So how will this little dilemma get resolved? If you guessed "by a game of Crossfire" like I did, I'm sad to report that you're wrong. Instead, West Virginia is getting all lawya'd up to take the Big East to court- claiming that:
Monday, October 31, 2011
So how will this little dilemma get resolved? If you guessed "by a game of Crossfire" like I did, I'm sad to report that you're wrong. Instead, West Virginia is getting all lawya'd up to take the Big East to court- claiming that:
I'll be the first to admit that, until very recently, I viewed the upcoming road game against Wyoming as a gimme win. And why not? TCU has owned Doo-Doo Brown as of late, winning the past three years by a combined score of 144-17.
But then the Cowboys surprised just about everyone by upending San Diego State on the road Saturday, 30-27, to improve to 5-2 for the season. They rolled up 500 yards of total offense, including a career-high 341 through the air by true freshman QB Brett Smith. When you compare that to the 446 yards that the Frogs produced against the Aztecs at Qualcomm, it's kind of like eating at Railhead right before heading to the tailgate: all of a sudden, Doo Doo Brown is a viable threat. We'll get more in-depth on the Cowboys' potent offense (and their verrrry suspect defense) as the week progresses.
Of course, all of those numbers and any scouting reports may have to go out the window because of the weather forecast. The Weather Channel is currently calling for a high on Saturday of 26 degrees, with a 70% chance of snow and winds up to 23 mph. Obviously, we'll be tracking this throughout the week- but if that holds up, the crazy weather combined with the altitude (remember, Wyoming's War Memorial Stadium is the highest in FBS football at 7,215 feet) will make for a formidable test for this young Horned Frog team.
Six minutes. Six minutes was all it took for TCU to put 14 points on the board and essentially scrawl their name in the win column. Yes, they would need just about all of their final 38 points to make this one official, but a third quick start in a row pretty much set the tone for the rest of the evening. Despite lulling themselves into complacency with a late 35-10 lead, the outcome of this game was never really in doubt. You can partially thank the TCU defense for their third impressive performance in a row; You can mostly thank Riley Nelson for playing football just like you'd expect a long haired Mormon that kind of looks like a lesbian to play. Yes, he had a nice night running the ball, but his two interceptions - and nearly a third and fourth - were CRUCIAL in keeping the momentum in TCU's favor. And just in case you think I'm targeting too much blame Nelson's way, you can also give credit to the BYU Punter developing leprosy in pre game because his hands must have literally turned black and rotted off without his knowledge based on his case of the fumbles. As always, if you want the more traditional, fact based, stat filled recap, check out the Star-Telegram or Purple Menace. Here is what I have to offer.
Casey Pachall did not have an outstanding night passing the ball. Actually, correction - Pachall did not have an outstanding night passing the ball based on what we know he's capable of. 13/23 for 147 yards and 2 Scores. Of course, it doesn't help pad your stats when the opposing team gives you fantastic field position based on their gaffes for a good portion of the game, but it's true his night will not set off any Heisman bells. However, he did exactly what he needed to do when called upon. When Skye Dawson was being covered by a LB on the second play of the game, he took advantage of the matchup and hit him wide open for a score, with a major assist from said LB who fell down on the play, another one of those little favors the Cougars did us. When Ed Wesley made a ballsy play on a punt return to set us up with solid field position right before halftime, Pachall dropped a perfect pass into Josh Boyce's hands to officially put the game out of reach.
But perhaps the biggest thing we should take into account about Pachall? For a guy who came into the season with potential character and maturity issues, he's handling this Matt Brown thing pretty well, wouldn't you say? It's pretty clear that, at least for one snap per goal line possession, Matt Brown is going to get a shot to run the read option and pick up an easy TD. We wondered if it would work as effectively against teams not named New Mexico and, at least for one week, it did. After giving Pachall the chance for half a season, it's clear that Matt Brown is more effective on his feet and that putting him in the game in option situations gives the team a better chance for success.
