Monday, October 26, 2009

National Love on MNF

Did anyone see the quick blurb from Mark May and Lou Holtz during commercial break in the Philly/Redskins game tonight?

Mark May: "The two most impressive teams that were undefeated to me: Texas and TCU."

Lou Holtz: "Iowa, Cincinnati, and TCU just became passengers in the car for the drive to the championship."


TCU Named Tostitos National Team of the Week

DALLAS (FWAA) – With their 38-7 win at No. 16 BYU, the TCU Horned Frogs (7-0) are the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl National Team of the Week for games of the weekend of Oct. 24, as chosen by the board of the Football Writers Association of America.

Andy Dalton threw for 241 yards and three touchdowns as TCU raced to a 21-0 lead and the Horned Frog defense registered five sacks as TCU won its ninth straight game.

The win vaulted TCU to No. 6 in the BCS rankings and improved the Frogs to a remarkable 58-1 under coach Gary Patterson when allowing 17 or fewer points.

"I don't think anyone would have predicted this," Patterson said after the game. "And that's why I told the players to enjoy the moment."

Link Here

Final thoughts on the BYU game

-Is there any doubt left out there regarding Andy Dalton's status as a super-star? Maybe if you're nothing but a stats nerd, because his numbers aren't eye-popping. But Dalton gets the most of out of his arms, his legs, and his team. He made three absolutely Tom Brady-esque PERFECT throws on Saturday- the touchdown passes to both Hicks and Young as well as the throw to Bart Johnson on the first TD drive along the right sideline.

-How much does Gary Patterson own Bronco Mendenhall's Mormon tits? I figured the 32-7 bitch-slap that the Frogs applied to the Cougars last year was a bit of an anomaly, and that Bronco would make some adjustments to close the gap on TCU...especially playing at home. Not so much- Game. Blouses.

-Speaking of Bronco Mendenhall, how much does he look like Biff Tannon from Back to the Future?

-Gotta love seeing Cory Grant register two sacks. When your D-tackles that are known to be run-stuffers and not pass-rushers are getting to the QB like that, you are pretty much tea-bagging the other team at that point.

-TJ Johnson led the team with 14 tackles, and despite standing in the shadow of Hughes and Washington in terms of star-power, is becoming the leader of this suddenly extremely stout defense.

-Most of the time, I reserve the space in these posts to praise TCU players, but Harvey Unga is really, really good.

-Possibly the most satisfying part of the whole game was seeing how their stadium emptied during the second half. There probably weren't 20,000 people in the whole place at the end.

Week 8 Recap

Defensive End Jerry Hughes #98 of the TCU Horned Frogs celebrates his sack Quarterback Kellen Moore #11 of Boise State Broncos during Frogs' 17-16 win over the Broncos in the San Diego County Credit Union Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium on December 23, 2008 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jerry Hughes
Much like in the Poinsettia Bowl
Boise's hopes, dreams and aspirations got Jerry Hughes'd

Rough week for the top 5, save Texas. Florida let Mississippi State hang around, Bama had to block dual field goals to hang on against Tennessee, USC is the new most overranked team in the country and showed it against Oregon State and Iowa is thanking some terrible pass coverage for winning at Michigan State as time expired. What does it all mean, though? More love for the Frogs as we jumped Boise State and Cincinnati to take 6th place in the newest BCS rankings. It’s a long season and there aren’t many points separating the 4-8 teams, but I know I’ll sleep easier knowing that we’re in much better position than we were a week ago. Let’s see how things shook out.

The Good.

#19 Miami (FL) 37, Clemson 40. Clemson! You magnificent bastards! After that awful loss to Maryland, the Tigers have started to show some signs of life and are tied for the ACC Coastal lead. CJ Spiller set a school record with 301 all purpose yards, including a kickoff return TD and another receiving as the Tigers won it in overtime. The ACC cannibalization continues.

#8 Cincinnati 41, Louisville 10. In other schedule punishing news, Cincy blew out the Cardinals, only to fall 3 spots in the rankings. Sophomore QB Zack Collaros filled in again for the injured Tony Pike and tossed 2 TDs on 15/17 passing to lead the Bearcats. Pretty shocked these guys are behind Boise, but with games against West Virginia and a surprisingly potent Pittsburg coming up, they’ll have their chances to move up.

