutely criminal it is that Dalton still doesn't have a passing touchdown this season, although he overthrew a WIDE open Bart Johnson in the end zone in the second quarter. He'll get it, but they won't be much easier than that. The CBSCS announcers actually went so far as to say that Dalton, "isn't that great of a passer" and, while he really hasn't been that tested, let me redirect to his season stats
#14 Dalton, Andy Att Comp Int Pct Yards TD Long Sack-Yds Effic ---------------------- TOTALS................ 99 63 1 63.6 606 0 31 3-24 113.03

Last I checked, not so bad. Percentage could be better, and the lack of sacks needs to be attributed some to the O-line, but that 113.03 efficiency rating? Not bad at all. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that kid isn't that bad of a passer. I hate how we refuse to air it out and instead rely on short passes and runs, but I can't argue with the results and I'm sure few others could either. In the game, Dalton was 16-25 for 210 yards. He also rushed 4 times for 21 yards and a TD (that's WAY more like it). By the way, this was the 7th straight game with a rushing TD for Dalton. Who knows what he could've done, but GP opted to sit him late in the third quarter with a 34-0 lead... and put in Mr. Jackson. Now, Marcus has played consistently all year when called upon, given he's usually gifted a large lead, but he really did some great things this game. Other than completing 3 of 4 passes for 17 yards and TD, he also had "the run" as it will be called. On third down deep in SMU territory, Jackson took off right on an option pitch...and took it all the way to the house. Loved it. Love having that dimension. I have a feeling he won't sniff the field this weekend, but it's good to see that he's staying in shape and can make the big play when needed.

Continuing on, that Aaron Brown step out on a certain TD was also brutal to see. Ok, ok, I forgive him because it's his first game back, but yeah, that's gotta be fixed. I'm glad he had this game to kind of get his bearings back, but he has to be 100% up to par for next week's game. Still, great, great game for a guy coming off of a 3 week suspension. 11 rushes for 56 yards (51 net) and 4 receptions for 60 (leading all receivers) for a total of 111 offensive yards overall. He also returned 2 kickoffs for 46 yards. Not a bad game for anyone. CBS named him player of the game, and rightfully so, especially considering the circumstances. In the half time interview, Patterson really highlighted his receiving skills, and it looks to me like this is definitely an area that we should look for Brown for the rest of the year. Very, VERY excited about having him back as it makes our offense far more explosive.

Joseph Turner continued his great season with 19 rushes for 67 yards and 2 TDs, including one that was initially given to Marshall Newhouse after a fumble recovery, but was eventually overturned. My heart stopped after the play while flashing back to Robert Merrill in the Houston Bowl, but fortunately replay got it right this time. Jackson led all rushers with 115 yards on 7 carries, including "the run" and we ended up with 7 guys getting in on the ground game (Dalton - 21 yards, Chris Smith - 10, Jai Cavness 7 and Jeremy Kerley 3). 47 rushes for 271 yards... a 5.8 yd average. Ryan Christian is ill (maybe it's a haircut related injury???) and did not have a carry. Not a bad day at the office. Could this be the year we break the curse of the TCU running back?

Receiving, I've already gone over the most notable points, so I'll just stick to the facts. Evan Frosch had his first career TD late in the game on a short Jackson pass and Antoine Hicks got his first career reception in the second quarter for a first down. Overall we had 11 guys catch a pass, with Brown being the leader with 4-60, and Jimmy Young and Frosch right behind him (4-53 and 3-17, respectively). Eight other receivers had one catch a piece. Total: 19 for 227 yards and one TD. Not bad, but definitely not great. Should've been more, but I've been on that tirade already.