I wouldn't suggest that Pachall HAS to be on board for this to work, but the fact that he is certainly helps. You have to realize, being pulled in deep red zone situations is going to take away more than a few potential TDs from Pachall's stat line. And I don't think he could care any less. He's pumping his fist on the sidelines. He's one of the first to run out and congratulate Brown when he scores. He's talking to him on the sidelines between possessions, presumably discussing in game strategy, and, perhaps just a little, front row hoes. Pachall has quickly become not only a team leader but one of the more team first guys on the entire roster. Don't underestimate his positive outlook on the success of the team the past few weeks.
After the game, some amongst our fanbase suggested that, based on two games, the QB competition will be WIDE open come spring time. Coincidentally based on this information it has come to Spitblood's attention that after the game some in our fanbase said things that suggested they are complete dumbasses. This is a very VERY rough comparison to make, but would you suggest that Luke Shivers should be our starting RB because he scores on most of his possessions? Because, at present, this is what Matt Brown is to our offense: A talented runner who is going to score lots of a TDs because he only touches the ball in situations where the play is designed for him to score. That's by no means a knock on Brown because he is very good at what he does, but if he was the superior passer, he would be starting our games. It's not ironic that he has not attempted one pass in these goal line situations, although I admit it eventually happens to catch a team off guard. In the meantime, let's just be happy with our riches at the QB position rather than try to make something out of nothing.
Now that that's out of the way and I've buried probably the biggest takeaway from this game... uh... Jonathan Anderson, anyone? I wouldn't go so far as to say his performance came out of nowhere; He's a guy the coaching staff LOVES and he's seen snaps already this year. But with Tekerrin Cuba going down early with an injury, Anderson was unexpectedly thrust into the starting lineup in one of the biggest games of the season. With that kind of pressure, it's hard to know what to expect from a young guy without many meaningful snaps. I'd say a team leading SEVENTEEN tackles and one of the prettiest one handed picks you'll ever see made quite the statement, wouldn't you? And, truthfully, it should've been TWO picks. I can't remember with 100% certainty, but I believe it was the possession immediately before his pick that Anderson let a sure INT go right through his hands almost like he didn't see the ball. Apparently whatever Patterson "suggested" to him on the sidelines immediately following the play got through to him, because he was an absolute monster from then on. His 17 tackles were the most for TCU in 7 years, and one more than his career total coming into the game. With Cuba sitting out practice yesterday nursing that ankle and his status being that of the "gametime" variety, at least we know we're in good hands with Anderson should he need to fill in once again.
However, as I alluded to earlier, a big reason why TCU won this game is because BYU was more than willing to let them have it. The Cougars had 2 botched punt snaps and one blocked punt. All three of those screwups led to TCU points. Seriously, look at all 6 TCU scoring drives from Friday:
- 2 plays, 61 yards, Pachall to Skye Dawson 48 yard TD pass - 7-0. BYU assistance: 15 yard unnecessary roughness penalty on first down.
- 2 plays, 4 yards, Matt Brown 6 yard TD rush -14-0. BYU assistance: Fumbled punt snap.
- 3 plays, 37 yards, Matt Brown 2 yard rush - 21-10. BYU assistance: blocked punt by Greg Burks.
- 2 plays, 45 yards , Pachall to Boyce 33 yard TD pass -28-10. BYU assistance: Allowed Ed Wesley to return a low punt that should've been downed for 19 yards.
- 4 plays, 38 yards, Waymon James 4 yard D rush - 35-10. BYU assistance: Fumbled punt snap.
- 13 plays, 54 yards, Ross Evans 35 yard FG - 38-20. BYU assistance: Riley Nelson fumble, recovered by Jon Koontz.
Seriously, other than MAYBE the Ed Wesley return because he mostly just made a great, ballsy play, BYU DIRECTLY contributed to all of our points scored on the evening. I don't think I realized it at the time, but it's interesting that the Kenny Cain and Anderson picks did not lead to points. However, as Cain's was a "right place, right time" catch off a deflection in the back of the end zone which only gave TCU the ball at the 20 and the drive following Anderson's was killed by an illegal block, this makes more sense. Regardless, both of those INTs were HUGE for momentum, especially Cain's because BYU was driving to pull within 4 points during the first of TCU's several defensive nap times.