#7 Boise State 54, Hawaii 9. Congratulations Boise, you beat the pants off of a WAC team on the road with your QB piling up 5 TDs. Your prize? Getting curb stomped in the BCS rankings. Looks like the team that we “don’t want in our conference because they own the MWC” sure would like to be up here with us now. In other news – when your team desperately wants to be in the MWC, you know you’ve got issues.

The Meh.

#9 LSU 31, Auburn 10. Apparently LSU DOES have an offense. Les Miles might be the most lucky and overrated coach in America, but he got his boys to play this weekend. QB Jordan Jefferson threw 2 TDs and ran for another while the defense held the once vaunted Auburn passing attack to 81 yards and just 193 total. This is a scary dark horse BCS team who still gets a shot at Alabama.

#5 USC 42, Oregon 36. Really, BCS? Really? Washington has proven to be a complete flash in the pan team, yet everyone seems to ignore that the Trojans lost to them. It’s true that those early season losses pretty much get tossed out the window as USC was within a fourth quarter comeback of losing to the Beavers, yet jumped two spots in the BCS. Disgustingly enough, we will have to pull for them this weekend against Oregon, but after that they’re back on the shit list. The “vaunted” USC defense allowed 482 yards, including 329 through the air. Good God, us and Boise would SLAUGHTER this team.

#4 Iowa 15, Michigan State 13. The Spartans were all sorts of primed for the upset in this one when they let Iowa receiver Marvin McNutt desecrate their man coverage on a slant for the game winning TD as time expired. Seriously, Iowa could be the most non-flashy undefeated 4th ranked team of all time. 276 total yards? Big Televen football, baby.

#1 Florida 29, Mississippi State 19. Tim Tebow threw two pick sixes and the game was actually tied 13-13 before Florida snuck out of Starkville with a win. Tebow did not make himself available to the media after the game, although they will probably say that he was off willing his team to another win. More like willing his team into the locker room shower for a nice wank and some circumcisions. I think they're also giving him Obama's Nobel Prize - actually, that would make more sense.

#2 Alabama 12, Tennessee 9. Ugly, ugly win for the Tide and if Tennessee could find a decent kicker, this one would’ve been over much sooner. Terrence Cody, Bama’s 350 pound nose tackle, blocked two field goals in the fourth quarter to keep the Tide undefeated on the year. I guess Tennessee’s defense lived up to their billing? It also helps when you’re facing a QB as inept as Greg McElroy.

#3 Texas 41, Missouri 7. Well lookee there! Texas DOES have an offense! Colt McCoy did his best Andy Dalton impression, throwing for 269 yards and 3 TDs to lead the Longhorns. UT still hasn’t found that running game, but if McCoy can finally live up to the hype, and if their defense continues to play as well as they have all year, Texas should have no problems making it to Pasadena. It hurts me to say that, but I’m in a pretty good TCU related mood today, so I’ll be generous.

Good week for the Frogs who more than took care of business against BYU and got some serious respect in the rankings. All of the top 10 teams other than Miami won, but the Frogs still moved 2 spots. Jumping Boise was inevitable, but moving ahead of Cincinnati was very impressive and speaks of how the BCS system views the Mountain West. Clemson also helped matters significantly. USC is an aberration, but they will get theirs soon. Anyway, be back later in the week to see how things will shape up this weekend. Go Frogs!

Game Awards - TCU v. BYU

I have to admit that after Corso put on the Superfrog head I kinda started to freak out because I thought it might be a bad omen, but then I realized that dominance does not take a back seat to some wack job putting on mascot heads.

Defensive Player of the Game

Our defense was dangerous on Saturday night. I would have put them up against any offense in the entire country and would have felt very confident. The player(s) of the game is going to the d-line as a group. They were dominant against the Cougars. Despite Unga having 120 bogus yards, they tormented Max Hall. The d-line combined for all five sacks with two of those going to the NT Corey Grant (Hughes-1, Daniels-1, Yendry-1). Runner up goes to DWash whose great concentration led to the pick which led to Evans one field goal. That put the game at 24-7 and with the way the D was playing, out of reach.

