Friday, November 13, 2009

PhotoShop of The Day

GameDay Set

As you can see from these pictures there are already people camping out to claim their spots. I was told by spoiledguineabrat a few minutes ago that there are even more people camped out now so don't expect to be able to get a good spot if you show up an hour before it starts.

Frog Talk / Ask-a-Frog: The Historically Epic Engine Game

"How Ute doin'..."

Focus. San Jose St., So. Miss, SMU, Utah 2008...we mustn't allow a Utah 2009. #4 ranking, Gameday, BCS...none of it matters right now. Only Utah. Get your mind right. Let's get to it-


Disciples of GP: Yes...I know...Gameday is coming. I had to promise Herbstreit 5 freshmen Tri-Delt v-cards, but yes, they are coming (Gameday that is).


FKASchultzhater: I saw a big group of Mexicans in purple walking around downtown this week, talk about solving attendance problems...our friends from south of the border might be our future - all we have to do is take them away from the Cowboys and we sell out every game.....if Cortez could convert the Aztecs (semi-Mexicans) from Human Sacrifice to Catholicism, we have a chance.


Disciples of GP: Am I the only one concerned our administration fumbles Gameday and crowd management? I hope these guys are walking through all the additional things- porta potties, concession stands, entrance points...dare I say T-Shirts??- to accommodate our new bandwagon fandom.


FKASchultzhater: Giving this massive crowd to Amon Carter Stadium is like giving a hooker ten 8-balls of coke, some vodka, and a reading test at the same time...something has got to give. That said, I did hear we added lots of porta potties, concession stands, and security personnel. Patterson mentioned on ESPN radio that he would like the fans to storm the field and celebrate with the team...hopefully security has been briefed on this, b/c last time they arm bar regulated the shit out of the 2 guys that tried it. I also heard we painted our field a ridiculously vibrant green.


Disciples of GP: the color of BcS $$. Utah has 21,526 undergrads and admits 94% of applicants. Are they Texas Tech, but with a football team whose greatest achievement is actually winning a couple BCS bowls and finishing #2 in the nation, vs losing last year's Cotton Bowl in the "greatest season ever"?


Speaking of, how much amusement has Tetch provided this week? I understand they don't want to play us next year, I wouldn't either, but come' least don't try and reschedule (read: duck) us while we're pre-occupied w/ all that's going on this week. How great is it UT is like "uhhhh Tetch said what...we're playing them when???" and then Tetch AD Myers comes out with the "uhhh...that shouldn't have been posted on the is...uhhh...not final yet..." Who knows the actual "goings on," but this certainly is in keeping with the carnival like atmosphere of this week...and by that I mean they look like clowns.


FKASchultzhater: Tech had a high school stadium before the Big 12 made them relevant.....but I don't see Leach backing down from anybody- not boosters, fat chicks, or a bottle of whiskey...we'll play Tech again soon.


Disciples of GP: My sole focus: Utah. I now know how Dexter feels trying to control his bloodlust and act hate rage is in check, but come 6:30 Saturday....


FKASchultzhater: I can't wait, I am even going to do my best to overlook our gay cowboys, our band wearing t-shirts, the "pink-out", the shit-poor speaker system, ginger frogs peeeing on my leg in section X, and this fucking spectacle called "Bleacher Creatures"...a program where any kid can run out onto the field with our team of trained killers - no seriously, 200 kids and their parents get to run alongside the #4 team in the country as they run out of the tunnel? Really??


Know Thy Enemy:


Disciples of GP: I find it ironic that Utah's mascot is the Ute...I mean how does a very Mormon centric university adopt an Indian tribe that integrated peyote religion into their culture? The Utes also have a religious aversion to handling thunderwood...which is apparently wood from a tree struck by lightning, and not the nickname I force my illegal live-in Guatemalan maid to call my fireman. It was/is believed "thunder beings" would strike down any Ute Indian that touched such wood. I think all Utah Ute students might be actual Ute Indians.


FKASchultzhater: Let me guess, because Frogzilla and Section X was conceived in a thunderwood manger and is about to get all "thunder being" on some Utes tomorrow?


Disciples of GP: No, because Atari AND Chuck E. Cheese....2 things...invented by 1 man...Utah Ute Nolan Bushnell...


FKASchultzhater: No fucking way, Atari and Chuck E. Cheese in one lifetime? What kind of drug are you on when you invent a revolutionary electronic game and THEN decide the world needs a pizza restaurant with singing rats and a cage with 5,000 balls you can hide under...oh...peyote...

Disciples of GP: Bingo.

Spitblood Predictions: The Utah Game

Note to self: Watching TCU kick Utah right in the mouth and getting our revenge will be the pretty satisfying.
I see that some of you already jumped the gun on predictions, which is understandable since this week has felt like an eternity to all of us. So give me the final score prediction, offense, defense and special teams stand outs. No need for attendance numbers since this place if FINALLY gonna sell out. Go Frogs! Revenge is sweet...