I don't want you to think that I'm using the above figures to disparage the efforts of TCU. In fact, I just wanted to demonstrate that being opportunistic enough to take advantage of these errors is the sign of a team that is figuring things out. But about those defensive nap times... That's a big thing that should concern us going forward. Don't get me wrong - BYU is a good offensive football team and, for one night in Arlington, TCU was simply better. This isn't the case of a good team finding a way to win and a bad team finding a way to lose - both teams played their asses off and TCU just happened to make more plays and take advantage of BYU mistakes. But look at the final numbers. BYU had more TOP, rushing yards, passing yards, total yards, first downs and converted more third downs and had fewer penalties. And some of these weren't even close. Removing sacks, Riley Nelson rushed for 120 yards. For a good part of the night he was everything that Robert Griffin still wishes he was. This wasn't necessarily a case of TCU being more lucky than good because you have to be good to put yourself in a position to create turnovers. But if Nelson has his same game and the BYU punter has his head on straight, this one could've turned into a severe nailbiter. I feel a lot better about November 12th than I did a month ago, but I'm by no means expecting a victory. We can't expect 3 turnovers and 3 special teams disasters to bail us out on the blue turf.
Enough of that negative BS though because, even though BYU had better overall numbers, they weren't THAT great. TCU came into the game giving up 346 yards of offense per game - 223 pass, 123 rush while the Cougars came in averaging 388- 232 and 156. But when the dust settled? BYU had 354 total yards - 215 passing and 139 rushing. The 24 first downs were a bit jarring, but a near 1:1 TD to first down ratio will be taken by most teams every time. And, as mentioned above, TCU had a short field on quite a few of their possessions thanks to the Cougars, so their offensive numbers were more than likely going to look better than ours. Teams will take winning the scoreboard over winning the stat battle every time.
For the evening, BYU really only had 3 "good" drives. The first was in the first quarter when, on third and 9, the Johnny Fobbs of old returned, getting beat by Ross Apo for a 42 yard completion deep in TCU territory. Fortunately the defense clamped down and held the Cougars to a three and out field goal. The second was on BYU's very next drive where they methodically drove the ball down the field on 9 plays for 76 yards and a score. Nelson did most of the work, completing all three of his pass attempts and rushing for 18 yards. Then things got PRETTY quiet until late in the game when BYU went on a 12 play, 78 yard TD drive with 5 minutes left in the game. After completing the 2 point conversion, BYU kicked the onside attempt out of bounds and TCU was able to run the clock out.
- Jonathan Anderson was the clear cut MVP on defense, but offensively I'm not quite sure who to single out. Ed Wesley and his 59 rushing yards, including a 28 yard scamper to set up TCU's third score? Matt Brown and his 1:1 TD to rush ratio? Pachall for doing his part on and off the field? I'll think outside the box here and give it to Skye Dawson. You have to give Skye credit for keeping his head on straight after a ROUGH start to the year where he lost rank in the WR pecking order as well as his PR duties. Boyce had the better numbers Friday night, but I like Skye for treating each game as a new opportunity to prove himself and removing any past performances for the second week in a row. Besides, I'm pretty sure Boyce will have a few more opportunities win this award winning, yet arbitrary honor.
- Not winning player of the game? Anyone on special teams coverage. TCU let Cody Hoffman rack up 167 yards in kick returns, including a 52 yarder that would've led to points had Kenny Cain not picked off the subsequent Nelson pass. And then, of course, there was the JD Falslev punt return for a score that made the game closer than it had any right being. Seriously, JD Falslev? Sounds like an Eastern Bloc - the real one - terrorist posing as a surfer in some crappy teenage action flick.
- Ross Evans and Ryan DeNucci both action on kickoffs and managed to keep the ball inbounds. No touchbacks, though.
- Major props should also go to Tank Carder and Devin Johnson for having big nights. As for Tank, it wasn't necessarily up to Rose Bowl Tank standards, but 9 tackles will do the trick and it's good to see him back in his element after a shaky first half of the season. And Johnson? In the preview I said the TCU defensive improvement couldn't be so simple as inserting him into the lineup, but maybe it is? 8 tackles, with 2.5 going for a loss and a sack is the kind of backfield disruption we'd been missing out of the safety position for much of the season. It's good to have it back.
