Monday, November 3, 2008
Oct. 31, 2008
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- TCU's Ross Evans has been named one of 20 semifinalists for the 2008 Lou Groza Award, honoring the nation's top placekicker.
Evans is the only freshman included among the semifinalists. Former Horned Frog All-American Michael Reeder captured the 1995 Lou Groza Award.
A true freshman from Burnet, Texas, Evans has made 11 consecutive field-goal attempts and is 12-of-13 for the season. His 92.3 percentage is tied for fourth nationally among kickers with at least 13 attempts.
On his first collegiate field-goal attempt, Evans hit from 50 yards in the season opener at New Mexico. It was the sixth-longest made kick by a freshman nationally this season. It also tied for the 12th-longest field goal in TCU history. Evans has made four kicks from at least 39 yards.
Evans tied TCU's single-game PAT record, accomplished four other times, with eight against Stephen F. Austin.
The Lou Groza Award semifinalists will be voted on by a panel consisting of coaches, sports information directors, media and others. Three finalists will then be invited to the Lou Groza Award Banquet Dec. 7-9 in West Palm Beach, Fla. The winner will be announced live on the nationally-televised Home Deport ESPNU College Football Awards Program Dec. 11.
In the Year of Frogs, 2008, the rulers of this planet devised the ultimate plan. They would reshape the Future by changing the Past. The plan required something that felt no pity. No pain. No fear. Something unstoppable. They created 'THE HENSONATOR'
The thing that won't die, in the nightmare that won't end.
Our future is in his hands.
"What happens in Vegas gets published on Spit Blood"
Utah's Black Hawk War (1865–72) is the name of the estimated 150 battles between Mormon settlers in Sanpete County, Sevier County and much of central Utah, and members of the Ute, Paiute and Navajo tribes, led by a local Ute chief, Antonga Black Hawk. The conflict resulted in the abandonment of some settlements and homes, and postponed Mormon expansion in the region.
The years 1865 to 1867 were by far the most intense of the conflict. Latter-day Saints considered themselves in a state of open warfare. They built scores of forts and deserted dozens of settlements while hundreds of Mormon militiamen chased their illusive[sic] adversaries through the wilderness with little success. Requests for federal troops went unheeded for eight years. Unable to distinguish "guilty" from "friendly" tribesmen, frustrated Mormons at times indiscriminately killed Indians, including women and children. 
On April 21, 1866, Mormon settlers at the chapel of Circleville, Utah executed 16 Paiute men, women and children by cutting their throats. The heads of the victims were then mounted on poles for public display. Paul Reeve described the execution as the worst massacre of the Black Hawk War. The incident occurred after members of the local Piede band of Paiutes held as prisoners by the Mormons tried to escape, and the militia panicked.
Editors Note: Of course the two conflicting parties kissed and made up later, but thats not the point.
I'm really just going to do this review out of habit because I was at a wedding Saturday night where the only TV was tuned into that classic UT/TTU match you may have heard about, and I was only able to fast forward through to the highlights last night on TIVO. First game this year I wasn't able to watch in person or live via tele, and a little part of me has died inside because of it. Regardless, the game really wasn't all that interesting, and, judging from my conversations with WWHD, it sounds like there were far more shocking stories to tell regarding the trip outside of the game, so I'm going to keep this one short and really use it as a big focus for the game Thursday. Anyway, there isn't a whole lot to complain about in a 44-14 win when you are able to rest your starters in the fourth quarter in preparation for a short week game that's the biggest in recent program history... oh wait, you mean our special teams were piss poor? Right, right, how could I forget? Anyway, on with it.
Offense - A. As I said, a lot of these rankings are going to be based solely on the stats I'm seeing and from the bits and pieces I was able to watch... but from what I saw, the offense was pretty great as they have been since the return of Red. The Fire Engine didn't put up too many yards (151) nor was he all that accurate (16-29) but he still threw 3 TDs, including a great one to Jimmy Luxury Tax Young, and didn't have any interceptions. Red was also second on the team in rushing with 9 attempts for 54 yards showing that, whether we like it or not, he's going to scramble when necessary, and based on a particular third and 11 run where he got 12, this can really be a good thing. At least he's keeping it under double digits. TCU never really had to put together any long drives outside of the first one, but AD did his job to keep the chains moving and putting the ball in the end zone. It should also be noted that he completed a pass to 9 different receivers, which spreading the wealth has been a bit of a trend this year and we likes it. We likes it a lot.
