Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Frogs expected to sign 3 on Wednesday

GP & his staff expect to receive National Letters of Intent from three future Horned Frogs on Wednesday. Quarterback Casey Pachall (pictured) from Brownwood along with the Copperas Cove duo of linebacker Tanner Brock and receiver Josh Boyce will officially sign with TCU tomorrow and will enroll for the spring semester. That means they'll participate in offseason workouts as well as spring practice.

The extra semester of preparation could give Brock and/or Boyce time to climb the depth chart enough to play as true freshmen next fall. Brock is a Jason Phillips clone who was born to play linebacker in the 4-2-5. Boyce is an explosive, clutch athlete that could probably be a star at receiver or defensive back. Because we don't lose a quarterback to graduation this year and Dalton is firmly entrenched as the starter, I doubt you'll see Pachall play in a game until at least 2010. Over the next two years, though, he'll be in a battle with Yogi Gallegos for the right to take the wheel of Schultz's offense once Dalton graduates and goes to Ginger Grad School.

The rest of TCU's class will sign their letters of intent on February 4th.

Poinsettia Bowl Preview: WRs and TEs.

Every day this week I will preview a different aspect of both teams and then give my prediction on who has the edge. Today I will be looking at the wide receivers and tight ends for both squads.

We're not worthy!

TCU – Jimmy Young, Walter Bryant, Bart Johnson, Jeremy Kerley, Curtis Clay and Antoine Hicks. Shae Reagan and Evan Frosch.

RECEIVING GP No. Yards Avg TD Long Avg/G
Young, Jimmy 12 54 926 17.1 5 65 77.2
Bryant, Walter 12 21 231 11.0 2 45 19.2
Reagan, Shae 12 17 226 13.3 1 33 18.8
Johnson, Bart 12 15 206 13.7 1 52 17.2
Kerley, Jeremy 10 11 95 8.6 0 15 9.5
Frosch, Evan 11 10 67 6.7 2 12 6.1
Clay, Curtis 12 8 91 11.4 0 26 7.6
Hicks, Antoine 10 7 69 9.9 0 19 6.9

Just by reading those named should make you realize who will obviously have the receiving edge. It should also get your blood pumping when you realize how all of these guys are coming back except for Reagan and Bryant. As a whole, TCU is very middle of the pack as a passing team and only finished with 14 TD receptions and 2400 yards. We only averaged 201 yards per game moving the ball through the air, but, as mentioned in the QB preview, we really didn’t even start passing the ball frequently until the BYU game. Young led all receivers by far in total yards and, in fact, is currently enjoying the second most prolific receiving season in TCU history. Had he been able to be utilized the entire season, there’s no telling what he may have done or what kinds of records he may have broken. Assuming he stays all four years, there’s no doubt that he will be remembered as the greatest receiver to ever play for TCU. He and Dalton really hit their stride in the latter half of the season as he piled up all five of his receiving touchdowns after the San Diego State game. He ended the season with 4 games with at least 100 yards receiving, including the now legendary 226 yard, 3 touchdown performance against Wyoming. Look for him to be heavily utilized against Boise.

Continuing, Walter Bryant was Dalton’s second favorite target on the year, although he didn’t put up numbers anywhere close to those of Young. However, Bryant is a huge target with very sure hands and, aside from not being able to see the sideline, a great secondary receiver. Assuming Young is doubled up on most snaps, Dalton should look for Bryant as he will tower over the Boise secondary. Like last year, Bart Johnson wasn’t always the go to guy, but when we needed a big first down, Johnson was the man. We could have a Brownwood controlled offense in a couple of years with Casey Pachall on the squad. Curtis Clay is another guy who didn’t make a lot of plays, but all of his plays were memorable. Antoine Hicks, who has become a huge crowd favorite, may have only had 7 receptions, but you’re an imbecile if you don’t see the potential in this guy. He has great hands and great speed and, as a true freshman, has unlimited potential with the proper development. Filling in on Wildfrog plays towards the end of the year, could Schultz get creative enough to run a little triple option at the Broncos?

Like Young, Jeremy Kerley is deserving of his very own paragraph. I don’t know one guy who benefitted more from one huge performance, but after the BYU game when Kerley absolutely ran wild (zing!) out of the Wildfrog, we knew that the key to our season was going to rest with this kid. It can easily be said that Kerley’s absence was one of the main reasons we were unable to finish the job against Utah. Had he not been hurt, the game would’ve been out of reach by halftime. No doubt. Having rested for the last four games of the season to recup from an ankle injury, Kerley is at full health and you know he’s ready to tear the Boise defense a new one. Out of everything about this game that I’m excited to watch, Kerley lining up in the backfield makes me more excited than anything. Look out, Broncos.

Also contributing to the receiving game were running backs Ryan Christian (24-268), Aaron Brown (10-98) and full back Justin Watts (10-70-2).

Tight ends, typically playing a large role in TCU offenses, have taken a bit of a back seat since Dalton has been under center. Shea Reagan, who honestly could’ve been one of the best, never panned out because of injuries and he and Dalton never got on the same page. A guy who once had every catch in his career go for a first down still managed to average 13 yards per reception, but only had 13 on the year with one touchdown. Evan Frosch showed flashes of promise, but, like Reagan, was rarely utilized. When you have guys like Young lining up out wide though, this can be considered acceptable. Look for Frosch to be a contributor these next couple of years.

Sorry, there's only enough room for one Jeremy on this field.

Boise State – Jeremy Childs, Austin Pettis, Vinny Perretta, Julian Hawkins, Titus Young and Tyler Shoemaker. Tommy Gallarda and Kyle Efaw.