Defense - A+. Other than one bad series where Bo Levi drove the Mustangs down the field and into the end zone after Nick Sanders and T. J. Johnson got beat, what an ugly, ugly game for the Mustangs. Total numbers? 210 yards, with 218 of those coming in the air. If you do the math, yes, that shows a solid -8 yards on the ground. Oh yeah, they also only ran 51 plays (compared to our 76). Pony Down. The defense got in on the action early with Hodge forcing a fumble on the Mustangs first drive which was recovered by Coleman (quickly becoming our defensive MVP, along with Hughes) which led to a quick TD from Joseph Turner. On the Ponies next drive, with lanley standing next to me calling for a pick seis right before the snap, big ol' Jerry Hughes took a perfectly thrown (to him) pass from Bo and took it 24 yards to the house, pushing the score to 14-0. It didn't get much better from there. It should be noted that Hughes now has a turnover in all 4 games (2 picks, 2 FF and 3 FR). Coleman also has a takeaway in all four games. Cody Moore led all tacklers with 5, including 4 for loss with two of those being sacks, and an INT. Daryl Washington was next with 4, followed by Coleman with 3, including the fumble recovery. The tackling was spread pretty evenly throughout the rest of the team with 13 Frogs recording at least one tackle. The front seven was dominant yet again and the secondary was great in not giving up the big play, although we looked a little susceptible to the little underneath passes that spread offenses are known for. Seeing as how Mitchell was getting eaten alive on most plays by our defensive front, it wasn't like the secondary had too many times to shine as it was though. I feel confident that our front seven can give us as much help as possible next week, but the secondary is going to have to play absolutely out of their minds to stop the passing attack of Sam Bradford.

Special Teams - B+. Combs was consistent (65.2 avg with 1 TB, but one OB) and was given plenty of opportunities. Ross Evans is shaping up to be the next Nick Browne (note: not Manfred), going 2/2 on FGs of 19 and 23 yards, and was 6/6 on extra points. This kid has really started to figure it out and has corrected his mistakes from the UNM game. Anson Kelton had a very modest three punts for 41.7 yards, but he did place 2 of those inside the 20 and, in all fairness, with our offense clicking the way it has been this year, he hasn't been given too many in-game opportunities to improve. Returning, again, I think everyone thought this might be the game Kerley took one back (after the SFA game, which was the obvious place he should've), but again it just didn't happen. He only had one punt return for 8 yards, but again, I truly feel that before the season is out he will take one back. As mentioned before, Aaron Brown had 2 kick off returns for 46 yards, including one for 25, but with this defense, these kick off return guys better get used to not getting many return opportunities, although Brown did give me memories of Cory Rodgers in the '05 game with that first kick of the second half. Like how we put Hodge back there, but it's obvious it's just as a blocker. Risky throwing Brown out his first game back, but it looks like he's going to be fine. Aside from putting in Kevin FAIL Sharples (2 kickoffs this year... 2 out of bounds penalties), it looks like GP might be getting to these guys and moving them in the right direction.

Overall - Patterson's unbridled smirk after the game pretty much said all we need to know about this game. He definitely wasn't happy with the red zone drops and the penalties (9-47), but you know he loved sticking it to June Jones in light of his "There hasn't been much good football played in DFW in a while" comments. Fugly game to watch, but about as expected. SMU is not good. That's not to say that the June Jones era won't produce something eventually (I fully expect them to be a bowl team in the next 2-3 years), but right now the $2 million man is not earning his pay. Mitchell obviously has the talent somewhere deep within him, but his defense isn't giving him any help whatsoever. In unexpected news, at kickoff SMU actually had a pretty decent turnout... I'd say the stadium was at least 90% full, although there was a LOT of purple. This obviously dwindled after halftime, but the fans that did stay had some fire inside. lyle lanley was close to being assaulted in the bathroom as we were both singing the SMU fight song rather loudly, and we even got a hearty "Fuck TCU" from a middle aged man as we were invading an SMU section. At halftime, as we were right by the tunnel, I was so adamant about calling out the SMU team I even got a wink from a lineman. Note: Don't acknowledge my presence, it only increases the rage. After the game we stood on the rail and got some high fives from Phillips, Henson and Hodge who were all REALLY fired up about the game and look like they're ready to disembowel Sam Bradford and DeMarco Murray. Another year, another year in FW for the skillet.

Game Ball - Going to have to go with the announcers on this one and go to with AB and his 111 (157 all purpose) offensive yards. He is exactly what our offense needs and having him back for OU definitely improves our chances. His stepping out aside, he looks like he's very close to regaining his swagger and definitely look forward to watching him for the rest of the year... barring injuries (crosses fingers).