Running the ball, FINALLY they let AB get some attempts! Look at what he did! Only moved into 10th place all time on the TCU rushing list, despite his well documented string of injuries. His TD run was beautiful with AB hitting the hole, bouncing outside and flat out out running the defense while tip toeing down the sideline. Awesome run... really wish we could've had this guy more throughout his career. It's good to see that he's found his footing after a couple of runs earlier in the season where he just looked a little lost when forced to the sidelines. Brown finished with 9 carries for 60 yards and a TD, as well as the above mentioned place in the record books. Other rushers getting in on the action were Dalton, Jai Cavness (8-51-1), Christian (7-28), Justin Watts (4-14) and Luke Shivers (1-3-1, his first career TD). Also notable was Joseph Turner rushing 8 times for 18 yards, but going down in the second half with an injury and not returning. His status is currently unknown, a bad sign going into a short week game, but with the emergence of the Wild Frog, and with Kerley taking this game off to recup, hopefully this loss will be less threatening. Speaking of the Wild Frog, Antoine Hicks was once again under center and finished with 6 attempts for 38 yards. Think that guy is regretting not going to UT? No chance he sees the field this season and absolutely no chance Mack lets Greg Davis put him under center.
Catching the ball, Jimmy Young held back a little this week, catching 3 passes for 42 yards and an absolute streak of a TD, followed by Christian (3-27), Watts (3-17-1), Hicks (2-16.. great catches too, right in a row) and then Shae Reagan, Joseph Turner, Bart Johnson, Walter Bryant (dropped a should've been TD as well) and Frosch with one reception, with Frosch catching a TD right before the half to push the score to 24-7.
Overall: 27 first downs, 410 yards of offense (259 rushing, 151 passing), 6-6 in the red zone, no sacks allowed and 34:40 TOP. Nice day at the office by any stretch.
Defense - A. Well, anyone who watched the game knows it should've been 44-7, but sometimes you have to give up those trash time TDs in order to rest your starters, so no harm no foul. Still, what a day by this defense! Henson with an INT (should've been 2!), Hughes with another huge day, 7.5 tackles for loss, 2 recovered fumbles and 175 total yards. Let's start with our man Henson... according to WWHD, our section of the stadium just absolutely died when Henson went down after that kickoff, but then when he came back in it just absolutely brought the house down. You can't do that to us, man! Also, Henson had a big pick in the first quarter off of a Hughes deflection that set up our second scoring drive, but not after picking one of UNLVs first drive that was called back due to an offsides. Still, he ended up tying for third on the team with 4 tackles, with 2.5 of those being for a loss, including one that I thought should've been counted for a sack but apparently wasn't. Leading all tacklers was Stephen Hodge with six, including 2 for losses and I must say, I just LOVE watching this kid tackle. Mostly because he doesn't tackle, he decapitates... he's not one of those guys who is going to run through a tackle... he hits you, then picks you up and body slams you. It's awesome to watch. I love it. Way to be an enforcer. Sanders and Phillips were second on the team with 5 a piece, including a break up for Sanders, then Hughes, Colin Jones, Henson and Daryl Washington in third with four a piece. It should also be mentioned that Hughes had another manly performance, racking up 4 tackles, 2 for a loss and 2 sacks. Dude snipes that backfield. Down the line you had a bunch of newer faces on the chart with the likes of Kris Gardner, Tekerrein Cuba, Tank Carder, Corderra Hunter and Kelly Griffin having a tackle, then the usual suspects like Matt Panfil, Cody Moore, Tejay Johnson and Steven Coleman. Oh yeah, did I mention that we knocked ANOTHER QB out of of a game? Man, our defense is just terrifying. I feel sorry for you, Brian Johnson, I really do.
Final numbers: 175 yards (108 rushing, which 58 of those came during a trash time run at the end of the game, 67 passing), 12 first downs, 2 sacks, 1-11 on third down and just a general ass whipping of a team that should've beaten BYU in Provo the week before.