Game 10 Preview: Utah Utes

Even with Jim Morrison and the Weird Naked Indian on their side
I don't see how these Utes are going to win this battle of Cowboys and Indians

Whooooooooooooowheeeee has this been a long week anticipating gameday… and I only worked 3 of them! It’s a very, very scary game for Frogs fans, mostly because of the amount of confidence we all have going into it. A 20 point spread? A 1-5 series record? 90% of the country picking us according to the latest ESPN poll? Nearly unprecendented defensive dominance over our past 4 games by only allowing 25 points and not having anyone reach the red zone in 10 quarters? An offense that is clicking as well as any under Patterson? TWO nationally broadcast pregame shows setting up shop in Fort Worth? A sellout crowd that is due mostly to our own fans rather than those of an opponent? I mean, there is a veritable motherlode of things to be excited about this weekend before you even begin to consider breaking down the matchup. Fortunately for you guys, it may not be what I do best, but it’s still what I do. Let’s see how the biggest game of the Patterson era shakes out on paper.

Offense – As a disclaimer, it’s kind of difficult to get a proper reading on the Utes offense as most of the numbers are going to be attributed to the way it was run under Terrance Cain rather than newly implemented punching bag Jordan Wynn. However, it’s pretty obvious that Wynn is the better snap taker so things can only improve from where they currently are – and they are good. One thing that we can be for certain about is the significant running threat the Utes have in Eddie Wide who, filling in for the injured Matt Asiata, has come on extremely strong and been one of the brightest spots in the Utes offense. In the past six games, he has rushed for at least 100 yards per contest, and currently averages an inhuman 6.2 yards per carry. Given, none of these six games came against quality competition unless you count Air Force, but you can’t deny the overall numbers. Wide has 809 yards on the ground this season, despite splitting snaps with Asiata at the beginning of the year prior to his injury. Sausan Shakerin has also come along nicely in recent weeks and had a 100 yard day against the Lobos last weekend, although, let’s be fair, should stats really count against the Lobos? The receiving game has been pretty solid, especially with David Reed and Jerome Brooks who have combined for 9 of the Utes’ 14 TDs through the air. Reed already has 819 yards receiving on the year and looks to further extend that total with Wynn now under center. They also have deceased UK radio DJ John Peel catching passes, but it appears his musical inclinations are a lot stronger than his football ones.

By comparison, we all know TCU doesn’t do the whole one man rushing attack thing, but as we currently own the 6th ranked rushing attack in the country, I’m not sure anyone is complaining. Utah is 27th. I don’t think anyone questions that Joseph Turner is the #1 option with his 109 carries, but behind him I didn’t realize how evenly spread it is as Ed Wesley has 75 carries, Matthew Tucker has 74 and Andy Dalton has 77. It’s hard to properly gauge if any of those guys have the explosive running power of Wide because none have ever been called upon to singularly carry the team, but if you asked any coach if they’d rather have one destructive running back vs. three, I’m pretty sure it’s a no brainer for the latter.

Receiving, we do not have anyone that really comes close to the Utes, but, as I probably say every week, that’s not our offense, and when you can run up the score like we can, does anyone really care? It shouldn’t surprise you that Utah has a higher producing passing attack than the Frogs, but it’s quite a bit closer than you think – Utah averages 234 yards a contest, the Frogs 223. Sure, most of our yards are going to be accumulated on short passes and when we’re near the end zone, the ball is going to go to one of our three RBs, but the passing TD count should also surprise you – 14 for the Utes, 17 for the Frogs. Basically, our receiving attack is far more balanced than theirs as our leading receiver, Jimmy Young, only has 357 yards, but we have six guys with 10+ receptions on the season versus their four. It should be noted that Cain was more of a running QB whereas Wynn is more apt to stick in the pocket, so over the next couple of games I’d expect the Utes numbers there to improve greatly. On that note…