Offensive Player of the Game
This one has to go out to the big ginger, Andy Dalton (who the commentators called the most talented "red headed" qb in the country or something like that, which then prompted the red baron to call out the inherent anti-gingerism because you would never hear a commentator say something like "he is the most talented white qb", "he is the most talented black qb", or "damn that half breed mix can sure throw the pig skin".) Dalton was Mr. Cool on Saturday. Facing arguably the most pressure since Utah in '08, he handled it like a pro. You can see the stats below from Sir Wesley, but the three most impressive plays were the "throw away" to Johnson, the fade to the back corner of the endzone to LTX, and the play to Hicks. It wasn't just the throw to Hicks that was impressive (and it was), but the pump fake right before the throw cemented the safety and really sent Hicks to the endzone. Dalton overall was as smooth as sweat tea vodka shot (only without the terrible hangover) and is well on his way to becoming a frog legend. Also a shout is due to Bart Johnson who came up with two huge catches in the first quarter which led to two touchdowns. He always seemed to be in the right place at the right time.

Special Teams Player of the Game
Not much went on here. McCoy and Kerley really never got a shot to show their stuff and Evans only had the one field goal (but as mentioned he did make all his PATs which was just the icing on the cake of every sweet tea vodka shot given out). However, Anson Kelton did have a pretty solid day punting. He had six punts with an avg of 40 yards per including a very good fifty yarder on our first possession that I was just convinced was going to be shanked into the bench for 12 yards. Good job Anson, your street cred is rising again.

Play of the Game

I have been racking my memory banks for what could possibly the play of the game. Was it the Ed Wesley 12 foot high jump, the LTX toe tap, the bomb to Hicks, the pick by DWash, Kerley completing the pass to Johnson while having a guy about to destroy him, or Hughes blowing up Max Hall and causing that fumble. As an eternal waffler I will let you pick the play of the game because I just dont think I can choose one. They were all great.

Superfan of the Game
I will defer to Sir Wesley on this one (see below), but there is no way I can argue with talking Cougar trash in your sleep.

Game 7: BYU Cougars

Ed Wesley
This picture is just too great not to post. Awesome show, great job, Star-Telegram.

Well, I said in my preview that it wasn’t going to be like last year, and I suppose I was right. Just not the way I expected it. The Frogs absolutely pulverized BYU, a team who was obviously vulnerable, but nonetheless should’ve been incredibly prepared for the game. If they couldn’t get fired up for that one, with the Gameday atmosphere and all, then I’m pretty sure they shouldn’t have been ranked so highly in the first place. Bronco Mendenhall in the postgame said that he felt as comfortable this week as far as his team’s preparation as he had for any game in his career, but apparently Allen Iverson was right and sometimes there’s just no reason to put a lot of emphasis on practice. The bottom line here is that the Frogs absolutely outshone and outclassed the Cougars and put together one of the most completel performances I’ve ever seen from a TCU team. Let’s see how it went down – note: I have been unable to find full stats on this game, so this recap will be somewhat inconclusive.

Offense – A+. First off, and I’ve been saying this a lot lately, but it needs to be reiterated: For those of you who think that Andy Dalton isn’t the answer at quarterback for this team, then you need to go eat the swine flu out a Mexican prison toilet and die, because there’s no chance you could be any more incorrect on the matter. The defense is going to get a lot of credit for this win – and they should, because they made Max Hall look like Tony Romo – but there’s no way we win this game without Andy Dalton. No chance at all. 13/24, 241 yards, 3 TD. It should also be noted that he completed his 500th career pass in the game, and that there’s no chance he doesn’t leave school as the career wins leader. The Jimmy Young TD pass can definitely be attributed more to a beautiful catch by LTX, but Dalton put it right on the money, and the Wesley TD was obviously a result of his speed and a beautiful dive at the end of the play, but there are two plays that should stick out. First off, in the first quarter we had first and 10 at our own 34 when Dalton dropped back to pass and was flushed out of the pocket. With all the pressure on him, there was no way you didn’t’ expect a sack or at least a throwaway, but what did he do? He escaped the pressure, rolled right and right before throwing it away, caught Bart Johnson all alone 25 yards in front of him and floated a perfect sideline pass for the completion. This eventually led to our first TD of the night, and as you all know, things only got uglier from there. Secondly though, and most notably, the Antoine Hicks pass should shut up anyone that says Dalton can’t put touch on a throw, because if I’ve ever seen a more perfect bomb in my life, I don’t know when it was. It was especially great because we were on the end of the field where Hick scored, so we saw it all happen. It was kind of like, “alright, Hicks is covered… wait, Hicks is beating his man… whoa, this is going to be a big completion to at least the 20… OH WAIT, HE'S GONNA SCORE!!! AAAHHH!” Very, very exciting and just a truly perfect pass. Jimmy Young and Jeremy Kerley may get all the hype, but Antoine Hicks is our best wide receiver by far. BY FAR. You can’t help but think the Longhorns would take a do-over on that one because, let’s be honest, if Vince Young and Cedric Benson not only were accepted to UT but stayed eligible, then a blow up doll could start for the Horns. Dude is nasty, nasty, nasty good.

