Not a bad weekend for TCU Football, eh? The Frogs won convincingly with no injuries, the new kids looked sharp and the stadium was "pretty nice" I guess. Heck, even Patterson was pleased, saying that, "If you were going to script a first ballgame, this is the way you'd want to do it." It may have only been Grambling, but 56-0 looks good against anyone in your opener, especially with a young team, and if you're going to start knocking schools from north-Central Louisiana, better not ask Arkansas fans to give their opinions on the subject... Considering the way our previously veteran laded teams have let everyone from Portland State to the Armadillos hang around early, I'm taking the way this team showed poise and essentially shut the thing down from the first touch as a major positive. Let's take a look at this, bullet point style.
- Welcome to Fort Worth, Deante Gray. On the first touch of his collegiate career, the true freshman punt returner went more or less untouched to the house on a 65 yard punt return. Not even Jeremy Kerley can say he did that so soon. For the game Gray returned 5 punts for 170 yards, earning National Punt Returner of the week honors. So I think it's safe to say we've got that position locked down for the forseeable future.
- Welcome to Fort Worth, Devonte Fields. Must be a "names beginning with 'D' and ending with 'ante'" thing. Did anyone wander close enough to the field to take a good look at him? He sure didn't look like a freshman. Dude is every bit as big as Maponga and had a blazing debut, recording 5 tackles, with 3 of those going for a loss and a sack; Stansly only had 2 tackles, with 1 for a loss. Maponga is going to get the attention from opponents and when he does, Fields will make them pay.
- Welcome to Fort Worth, Jaden Oberkrom. A perfect 8/8 on PATs and 6 kickoffs with 3 going for touchbacks and at least one being deliberately left short of the end zone so our coverage team could get a look? I know they moved the kickoff line up 5 yards, but I will take that ALL day. Didn't get any FG attempts, but that will come, probably as soon as this weekend.
- Welcome to Fort Worth, Alex Adewunmi. Or, sort of. Who? Exactly. And, actually, he was on campus last year after taking a roundabout route to Fort Worth via Duncanville High, Eastern New Mexico and Cedar Valley College. At 6-1, 205 he's probably a bit undersized to crack a GP LB rotation, but keep an eye on his special teams contributions. Alex led all TCU special teamers with 3 solo tackles, but he led the entire stadium in collective thoughts of, "Is the PA announcer reading off of Grambling's roster?" everytime he made a play. This wouldn't be the only time we had questionable thoughts about our new PA man, but more on that later.
- I think Casey Pachall has put the offseason behind him, and Trevone Boykin is probably going to turn out just fine. You know those times when you're watching a football game and thinking to yourself, "Man, our QB play is REALLY on today! I don't think we've had an incomplete pass!" Usually you've been drinking too much and deluding yourself in those situations. Unless it was Saturday. Because Saturday your TCU QB's combined to go 17/17 for 276 yards and 4 TDs. It was an NCAA record for a perfect game - not the most consecutive passes completed, but for no incompletions - and it pretty much overshadowed anything the running game could've come up with. Pachall was 9/9 for 201 yards and 3 TDs, with Boykin accumulating the final remaining 8 passes, 75 yards and the score, a 7 yarder to David Bush. Casey never had to make TOO many difficult throws, but he had a completion into triple coverage to Cam White that had NFL written all over it and was as sharp as we've seen from him. Conversely Boykin, who reportedly has an arm as strong as Manga's, never got a chance to air it out thanks to the scoreboard he inherited, but he showed what he brings to the table with his accuracy as well as his legs, scrambling 34 yards across the width of a the field for a score in the third quarter. The Skiff thinks there's a QB controversy a-brewin. Hint: There's not, but we're in good hands down the road.
- The O-line, it works! After an offseason of hand wringing about the state of our offensive line, Casey Pachall summed it up best when he said this was the first time in his career that he'd never been touched in a football game. That's the best we could've asked for. I'll be honest, you guys are going to have to give us specific impressions of the O Line because I did not pay close enough attention, but there was LOTS of rotating going on, with at least 10 different players seeing the field. It may have only been Grambling, but the fact that they paved the way for 531 yards of total offense on the day should make you sleep a little better at night.
- Gary Patterson, the best in TCU history. 110 wins in 12 years. I'll take it. The old-guard will still tout Dutch Meyer as the best there was, and they have valid reasons, but the way that football has evolved over the years makes GP the hands down champion in my book. Doing what he has done and continues to do at TCU in the BCS era should put him in the conversation as a top 3 Coach in all college football, and maybe higher. We're biased around these parts, but considering the school and situation, I'd say he's the most valuable coach in college football. Congrats, Gary. May you win 110 more!
- None, really. You could get nitpicky and say we unnecessarily burned a few redshirts for little gain - BJ Catalon comes to mind, although I think that was inevitable, and he was our second leading rusher. On the flip side, isn't it encouraging that these guys were good enough to rotate into the game and there be no drop off? Overall, 13 true freshmen played. Also, I'm still not sure about who is starting at LB - technically Joel Hasley did, but Paul Dawson wound up being the team's leading tackler. But, really, what is there to complain about?
- Whew boy! I'd say they got their $165 million worth. Absolutely stunning. I was one of the few who avoided contact with the new palace until Saturday so as to increase the shock and awe factor, and boy was I both. You can't even recognize the place! The student section was as alive as it has been since the Utah Gameday game and the east side was packed to the brim. And Chic Fila IN the concourse? Say what you will about their politics, but that's going to pay dividends down the road. I'm sure everyone was disappointed in the West side, notably the lower bowl between the 20s, but that was to be expected with the way tickets were snatched up without thinking about distrubution, especially for a game with this lack of prestige. The club level also emptied out pretty thoroughly when the score hit 28-0, although I think that was to be expected as well because some things will never change. But, I don't think this will be as big of an issue going forward as you guys think, and I don't think opposing fans are going to snatch them all up in the future. Do you really think the folks who own those tickets - hint: Their names are on most of the buildings at TCU - bought them in order to turn a profit by flipping them to UT fans? Doubtful. Let's hold off judgment until Tech comes to town. If those seats magically turn red, I'll be at the head of the pack leading a riot against the ticket office with the rest of you.
All in all, it could not have been any better. Weather, perfect. Team, perfect. Crowd, near perfect. Let's just not ruin by seeing Kansas 26, Rice 27 and pulling a Razorback in week 2.
Highlights from around the Assocation:
- Arkansas 31, Louisiana-Monroe 34. Kinda takes the edge off of that whole Arkansas/Alabama game of the SEC Century for Week 3 thing, doesn't it? Hogs also might have lost their starting CB for the year to a brain injury and QB Tyler Wilson is day to day after leaving in the first half. John L Smith's bankruptcy woes aren't going to be subsidized by the U of A for too much longer. Petrino better run far, far away.
- Kansas State 52, Miami 13. I wanted this one to be closer, although its entirely possible Miami is terrible.
- Virginia 17, Penn State 16. LOL Penn State. Also, LOL Virginia for needing a last second missed FG to pull this one out.
- Oklahoma State 38, Arizona 59. That's more like it.
- Florida 20, aggy 17. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAH (DEEP BREATH) HAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHHHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHA AGGYSUCKS.
- Texas 45, UNM 0. Texas Tech 58, Southwest 10. :(
Frogs moved from 20 to 16 in the AP poll, jumping Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Wisconsin and Nebraska are in a 14-15-16 Big 12 jumble with Texas and Kansas State.