RECEIVING GP No. Yds Avg TD Long Avg/G
Jeremy Childs 11 65 741 11.4 7 57 67.4
Austin Pettis 12 45 502 11.2 9 24 41.8
Vinny Perretta 12 34 500 14.7 2 73 41.7
Julian Hawkins 12 24 312 13.0 3 46 26.0
Kyle Efaw 12 17 262 15.4 0 34 21.8

Titus Young 3 10 168 16.8 1 80 56.0

Tyler Shoemaker 12 7 110 15.7 2 56 9.2
Tommy Gallarda 12 6 65 10.8 2 16 5.4

Boise State, as shown in the QB preview, had a great season through the air. Their average of 295.3 yards per game was good for 12th in the country and their 30 TDs were good for 14th. There 3543 total receiving yards also ranked them 12th. Very impressive. Much like the run game, the Boise passing attack was relatively balanced with the exception of Jeremy Childs having 65 receptions and 2 100 yards games. None of these guys are overly big outside of Julian Hawkins, but Kellen Moore is an extremely accurate quarterback who typically has no problems finding his target. Austin Pettis and Vinny Perretta are more than capable of filling in if Childs is covered, and our safeties are going to have to be ready to get their heads in the game on the few plays that Jerry Hughes isn’t mauling Moore. They came up big in the Nevada game when Childs wasn’t able to get open, each finishing with over 100 yards. Titus Young played a major role in the Boise offense last season but was hampered by injuries this year and was limited to 3 games. Honestly, all of these guys are fully capable of getting the job done and Sanders, Priest, Hodge and co. are going to have their hands full.

At tight end, starting TE Tommy Gallarda had fewer receptions than Kyle Efaw but he made them count, snagging two touchdowns. Like TCU though, tight ends are rarely the first option and are typically just used in goal line or short yardage situations. When you can run the ball like both teams can, though, your TEs are going to be far better utilized in blocking schemes.
Also contributing to the receiving game were running backs Ian Johnson (19-234) and Jeremy Avery (15-220).

Overall – This is a very tough one to call. Typically, all these being equal, you would give the edge to the team with the best quarterback. I said in my QB analysis that I thought Boise had the edge under center. Since then, I have realized that it’s really a lot tougher to call than I thought at the time and, honestly, I think it’s close to a toss-up at this point when you take into account other factors. I’m not taking back my pick, but I just wanted to clarify. If you just looked at the overall numbers, you’d obviously lean towards Boise State. They look far more impressive on paper. However, we know that Andy Dalton is just now hitting his stride, peaking in the Wyoming game and has been playing at a very high level in every game since then. The difference in the teams lies in two factors. First off, TCUs passing defense is several steps ahead of their counterparts and ranks 9th in the country in yards per game given up on defense (166.4) while Boise ranks 37th with 189.6. You could say that the WAC is typically more pass happy than the MWC, although not by much, and I would tell you to talk to Max Hall. For the year, Hall averaged 302 yards and nearly 3 TDs vs 1 INT per game. He was also sacked 11 times all year outside of the TCU game. Against the Frogs though? 7-24, 130 yards, 2 interceptions, 0 TDs and SIX sacks. So, you can’t act like TCU is a one trick pony with stopping the run; we will absolutely tear a team up if they try and throw the ball.

The other factor that sets the two teams apart? Boise State has no one in the same category as Jimmy Young and Jeremy Kerley. Young is an absolutely phenomenal talent out wide and has never seen a pass he can’t catch if it is in range. Kerley, though, is a guy that most teams in the country would devise entire game plans around. He can beat you over the middle, or he can line up under center and beat you on the ground. Given Boise’s knack for stopping the run and TCUs solid offensive line, look for these guys to play major roles in another Frogs victory. Because of these guys and our pass defense, I give the edge to…

Edge – Frogs.

Boise State Rival Blog Bet

The friendly folks at OBNUG (One Bronco Nation Under God) have asked Spit Blood to participate in their Rival Blog Bowl Bet.  It's very simple, Frogs vs. Broncos, straight up in the Poinsetta Bowl.  The winner gets to do a write up on the other's blog.  Not necessarily a rub it in the loser's face write up, but that all depends on how the game plays out.  

Check out their write up on the challenge here, and click around elsewhere on the site for good Bronco coverage and plenty of links to other sources as well.

May the best team in the better conference win.

Thanks to Kevan and OBNUG for setting this up.

Ocho Who?

It's been reported that as of Monday morning, Buccaneers defensive end Greg White has officially changed his name to Stylez G. White. He says he was inspired by a character in the Michael J. Fox eighties flick "Teen Wolf" (one might remember a Rupert "Stiles" Stilinski from said film). This is hilarious. I can only imagine what the next name change is going to be.

More power to you Greg, uuhh, I mean, Stylez.

Good call Vegas

I really don't have any original things to say here other than I love how everyone has pretty much made BYU the red-headed stepchild (no offense to the gingers on the site) of the conference after we completely demolished them. Oh how the mighty have fallen.

As A Helmet, I Completely Disapprove of this Entire Scene

Morning Dump

Bumpas named nation's top defensive line coach GoFrogs.com

Frogs give back during holiday season GoFrogs.com

Drum up bipartisan support to bust up BCS? Yes we can Star-Telegram

Anticipation of holiday cheer Washington Post

Broncos will have a big presence in San Diego Idaho Statesman

Less than 5,000 bowl tickets sold to Bronco fans KTVB-TV

No ranked team is safe with Sverrisdottir, TCU around ESPN

Prospects with most potential come from class of 2011

Top 10 players to watch in the early bowl games ESPN
-Note number 3. Anyone recall what happened to the last big name offensive player we faced in the Poinsettia Bowl?