Beyond that, What is there really to say? Our offense absolutely put theirs to shame, putting up 412 total yards, 285/127 pass to rush which demonstrates exactly what I’d been saying all week – take away one facet of our offense, and we’ll beat you with the other. Another big play that should be noted was the Christian to Kerley to Johnson hook up for 44 yards to set up our second score – a play that only happened because GP was still talking to his defense and was unable to veto the play. Needless to say, I think he’ll be ok with the results. Speaking of, the reemergence of the Wildfrog was also a welcome sight and I suppose we’d been keeping that one in our hip pocket since Virginia so we could once again beat the Cougars with it. That’s what amazes me about this game, though – we beat them the same way we did last year. They try and take away the run, and Dalton has a big day. We line up in the Wildfrog and they can’t stop it. Our defense destroys Max Hall. We couldn’t have made it easier for the Cougars to gameplan around us, but sometimes when you have more talent, you could let the other team call your plays and still win. I’ve never been more proud of our offensive output and hopefully we can keep it up.

Without getting too much into it all, Matthew Tucker was our leading rusher with 10 carries for 42 yards and a TD, while Joseph Turner was right behind him at 9 for 36 and a TD. Ed Wesley took six carries for 25 yards, Kerley 3/12, Dalton 7/11 and Skye Dawson, who everyone thought would be the secret weapon this week, only had one carry for 3 yards. You’ll have your time, Skye. You’ll have your time.

On the receiving end, Hicks caught 2 passes for 85 yards and a TD, Bart Johnson had 2 for 69, Jimmy Young had 4 for 44 and a TD, including his 100th career reception while Jeremy Kerley had 3 for 38. Wesley, Logan Brock and Ryan Christian each had a catch a piece, with Wesley taking his 28 yards for a TD.

Defense – A+. After the game, one of BYUs assistant coaches referred to Max Hall giving a “brave” or "heroic" effort, or something like that, and I guess he’s right – the fact that the guy didn’t die right there on the field or even quit the team was a true heroic showing, because he was being abused ALL night by our defense. After the game, Hall said that the Frogs D was the best he’s ever faced, and keep in mind these guys opened up the season basically on the road against OU. Really just shows the overall quality of coaching Bumpas and GP provide year in and year out, especially considering this year there was supposed to be a significant drop in production. The Frogs sacked Hall 5 times – only one fewer than last season – including two by Zilla himself, one of which forced a fumble. As I said, I don’t have any individual numbers on defense, and I wasn’t able to rewatch the game because of bullshit versus, so this is all from memory and I apologize for the inconclusiveness. We were able to hold the Cougars to 298 total yards – mostly from RB Harvey Unga, who had 123 – and it was never truly much of a game. The Cougars had one touchdown drive to end the second quarter which made the game 21-7 and caused some slight unease with the Frog Faithful, but once they came out on their opening drive and were picked by D Wash, you could just see it on the faces of the players and fans that that wasn’t going to be their night. In fact, the Cougars pulled Hall before the end of the game, an unlikely submittal of defeat for such a proud team. One of the big keys for this game was going to be third down conversions, and BYU came up well short, only converting 5 of their 15 attempts. The Cougars controlled the time of possession slightly, but as fast as our offense was scoring, it wasn’t like we were ever running our offense with the intention of burning the clock.