Special Teams - F+. Ouch guys. Three muffed kicks (2 lost), 40 yard punt average, a missed PAT and FG, 61 yard kickoff average and one out of bounds... well, not a whole lot good to ruminate on here. Given, Brown and Nick Sanders aren't used to returning punts, but considering how well Sanders first return was, and how solid Brown typically is on kick returns... geez. Brown muffed the first punt he returned, but fortunately recovered for a nice gain, but his second one was lost and led to a UNLV score, and Sanders set up UNLV with great field position which they fortunately were unable to do anything with. Kelton's average wasn't so bad when you consider the windstorm that popped up and forced UNLV into some atrocious punting situations, but the kid has a stronger led than what he showed. Overall, our numbers weren't terrible (11 yards on punt returns, 31,5 on kickoffs), but having Evans miss another PAT, which I still cannot figure out why he can't hit those, and then a FG will not be acceptable on Thursday night. Has to get better. Combs, you're a lost cause. Fortunately for you our special teams coverage is pretty sharp (3 yard return on punts, 20 on kicks, which is about as good as a touchback). Our offense and defense is strong enough to where we probably won't be counting on a last second kick to win the game Thursday, but they still need to get better just to keep pace with the rest of the team.
Overall. Well I had a little more information than I thought I might, but may have omitted some things/gotten a few facts incorrect since I was unable to watch. Still, seeing that score flash across the screen at the precise moments when UT was meeting their demise almost made it worth it. Still need to work on penalties (10-95) but, outside of special teams, that's about hte only complaint I have. Wish I had been there just for the whole Vegas aspect of it and would love to hear some stories in the comments. The general consensus Saturday night was WE'RE HEADIN TO UTAH!!! but, once the drinks wore off, this faded out. Regardless, we've gotta do something great for this game. I will get to this later. 44-14. Go Frogs.
Frogs - 11th AP/Coaches, 12th BCS.
Game Ball. Jerry Manimal Lecter Hughes. Always a presence. Always a threat to disembowel any QB that is thrown into his path. 4 tackes, 2 for loss and 2 sacks. Game in game out one of the most impacting players on our defense. He's had a couple of quiet performances in a row, but he came back in a big way Saturday. Let's just hope he has all his marbles...
Other Games of Interest. (current AP/Coaches/BCS rank)
#2/3/2 Texas Tech 39, #5/7/4 Texas 33. I hope you guys who attended our game were at least able to watch some highlights from this one. Definitely the most entertaining game I've watched in football this year (outside of BYU/TCU, of course). The Harrell to Crabtree touchdown with 1 second left on the clock took BALLS. Leach. Man. If there's a team that needs their coach more than we need GP, it's Tech and Leach. They better lock that guy down, although I'm not entirely sure a bigger name program could handle him and his eccentricies (I think that's a word). Definitely didn't see this one ending like this, but once Corso put on that Red Raider headgear and got his guns up, you knew this might come down to a shootout. Great game, and even better result.
#4/5/5 Florida 49, #14/14/13 Georgia 10. Ass pounding, plain and simple. Florida completely embarassed the Dawgs and sent Stafford and the Highland Park community tearfully back to their mega mansions. It's a little different when they let the Parkies outside of their little bubble... I'm personally surprised Stafford's mom signed the permission slip for him to play with all those uncultured brutes from Georgia. I mean, their dads don't even OWN the dealerships that they work at! Imagine! Also, thanks for the rankings boost, UGA.
#6/4/6 Oklahoma 62, Nebraska 28. I only wanted to mention this one because it obviously helps us when OU wins... and also... with 10 minutes left in the first quarter, the score was OU 28, Nebraska 0. Yikes! We would OWN the Big 12 North.
#9/10/10 Boise State 49, New Mexico State 0. Thanks a lot, other Aggies.
#10/9/8 Utah 13, New Mexico 10. Oh, S. Reeeeeally glad I didn't see this one until the final score because, my goodness I would've been in foul spirits. Definitely a 'look ahead' game against a much improved New Mexico team since we owned them, but wow. A lot closer than I would've thought.