Patterson says BYU took its best shot at TCU Star-Telegram
TCU far from perfect in beating BYU Star-Telegram
Bad start at TCU doesn't turn into blowout this time for BYU football Daily Herald
Fort Worth's Killeen, hear recipient Compton earn PGA tour cards Star-Telegram
TCU atop leaderboard at Alamo Invitational GoFrogs.com
Friday, October 28, 2011
- Final Score.
- Offensive MVP.
- Defensive MVP.
- Special Teams MVP.
- Will Riley Nelson rush for his 60 yard average?
- Has Riley Nelson ever experienced the love of a good woman?
- How do you think Harvey Unga is coping with parenthood?
- Total attendance for TCU fans tonight. Keep in mind we have sold around 25,000 tickets.
- Will SnK charge the ESPN booth and strangle Rod Gilmore with his Kangol?
- Rangers Final Score.
- WS MVP.
- Win or lose, how many kilos of cocaine will Ron plow through post-game?
- Your attendance status for tonight and for those going do you think its acceptable for life long Rangers fans to sit this one out? Seriously, can someone get a hold of that Sports Almanac from Bronco? Because it'd make the decision a LOT easier.
Recovery of injured lineman became a rallying point Star-Telegram
Will TCU game define Cougars season? Salt Lake Tribune
BYU seeks redemtion against TCU Deseret News
BYU's own Tim Tebow? Deseret News
Cougars should compete but will come up short Deseret News
Cougars have to defend the 'unconventional' when playing Horned Frogs Deseret News
Thursday, October 27, 2011
A close family friend and artist Delton Gerdes came up with this concept and wants to offer it to our following. It's a unique opportunity for some fine original Frog Art. Yes, that is thefinch. So much for anonymity. Disappointed? So is my mother. But the artwork is phenomenal.
How does it work?
I sent Delton several photos of myself in "riding position" (ha) as well as some close ups of my grill and told him a few details I wanted included. He then sent me a sketch like the one below for approval.
After approval Delton will complete your original watercolor art, then mat, frame, box, and ship to anywhere in the country. These portraits are typically 8x10 but other sizes are available upon request. A great gift idea for yourself or a fellow frog fanatic.
What if I'm interested?
email firstname.lastname@example.org with Frog Art as the subject and I'll get you rolling on you're very own Riding Frog Original Art.
-These two teams were both idle last weekend, and the Aztecs will actually go 16 days between their road win against Air Force and this home game against Doo-Doo Brown. SDSU still has a couple of gimme games left on their schedule that should easily get them to bowl eligibility for a second straight year, but Wyoming (with TCU and Boise still looming) needs every W they can get.
Air Force (3-4) at New Mexico (0-7) ~ 1:00pm Saturday on The Mtn
-The Falcons actually played pretty well against Boise State on the smurf turf last Saturday, racking up 408 total yards (264 of them on the ground) and forcing the Broncos to try for a style-points touchdown at the end- though they settled for a field goal and ended up winning, 37-26. It may be surprising to see them under .500 right now, but Air Force could win the rest of their games to end the regular season 8-4.
Colorado State (3-4) at UNLV (1-5) ~ 5:00pm Saturday on The Mtn
-It looked like the Rams might be making some progress this season when they started the year 3-1 after pulling off a dramatic double-overtime victory at Utah State. Since then, they got brutalized by Boise State (63-13) and lost to lowly San Jose State and UTEP. Any chance they have left for a bowl game probably hinges on winning this game.
Boise State (7-0) is idle this week.
SMU (5-2) at Tulsa (4-3) ~ 2:30pm Saturday on FSN
-Following their wins against TCU and Central Florida, SMU had designs on a Top 25 ranking, a CUSA title and perhaps more. Then they went to Hattiesburg and had their dreams dashed...something TCU fans can definitely understand. Their offense was completely shut down by Southern Miss in the 27-3 loss, and now they'll be without starting linebacker Taylor Reed (suspended) as they try to corrall the dangerous Tulsa offensive attack.