One of the biggest factors that helped us out was the play of our secondary, who were on their receivers all night, hardly ever giving them the space to make a completion and giving our line enough time to get into the backfield. Hall was held to 18/28 for 161 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT on the night. He also lost a fumble and was called for intentional grounding on a sack in the second half. After all that talk about him getting the ball out quicker, he sure didn’t execute well on that promise and his line really, really let him down. For most of the game we were dropped in pass coverage and only sent a four man rush and we STILL got to him. It’s really, really scary to watch our defense when they’re this on point. An absolutely overwhelming performance from our guys and I can’t laud them enough.

Special Teams – A. Nothing much to brag about on special teams as BYU didn’t get kick off but twice, and of their six punts, only one was returnable, so they did their homework on taking Kerley out of the game. On the night, he had no punt return yards and only returned one kick off for 24 yards. The Cougars punted 6 times with one TB and two being downed inside the 20. For us, Anson Kelton punted 6 times for a 41 yard average with one inside the 20.

Ross Evans made up for previous efforts, connecting on all 5 of his extra points and his one FG attempt, a 28 yarder. Even with the thin air, Kevin Sharples was unable to put any of his kicks into the end zone – in most cases coming his usual 5-10 yards short – and the Cougars were able to return all 7 for 152 yards. Weak. Special teams are really boring when Kerley doesn’t return a kick.

Overall – Like I said, maybe the most complete effort I’ve seen the Frogs put together in my now 9th season of being a fan. BYU had absolutely no chance and the Frogs showed no mercy in front of a sellout crowd and national – sort of – audience. I’m sure you all know by now that we jumped Boise in the rankings, and there couldn’t have been a better end result for our team this week. I understand we’ve had a Boise fan on the blog recently running his mouth about how we have no offense, how BYU was going to run up the score and also scoreboarding us on the Poinsettia Bowl – a game that, if I recall correctly, we won. Bet we won’t see too much of him this week in light of the weekend. Also, tell your friends at OBNUG that we still want our post for winning the bowl game. Fans of a true elite program would honor their word.

Spitblood trip experience – As mentioned, WWHD, shortnkerleys, bucknasty and myself made the trip to Provo and could not have had a better experience. I believe I outlined the highlights from Gameday in a previous post, but I was also the most well lubricated man in Provo, UT at the time, so certain things may have been omitted and/or fabricated. First off, I definitely have to give credit to the BYU fans who for the most part could not have been more hospitable and humble. After the game, they were all congratulating us on the win and wishing us luck during the rest of the season – well, all of them minus the one who put shortnkerleys in a choke hold, but I suppose a few bad apples shouldn’t spoil the rest. Gameday was a lot of fun and, despite the sign ripping incident, went very smoothly. Corso putting on the Frog head didn’t hurt matters either. There was some heckling on the part of their fans towards us, but it was hard to take seriously because it was so PG in nature, such as the fan calling WWHD ugly and another trying to heckle us in an overdone hick accent. Had we been at LSU or somewhere of that nature, it goes without saying that we wouldn’t have made it out of there alive, but the BYU fans didn’t say too much to get our rage boiled over and honestly if the almighty barenjager hadn’t made an appearance, I’m not sure how hostile our attitudes would’ve been in the game.

Not to step on counselor’s toes, but I have to put it out there that bucknasty was easily the fan of the game. Not only did he consistently heckle an ed hardy wearing BYU fan in our section who turned out to be an undercover cop, but he was almost removed from the premises for heckling our own fans in a very spitpurple-esque performance. Not to mention we were up 21-0 at this point and the rest of Lavell Edwards Stadium sounded like a mortuary. We eventually got him calmed down enough to enjoy the game, but I just wanted to let him know that his rage was noted and appreciated. Interestingly enough, the next morning when we were leaving, lady buck informed us that in his sleep he kept repeating, “fuck em!!” and “go frogs!” over and over. Even sleep couldn’t suck the hate out of him. That there is a true fan and we need more like them.

I will say that while we had visions of Provo being in the middle of nowhere and having a general attitude of disdain towards gameday drunkards such as ourselves, we were pleasantly surprised. Their campus setting is beautiful and sits right up against the mountains and the staff at TGIFriday’s could not have been more willing to drown us in our pre and post victory celebrations. I have to think the bar must average low double digits in profit on most evenings, so when they saw our train coming, they welcomed us with open arms and were going to make their money off of us even if it meant death or incarceration. It kind of became like a limits pushing science experience at one point, actually. They weren’t even wearing flair either, which was very relieving for us all.