The first two aspects of our offenses are pretty well balanced. We have more ground threats, but if Eddie Wide can get hot, he can run the ball as well or better than any of our backs. Same with the passing game – if Wynn can get it going, they probably will have equal success with their four biggest receivers as we will have with our six. The big, huge, glaring, gnawing, diarreah difference here is obviously the state of the quarterback between the two teams. We all know what the Namesake can do for the Frogs – in fact, I’m probably on some sort of ginger sexual predator alert list for the way I praise the guy week in and week out, but hey, if I’m going down, at least the praise was deserved. To be fair, Jordan Wynn is probably a good quarterback and could in fact become another one of the great QBs to come out of Southern California. With the talent Utah recruits every year – and with the program admittedly using this game as a big poaching mechanism for Texas recruiting – he probably will. But, the fact remains that he’s still a freshman quarterback making his second collegiate start against the best defense in the country, not to mention against a front seven that is still picking pieces of Max Hall out of their facemask. Utah fans will point to his strong performance in his first start last week where he threw for 297 yards and 2 TDs. What they won’t acknowledge, and what they hope you will forget, is that his first start came against New Mexico, who are the tricycle to our Ducati in terms of defense. The Utes offensive line may have only given up 13 sacks this year, but they also haven’t seen anyone close to the Frogs – and if you say Oregon, you’re an idiot. Sure, Wynn can’t help the schedule, and I don't want to hold it against him, but anyone who honest to god thinks that this kid who has one start under his belt against possibly the worst team in division 1 – or FCS for that matter – is going to come into a ravenous Amon G Carter stadium and light up the scoreboard needs to clean the toilet in their TP because apparently the fumes are clouding their judgment.

I’m not saying this to discredit the Utes defense who is easily the best we will face because I don’t think Dalton is going necessarily have a career day by any means, but if you can find a Utah fan who would rather be in their position than ours as far as that matchup goes, I’ll give you $1000, no questions asked. Well, actually probably a lot of questions asked and possibly a smoke screen while I disappear into the crowd to avoid living up to my end of the bargain, but you see what I mean. Based on that reason alone, I have to go with the Frogs in this one. OK, ok, yes, just for good measure, 7th in points scored and 8th in total yards vs 49th and 35th.

Edge – Frogs

Defense - Alright, in the end, you know what I’m going to do with this pick – hint: read the past 9 previews. However, this one is going to be the closest I’ve had to pick this year by far. Utah ranks in the top 20 in just about every major defensive category this season and only allows 16 points and 300 yards per game. To this point, they have only allowed one of their nine opponents to scorel more than 17 yards, which is quite a feat no matter who you play – see: State, Texas. More notably, they only allow 170 yards passing per game, which is 9th overall. This can probably be attributed some to the pass rush which already has 20 sacks this year. They also have a defensive back in Robert Johnson who has 5 INTs on the year, one which he returned for a TD, and have 12 as a team. Dalton may not throw many INTs, but these guys will be looking to pick off any errant pass he may hang out there. The only issue they might have is with their run defense, which is not the best and which probably won’t have a whole lot of fun trying to stop our three backs, especially now that we have our super fast unis. They give up 130 yards on the ground and have given up 9 TDs The run game is really their only weakness and something we are going to have to exploit if we want to win this one.

Right now, the Frogs rank 4th in points scored, 3rd in total D, 4th in pass D and 7th in rush D. That rush D number seems silly, but it’s always going to be skewed because of the Air Force game, so we’re going to have to accept it. The only place we aren’t blowing anyone away is with our lack of interceptions, but, yeah, no one’s complaining. We currently have 27 sacks on the season, but, like our O line, Utah doesn’t allow too many of those. Still, Jerry Hughes. Is it even fair to have a kid make his second career start against this guy? Heck, against Tank Carder, Kelly Griffin, Wayne Daniels, Cory Grant, Nick Sanders, Tejay… you see where I’m going here. Maybe Wynn will surprise us all and shock the world, who’s to say? The odds don’t look too great though, do they? This kid is about 6 quarters removed from being a high school QB – how do you think that makes Patterson and Bumpas feel? Blood in the water is an understatement, this is more like accidentally leaving your can of Ensure unattended in the dining room at a retirement center.

Obviously you can’t compare too many teams with the Frogs on defense, but out of all of our opponents this year, these guys and Air Force are the only ones that come anywhere close. You can look at the AF game and conclude that, if Utah is on that level, we may have some problems, but obviously you can’t compare an empty stadium and arctic conditions to what is going to be going on Saturday. If our defense can feast on teams when they have minimal crowd support (home games) and when they are in a hostile environment (BYU, Clemson), then it’s pretty scary to think of what they might do in front of a loud pro TCU crowd. Not that that’s the only difference, but it’s worth noting.

Edge – Frogs.

Special Teams – Always the most fun breakdown, I’m going to curtail my excitement and make it brief.

Field Goals: Frogs – 11/12, Utes – 12/17.

Extra Points: Frogs – 40/42, Utes – 30/31

Punting: Frogs – 36.1 avg/ 15 inside 20, Utes – 42.6 avg/12 inside 20.

Kick returns: Frogs – 30 yd/avg, no TDs, Utes – 22.7 yd/avg, 0 TDs

Punt Returns: Frogs – 15.5 yd/avg, 2 TDs, Utes – 10.1 yd/avg, 0 TDs

Congrats, Utes – you can outpunt us. You’re going to need it against this defense.

Edge – Frogs.