Louisiana-Monroe (2-5) vs. Western Kentucky (3-4) ~ 2:30pm Saturday
-Wanna know why you felt so poopy when ULM was beating TCU after the first quarter? BECAUSE THEY JUST LOST TO NORTH TEXAS! This week they host a Western Kentucky team that, after an 0-4 start, has surged to three straight wins including a surprisingly easy victory over conference favorite Louisiana-Lafayette.
Portland State (4-3) at Eastern Washington (4-4) ~ 3:00pm Saturday
-Playing a D-II school is a good way to end a two-game skid, and that's exactly what the Vikings did last week when they beat something called Williamette, 36-10. Need a reason to root against Eastern Washington? How about the fact that they are quarterbacked by none other than Bo Levi Mitchell! Also, if you hate Boise's blue turf, check out EWU's red migraine-maker.
Baylor (4-2) at Oklahoma State (7-0) ~ 2:30pm Saturday on ABC
-I've made the executive decision to permanently move Baylor into the Big 12 section from the non-conference opponents. The Bears were idle this week, so they've had plenty of time to think about what went wrong in their 55-28 loss against A&M as well as how to slow down the Cowboys' offense. OSU wide receiver Justin Blackmon is questionable for this game after being injured against Missouri, so his possible absence would be huge for Baylor's chances in this one.
Oklahoma (6-1) at Kansas State (7-0) ~ 2:30pm Saturday on ESPN
-You'd have to think that the Sooners would bounce back after their loss to Tech last weekend and re-assert their authority, right? But I don't know- Tech made Landry Jones look absolutely pedestrian and K-State is playing out of their minds right now. This'll be a fun game to watch, because you know the Wildcat crowd will be rocking.
Kansas (2-5) at Texas (4-2) ~ 6:00pm Saturday on The Longhorn Network
-Wow, Longhorn Network. You're really going to gain leverage against the cable providers with this must-watch gem. My guess: Texas rolls, as they should because Kansas is turrrrrible, and ESPN pumps up the highlights making David Ash seem like he's Aaron Rodgers. Oh, and they shoot up to about #9 in the polls.
Missouri (3-4) at Texas A&M (5-2) ~ 11:00am Saturday on FX
-As the Aggies need to excorcise the demons of their two early-season losses, they'll need to get rid of one from last season, as well. Mizzou strolled in College Station last October 16th and waltzed all over the Ags to the tune of 30-9. Say hello to your future Thanksgiving weekend rival, A&M!
Iowa State (3-4) at Texas Tech (5-2) ~ 6:00pm Saturday on FSN
-So do the Red Raiders use their win in Norman last weekend as a springboard to a great late-season surge, or do they fall back to earth and lose to (or barely beat) Iowa State? I'm not sure, and to be honest, Game 6 of the World Series starts in just over 2 hours so I'm getting the fuck out of here. Go Rangers!
Also, don't forget that we're raising money for Purple People Seaters by asking you to pledge $10 per Horned Frog victory this season. We could get greedy and claim that you owe PPS $20 for a 69-0 victory, but we know that times be tough. If you haven't settled up after the win over UNM, you can do so by clicking here. Even if you can't go $10 for every win, every little bit helps Purple People Seaters create opportunities for under-privileged kids.
Joseph Smith- he's either reading imaginary tablets out of a hat or puking his guts out watching BYU's football team.
1st, how on earth did you know your reader here is wild and from El Paso?
2nd, you know more about football than me, so correct me if I am wrong. The 4-2-5 is a very difficult scheme to run, and GMFP has been able to pull it off where most coaches fail. It relies on smart decisions from the secondary to be able to stop the run and the pass - which is why trick plays really screw us. Do you think that is why we can go from being #1 defense to bottom half - because it is harder to learn? The last time our defense sucked, it sucked real hard too. I know defenses are usually less consistent than offenses, but swinging from 1 to 100 is quite drastic, isnt it? Also, in a down year like this one, what do you think our record would be in the Big 12?
We would like to welcome your 0 titles and 0 BCS appearances to the SEC. We took the time to set you up on a blind date with Vandy and Kentucky. We think you should all get along swell.
Not quite sure what the appeal of Mizzou is either. However, I don't think I'll really miss them in the Big 12. West Virginia and Missouri- 6 in one hand, half dozen in the other athletically as far as I'm concerned. You're wrong about one thing though. They're going to fuck up Vandy and Kentucky like everyone else, and add Ole Miss and soon the Aggies to that list.