Other Games of Interest

Colorado 17, West Virginia 14. Relevant because we jumped them into the top 25. Also, just in case some CU fans read our site, I figured they might've been too Rocky Mountain High to remember.

N.C. State 30, #23East Carolina 24 (OT). Great news for the MWC as East Carolina was likely going to be the team to bust the BCS had they gone undefeated. Consolation? C-USA trophy. Ouch.

Boise State 37, Oregon 32. Helped and hurt... it knocked Oregon out of the Top 25, but Boise leapfrogged us to 19 and are now a definite front runner in getting back to a BCS bowl.

#16Wake Forest 12, Florida State 3. Cheers: Deacons knock FSU out of the Top 25, allowing us in. Jeers: Deacons produced Josh Howard.

#11BYU 44, Wyoming 0. Watched a little of this one, mostly because, thanks to the glory of DirecTV, I could, but man BYU is scary. They start kind of slow, but once they get rolling, it's UGLY. Harvey Unga - gud, beastman. Max Hall - gud, nerd. Austin Collie - gud, Air Bud. You guys may have heard we play them in FW on October 16th...

Colorado State 28, Houston 25. In the words of Pamela Anderson, "Suck it, (Keenum.)"

#17Utah 30, Air Force 23. Whew, close call for the Utes. Air Force is much, much better than expected and is going to finish no lower than 4th in the conference. We get Utah on a short week (AGAIN!!!) but have over 2 weeks to prepare for the Falcons. Given their penchant for running the ball/our penchant for feasting on RBs, I'm giving us the edge.

New Mexico 14, Tulsa 56. So much for the dark horse...

UNLV 34, Iowa St. 31. Who took the desert Rebels and replaced them with this BCS man handling team? Another potentially scary team. HOW can anyone argue that we don't deserve an automatic bid? Victories like this solidify our case.

Next Week.

Our #24 Horned Frogs vs. the #2 Oklahoma Sooners. I don't want to say that this is top 3 biggest Frog games ever... but, would you argue with me if I did? Much bigger than the UT game last year because we know what kind of team we have this year and because the BCS busting window is so small with all of the great teams this year. Much MUCH bigger than the OU game of 2005 because they know what they've gotten themselves into (and there's no Adrian Peterson to shut down). Regardless, biggest game in my short tenure as a fan. Sam Bradford is probably the biggest dark horse candidate for Heisman at this point in the season. Starting DL DeMarcus Granger will not be playing this week due to an injury, but this being OU you have to figure they have another scientifically imbredgeneered beastman waiting in the wings. N matter, this can only help our running game. They've got the size, but so far our O-line has played well. I do worry about our D-Line a little. They've played spectacularly this year, but then again they haven't seen the likes of 330 + pounders like Duke Robinson or Phil Loadholt. Our front seven will have the fight of their lives this week, and if they can win that battle then we will have an absolute chance of pulling the upset. As mentioned, the secondary is going to have to REALLY step up this week against the best passing attack we'll see all season, with no disrespect to BYU, but at least we get them at home. OU is 7th in the country, averaging 339 passing yards per game and also ranks first in overall scoring offense at 57 PPG. They're going to be bigger than us and probably faster, but you obviously all know what they say about the dog in the fight. This will be one of those games. The opening line is OU + 17.5 and although I really feel like we keep the game close and definitely cover, I fear a repeat of 2005 isn't in the cards.

The Pick - Frogs 17, Sooner 28.

Hope you guys are planning on making the trip to Norman to cheer on the Frogs. A couple of us are hiding our spitblood allegiances this weekend and making the trip on the Killer Frogs bus, but for practically unlimited beer and food, I'd sell my imaginary sister to the Delts. Go Frogs!

P.S. I know we've done fan of the week before, but since I don't have a picture I won't devote an entire post, but this week's winner goes to the TCU fan in our section with the homespun shirt reading, "I'd rather have a sister in a whorehouse than a brother at SMU." Many, MANY cocktails, sir!