Overall – Sometimes in these previews you want to give your opponent the benefit of the doubt and give them an edge somewhere to maintain balance, but where am I going to find room? Few teams will ever have the defensive edge, Ross Evans and Jeremy Kerley are widening the gap on special teams, and our top 10 offense doesn’t have too many holes either. Finally being able to throw in a home field advantage factor is just gravy. When we went to BYU, that entire morning during Gameday I felt really, really nervous about our chances of winning the game. Sure, we’d just come off a dominating performance against Colorado State, but to that point the freshest thing in our minds were sneaky wins over Clemson and Air Force, plus less than dominating wins over Texas State and SMU, at least in the first half. When Corso put on the Frog head, it boosted my confidence some, but it wasn’t until I’d put about 12 oz. of barenjager in my system and was walking into the stadium that I knew there wasn’t a chance in hell the Cougars were going to beat us. Now with that game down and the destructions of UNLV and SDSU complete, I felt the same way I did walking into Lavell Edwards Stadium as I do right now, and I’m entirely sober. This scares me, not only because with all that confidence you’re setting yourself up for a heartbreak, but mostly because, if I feel this confident now, how is the team feeling? I mean, we think we know how good we are, but those guys REALLY know how good they are. Combine that with the Gameday and Nike hype, and you’re looking a potential dilemma. Now, I think it’s dumb that people are making such a big deal about the team getting distracted by a wardrobe change, and we all know better than to think that GP is going to let anyone lose focus on the task at hand, but I have been considering one thing, and that’s the design of the uni. Anyone seen the Seinfeld where George Costanza has the Yankees change the material of their uniforms and it causes them to overheat and ruins the game? I’ve been wondering the same thing with these uniforms; they’re supposed to be light weight and more breathable… but what if they aren’t? I’m not foolish enough to think that Nike and the team hadn’t tested the hell out of these things before agreeing to wear them, but I suppose it’s the superstition in me that brings that point up. Will it likely matter? Nah. Still, something to think about.

As for the game itself, even the most homer TCU fan will throw their hands in the air when they see the 20 point spread. I mean, yes, we’re very good, but so is Utah and, even though they’re breaking in a new freshman QB, is that really worth 20 points to the Frogs? The thing jumped 3 points in our favor in one day which is pretty astonishing even for the most overmatched opponent. We’ll put up 20 points even against this tough defense, but if San Diego State can score 12, Utah should be able to do at least that well. On paper, we are the better team. That much is settled and there are statistics to back it up. We have a more powerful offense and a more crushing defense. Still, there’s still that whole 1-5 thing to think about. Even when we’ve been the better team – last year – Utah hasn’t backed down and has conjured enough late game voodoo to win. In 2005 we ended Utah’s 18 game win streak; in 2007, Utah handed the Frogs their last home loss to this point. Utah owns the longest conference win streak in the MWC. TCU owns the third longest win streak in the country. Utah would LOVE to bookend our home losses, and TCU would love to own the current conference games win streak. The Frogs can’t clinch a BCS bid this weekend, but we can realistically clinch the MWC title, barring an unforeseen collapse in the last two games. Many are calling this the biggest game in the history of the TCU football team and, while it’s easily the biggest of Patterson’s tenure, it’s kind of hard to argue that it might not be the biggest of all given the implications and exposure. SMU in 35 may forever be the only game in Fort Worth to pit #1 against #2, but there hasn’t been one yet that could spring us to greater heights than this one right here. I’m excited about Gameday, but I’m 100 times more excited about seeing what a sellout crowd at Amon G Carter that’s 99% pro Frogs can sound like. Heck, even the city is getting behind the team for maybe the first time ever. I don’t possibly see how we can let them down.

The Pick – Frogs 31, Utes 6.

I may have talked a big game about the whole 20 points being a lot thing, but I don’t see how that freshman QB is going to not only keep himself upright, but also not throw any INTs while running for his life. It's going to be a feeding frenzy. Parking lots open at 1. I expect you all to be there. Go Frogs!

Morning Dump

Utah has been trouble for TCU recently Star-Telegram

Horned Frogs can help heal decades of hurt Star-Telegram

Horned Frog history is a required subject in Texas Star-Telegram

TCU Frogs know what to expect in Christian's second year Star-Telegram

No. 4 TCU can back up title talk vs. No.16 Utah

Utah freshman facing daunting TCU defense AP

Good for North that TCU isn't in Big 12
Kansas City Star

TCU faces final obstacle in its BCS quest
USA Today

A long way from home, Utah's Smithson is his brother's keeper USA Today

TCU a homecoming for some Utes
Salt Lake Tribune

Road warriors? That's Utah football Salt Lake Tribune

Historically Utes have owned TCU Deseret News

'Gameday' adds to atmosphere, but real show is game Deseret News

TCU coach: 'The Utah game is one that everyone remembers' KSL

Ute safety Johnson has been thorn in TCU's side