All in all, it was a fantastic experience and I would definitely recommend it for anyone in the future. This could end up being a very special year for the Frogs and I’m glad to have been able to be a part of such a big win. UNLV this weekend for homecoming and a near guaranteed victory, so I hope you all make it out and we can make Amon G rock and roll. See you Saturday. Go Frogs!

Computers, not humans, help TCU climb

More great coverage from Richard Durrett takes a closer look at the BCS rankings, revealing that while the BCS computers love the Frogs, the human voters have not yet come around.

Corso's Gameday Fakeout

For those who missed it

Strength of Schedule Watch: Week 8 recap

Sunday was just as enjoyable day as Saturday for Frog fans, as the Frogs jumped to #6 in the BCS standings, ahead of Boise State. But passing the Broncos doesn't assure anything in the ultra-fluid BCS, as analyst Jerry Palm pointed out: "If those two teams keep winning, it's going to come down to the wire."

So no, the strength of schedule watch most definitely continues, as the Frogs will continue to battle to stay ahead of Boise State...and continue to climb even higher in the rankings.

What went right this weekend:
Clemson 40, Miami 37 (OT)
-This one was just HUGE for the Frogs. CJ Spiller had over 300 total yards, including a 56-yard touchdown catch and a 90-yard kickoff return for a score, and Kyle Parker threw a 26-yard pass to Jacoby Ford on 3rd & 11 in overtime to guide the visiting Tigers over Miami. With the win, Clemson improves to a not-that-impressive 4-3, but they have the inside track to win the ACC Atlantic Division.

Utah 23, Air Force 16 (OT)
-Hmmm, maybe Air Force really is a tough team? And maybe the AP voters that penalized TCU for beating the Falcons by 3 points on the road in an ice-storm can kiss my ass. Either way, the Utes scored a touchdown on their OT possession, then stuffed Air Force on a 4th & short to seal the game, improve to 6-1 and slide up to #16 in the BCS. Nice work, Utes.

Games that could be seen as a positive or a negative:
UNLV 34, New Mexico 17
-Not sure if the Rebels getting their 3rd win here (giving them an outside shot to go bowling) is better than if the Lobos had gotten their 1st. The thought of an 0-11 New Mexico coming to Fort Worth doesn't sound too good for the ol' SOS. Either way, Rebels, enjoy this feeling because you have an appointment with Dr. Hughes next...

San Diego State 42, Colorado State 28
-Again...I'm not sure if this is good or bad. Does San Diego State, now with 3 wins, have a shot at going bowling? Or did CSU's 5th-straight loss end any chance of them going to a bowl game?

Texas State 20, Northwestern State 17
-Good lord, did Texas State blow their entire wad by scoring 21 on the Frogs? They really seem to have given up since that one good half they had at Amon G. Carter. Sure, the Bobcats are still very much alive in the Southland Conference race, but beating a previously 0-6 team by 3 isn't all that impressive.

What went wrong:
Houston 38, SMU 15
-The Mustangs never really had a chance in this one, as Bo Levi Mitchell was knocked out of the game with a shoulder injury late in the 1st quarter. They actually out-gained the Cougars, but three turnovers were pretty killer. SMU needs to go 3-2 down the stretch to reach a bowl game.

Georgia Tech 34, Virginia 9
-Georgia Tech made the Frogs' dismantling of BYU look mild in comparison. Rushing yards: Georgia Tech 362, Virginia 30. Well, at least Clemson won, right?

Morning Dump

TCU jumps to sixth in BCS poll Star-Telegram

TCU focused on schedule, not BCS ESPN

TCU passes Boise State in BCS standings AP

TCU passes BSU in BCS standings Idaho Statesman

Texas Christian could crash BCS party Detroit Free Press

Texas Christian's underappreciated star New York Times

Oregon's D gets ducks in mix, TCU makes jump, BCS picks and more
Sports Illustrated

Ratings are rank that put TCU, Boise over CU and Iowa
Cleveland Plain Dealer

TCU leaps past Boise in latest BCS rankings
USA Today