Ok, so that's it for this rendition of the mailsack. Please continue to send in your emails full of whatever you can think of to email@example.com. Thanks again.
Rest gives TCU defense needed boost Star-Telegram
TCU defense ready for BYU QB ESPN
McKay Jacobson never tires of Texas trips Salt Lake Tribune
Bronco insists Patterson's group as strong as last year Daily Herald
Notes on a scorecard GoFrogs.com
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
-A season-opening three-game home series against Ole Miss on February 17-19.
-An eight-game homestand stretching from February 28 to March 11 that will feature three games against Texas Tech, three games against Oklahoma State, one game against Baylor and one against Texas State.
-Late season mid-week home games against Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Louisiana-Lafayette.
-A regular season-ending home series against Tony Gwynn and San Diego State.
-An early-season road series against Cal State Fullerton on February 24-26.
-Mid-week road games that Frog fans around the region can attend: Baylor, UTSA, Texas State, UTA and Oklahoma.
Horned Frogs say there's no place like home Star-Telegram
TCU & BYU no longer share a conference, but they do share history Dallas Morning News
Patterson doesn't want Big 12 games at Cowboys Stadium Dallas Morning News
Will TCU's reign of terror continue over Cougars? Salt Lake Tribune
TCU knows BYU will come prepared Deseret News
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
What do you think- would this be a good move for the Big 12? How do you think this affects the Big East's moves?
Tomorrow's World Series Game 6 is in jeopardy of being postponed because of the forecast for rain in St. Louis- 80% during the day and 70% at night. If the game is pushed back to Thursday night, that would mean a potential Game 7 would be pushed to Friday night- at the exact time that the Frogs are facing BYU on ESPN. I'm sure we've got a lot of fans that don't care about the Rangers at all, and plenty more that would put the Frogs before the Rangers no matter what...but I really hope we don't have to find out exactly how many.
All the more reason for Colby to get it done in Game 6, huh?
Graves receives MW weekly honor GoFrogs.com
TCU to face BYU in Friday match-up at Cowboy stadium GoFrogs.com
Plan on a full Nelson at QB for TCU Salt Lake Tribune
Cougars last three loses to TCU have been ugly Deseret News
TCU duo punches ticket to ITA regional finals GoFrogs.com
Monday, October 24, 2011
- Welcome back, Johnny Fobbs! TWO forced fumbles, both of which set up the Frogs first two scores, and it was never close from there. Fobbs has taken a lot of grief this year for not always playing his best, but for at least one afternoon he was on top of things, although it should be noted he also played well against SDSU.
- In Game Experience. lyle informed me earlier that every non-injured/non-redshirting player on our roster got experience Saturday afternoon, and I'm not going to try to dispute that. Quickly running through the highlights - Aundre Dean and Jercell Fort 5 carries, Cam White 1 reception, Rick Settle 1 TD, and lots of guys on defense, including Jon Koontz, Jon Lewis, David Stoltzman, Chris Scott and Ray Burns. Heck, we even got a backup kicker into the game! One major contributor who stuck out was Left Tackle James Dunbar who has been so neglected this year that there were rumors suggesting he was no longer on the team at all. Jeff Olson has been a fine addition at Left Tackle, but having offensive line depth is what separates many good teams from bad ones. Dunbar's activation could be very important given our next point...
- Braylon Broughton and Michael Thompson. I missed the Broughton injury - certain issues had me leaving the game at halftime and catching mid-3rd Qtr on at home - but the radio broadcast said his X rays were negative and he could have potentially played in the second half. However, Michael Thompson's injury looked serious on the field and, sure enough, will have him sitting the rest of the year. While Thompson wasn't necessarily an integral part of the rotation, he had seen solid playing time all season and added to that whole "offensive line depth" thing I mentioned above. I don't think his absence will be the difference between 10-2 or 9-3, but you never want to lose a young guy who is hungry for minutes. Hopefully we will heal nicely and be ready for spring drills.