#17/16/15 BYU 45, CSU 42. Apparently CBS College Sports listed this game as a final when CSU went ahead, causing one lyle lanley to have a near heart attack. What's the deal with BYU? I think we really broke their spirits. God is punishing you now.
Air Force 16, Army 7. I'm pretty sure few people realize that not only is Air Force not that bad, they're 7-2 and, were it not for huge seasons from the MWC big three, would be a challenger (and still could be if bad, bad things happen). I'm really glad that we have 2 weeks to prepare for these guys. Fortunately they're a run first team and fortunately we have the best run D in the country. Fortunately we have the upper hand on paper. Fortunately we've won all of the games where we had the upper hand on paper. Unfortunately stats are for losers.
Wyoming 35, SDSU 10. Poor, poor San Diego State.
This week. Holy Sweet Lord Jesus it's here. Thursday night in Salt Lake City. CBS College Sports (think ESPN is kicking themselvs for not getting this contract?) I mean, all things being considered, this could've been a gameday crew game for them. Bummer, dudes. So anyway, the opening line is the Frogs as a 2 point FAVORITE. On the road. That's mostly due to Utah's weak win this past week versus our very impressive one, but still. Awesome. Now, given our game against BYU opened with the Cougars as a 3 point favorite and took a 6 point swing to close with the Frogs as the same, don't rule that out, but it's still a nice thing to have going for us. Apparently Utah is calling for a blackout against TCU, a gimmick which worked great for us against BYU, but doesn't always guarantee a victory (see: Georgia vs. Alabama). At the risk of being repetitive in regards to our accolades, I won't mention that our defense is really, seriously, like, ungodly good. Brian Johnson is one of those mobile QBs who also happens to be a passing threat, but, so was Omar Clayton, and he got died. I think we'll set up our defense to dare him to leave the pocket, but the one time he does and we blitz Hodge off the edge... well, I don't see him going to the ground all that often. They have a couple of good runners in Matt Asiata and Darrell Mack and they like to get them both in there, but, like I said, our run defense is like hide the women and children good. Whenever we've gone up against presumably good backs (Unga, the white guy from Stanford, the semi anonymous guy from UNM) we've crushed them. We gave up some yards this week, but most of them were on one run and although Wyoming got to 100 yards against us, our pass defense has come to the rescue when the run D slows down. Johnson completes a pretty high percentage of his passes and has tossed 14 TDs this year. Andy Dalton completes a fair amount of his passes and has thrown for 9 TDs... in 3 weeks. You could say he's coming into his own. Our D have 14 INTs this year. They only have 8. Dalton has been an entirely new QB since his injury. Kerley is going to be back in the fold. Turner might be limited or even out altogether, but his absence didn't slow us down this week. However, I think the most important sign of this game is this: our most highly touted players are on the defensive side of the football... their most highly touted player is a hybrid kicker/punter. I like this to give the Frogs the edge (takes out Super Frog head and puts it on). I LIKE THE HORNED FROGS TO KNOCK OFF THE UTES AND BUST THE BCS!!
#11/11/12 TCU 31, #10/9/8 Utah 21. Balls and confidence. Yeah, I've got em. But when you've got GP backing you up, you tend to let your swagger intensify.
Not sure what everyone's plan for the game is Thursday... last year we took in the Air Force game at Frankies and lost.. then took in the BYU game at WWHD's and lyles apartment and lost.. need a new locale. I think I might host a watch party at my apt because, frankly, I don't think my emotions and attitude will be welcome in public for this game. I know there's a party at the stadium and one in Dallas at McKinney Avenue Tavern.. neither of which sound promising. Let's get on this. Go Frogs.
College football intrigue abounds in the coming days Star-Telegram
College football week in review and preview Cleveland Plain Dealer
Around the Mountain West USA Today
This Week's Opponent
Either Utah or TCU will lose big bowl hopes Salt Lake Tribune
Utes rise in BCS despite tepid win Salt Lake Tribune
Utes has plenty of work to do Deseret News
The Utes beat TCU if???Here's what the Cougars hope for KUTV
Ute QB frustrates in flashes Salt Lake Tribune