- Unis of Death. I'm not sure the exact math, but it seems like we play our best games when busting out the black tops and purple pants. Of course, I recognize the caveat here that this particular combination didn't really come of age until the Dalton years, so of course the results are skewed, but its worth noting. However, the biggest factor here - other than New Mexico being comically incompetent, of course - is the re-addition of the Horned Frog to our helmets. It was hard to tell at first, but yes, those are the new matte finish helmets we've been wearing all year with the different logo. A lot of people were pleased with the new, all letters look, but there was something reassuring about seeing the little critter back in the fold. We'll see if these hold going forward.
- Deryck Gildon and Antonio Graves. Clearly Deryck Gildon is THE next great linebacker under Gary Patterson at TCU, but perhaps his special teams work has gone a little under the radar. Or, at least under the radar by everyone not named that SMU receiver still seeing double from the ear-holing Gildon laid on him. But Saturday's blocked punt/recovery was great to see, not only because it was our first of the year and led to points, but because it was created and recovered by two freshmen. The future, it's bright.
- Devin Johnson. Ok, so I was wrong. There have been times this season where I see Devin Johnson on the field and, after first racking my brain to remember his name, get disgruntled at the fact that he's out there at all. It's not really anything personal, it's just that I'm entirely old fashioned in that I have a hard time trusting under the radar guys whom I'm unfamiliar with. I'm super fickle like that. But Devin Johnson has earned his starting role at SS, beating out Trent Thomas, and the defense has been better for it. Saturday he led the team with 6 tackles, including 3 for a loss and contributed on 2 sacks. Not bad for a converted CB buried on the depth chart when the season started. He's not the biggest guy - 5'10", 188 - but he has clearly added some sort of spark to a secondary that has looked half dead most weeks. Speaking of that secondary...
- Secondary Steps up. Yes, pumping up a win against New Mexico is similar to what the Cowboys are doing after beating a TERRIBLE Rams team yesterday. Yes, the hyping up of UNM's receivers may have been a product of the GP hype machine intended to inspire his team to play hard. But still... 21 yards total yards, 11 of them coming on one play? I mean.. what? That'll do, pig.
- Early Start. Clearly one of, if not THE, biggest complaints about the team this year were the slow starts out of the gate. And while it likely wouldn't have made a difference against Baylor, you can't help but wonder, "what if?" about the SMU game. No matter who you are playing, a slow start can doom even the best teams, something Oklahoma learned the hard way Saturday night. But at least for 2 games, TCU has taken that out of the equation. After jumping to a 14-0 lead that was imperative in holding off SDSU two weeks ago, the Frogs jumped out 14-0 with only 6 minutes off the clock and led 20-0 after one on the way to a 41-0 half time margin. I'm not expecting THAT kind of explosion the next 5 games, but it goes without saying that against BYU and Boise we better put up early points if we want to have a chance. For the day the Lobos had 85 yards of total offense.
- Matt Brown. We've seen what Matt Brown can do with his legs on a handful of occasions this season, but it was nice for him to get the opportunity to air a few out, which he did to the tune of 2/4 for 76 yards. 54 of those came on a nice post route to freshman Cam White. However, Brown's current role in the offense is pretty clear: the read option. For whatever reason, Pachall just doesn't have Brown's quick reaction and first step, which I think was a shock to us all early but also something we've come to accept. The only issue I see with this going forward is that, when playing a defense like BYU or Boise's that will not only know what is coming but know how to stop it, it might not be as effective. But, Brown is a dangerous weapon on his feet, rushing 9 times for 52 yards and 2 scores. Like I said, it may not always work, but it's a nice OPTION to have. Speaking of that run game...
- Running Backs. Well, it wasn't as lofty as the three 100 yard rushers suggestion I had in the preview, but 7 rushing TD's was nice, as was Ed Wesley's Jeremy Kerley impression early in the third quarter. There was also a nice, even distribution of carries between all the backs.
- Poll Climbing. Finally, you may not have noticed it, but TCU got some SERIOUS love in the Coaches' Poll Sunday, climbing from 1 total vote to 33 and sitts at 28th. With BYU also getting votes, it's not completely unrealistic to think that a win Friday could move us back into the Top 25, although it would need to be convincing and we'd need some help. Could the Movement Watch make an early return this week?