Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Around the Big 12: Week 10


Another week, another Kansas State victory, and once again they look like the clear cut favorites to win the Big 12 this year and quite possibly the team that will get a chance to be Alabama's whipping boy in the national title game.  Texas started the day off comically by trying to let lowly Kansas get their first conference win, but unfortunately it wasn't to be as the Uglier McCoy led a late TD drive to win it.  By "led a late TD drive" I mean he got the ball to track star Marquise Goodwin on fly sweeps and let him run.  Don't be fooled by the comeback.  Texas is bad, David Ash is a nightmare under center, and Case McCoy isn't their saving grace either.  I know some Texas fans would've liked to see a loss there so Mack would be run out of town, but Mack Magic prevailed and he's still not going anywhere.  LOL.  My prediction of Kansas State over Tech of 84-2 wasn't that far off as K State sent Gumnut Cottage back to the petri dish with their tails between their legs.  Good to see Tech come back down to earth.  Iowa State beat Baylor by 2 touchdowns which was a pretty spot on prediction.  Baylor- winless in the Big 12.  When are they going to learn to play "big boy football" in Waco?  Finally, the night cap and game of the day was OU/ND, and it didn't disappoint for about 3 quarters.  Unfortunately for the Sooners, that Notre Dame defense looks for real and Everett Golson is a pretty talented young QB.  I hate to say this, but ND isn't going anywhere.  I take back what I said about Te'o not being a Heisman candidate because that guy was all over the place.  ND 30 - OU 13.  Ouch.  Not too many high-profile games his week, but let's take a look.

#12 Oklahoma (5-2, 3-1) @ Iowa State (5-3, 2-3) - Saturday, 11am, ABC

Don't look now, but Iowa State is a win away from being bowl eligible.  Can they upset what promises to be a pissed off OU team who still has Big 12 championship aspirations?  I don't believe so.  Iowa State still lacks the offensive firepower to hang with the OU's of the conference, and OU doesn't hand you points the way Baylor does.  Also, star Iowa State LB Jake Knott had season ending shoulder surgery this week, so that's a huge blow to an outstanding LB corps for them.  I think OU plays angry in this one and it shows.  Final Score:  OU 38 - Iowa State 17.

Kansas (1-7, 0-5) @ Baylor (3-4, 0-4) - Saturday, 2:30pm, FSN

This might be my favorite Big 12 conference matchup of the year to date.  In one corner we have lowly Kansas, fresh off a complete meltdown at home against Texas blowing what should've been their first conference win of the season.  In the other corner we have Baylor, who despite all claims that they wouldn't regress post-RGIII have fallen to a very respectable 0-4 in Big 12 play.  I guess those struggles against ULM and Sam Houston State weren't a fluke, were they Bears?  Poor, poor FSN has to actually air this broadcast?  I bet the Mtn would even say no thanks to this one.  As much as I want Baylor to continue to be the conference laughingstock and go winless in the Big 12 this year, I just don't see it happening because Kansas is terrible...you know what, F it!  Kansas wins on a last second TD and Jayhawks all over Waco unite and do a victory dance all over the Baylor tarped endzone!  "This is Bear Country" no more, as the Jayhawks take them down in my upset special of the week.  Final Score:  KU 37 - Baylor 31.  The post-RGIII apocalypse continues in Waco.  

#23 Texas (6-2, 3-2) @ #18 Texas Tech (6-2, 3-2) - Saturday, 2:30, ABC

Texas beat 1-6 Kansas on a last minute drive and stayed in the exact same place in the polls.  I repeat, Texas beat a Kansas team capable of beating nobody on a last minute drive and was not dropped in the coaches poll.  Sometimes I wonder if college coaches and their staffs or their SID, whoever is doing their voting, even watch college football.  Texas being ranked is quite possibly the greatest mystery in college football right now to me.  They are TERRIBLE.  Ask anyone in Austin.  They know they're terrible.  I think the only person who won't tell you that they're terrible is Ole Butterteeth Brown.  Whatever, it doesn't matter.  I hate...I mean I am not a fan of either one of these teams.  Got to watch what I say or the Tech Internet police will come back in full force.  I don't even want to pick this game because I don't want either team to get the satisfaction of a win, although wins in Austin at this point seem to piss their antsy-for-a-new-coach fan base off pretty good.  I still don't think Tech is that great, but as I said earlier, Texas is terrible.  What do I do here?  My brain says Tech wins, but my heart says...Final Score:  UT 84 - Tech 2.

#24 Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1) @ #2 Kansas State (8-0, 5-0) - Saturday, 7pm, ABC

After you watch us become bowl eligible at 2:30 on Fox, flip it over to ABC for this game that could very well decide the conference champion.  Both of these teams control their own destiny, so the winner here is firmly in the driver's seat.  Oklahoma State has something that K State hasn't had to deal with yet this year, and that's an incredibly balanced offense led by RB Joseph Randle.  You could try to tell me OU's offense is balanced, then I'd just show you highlights of their rushing attack vs. K State and Notre Dame and tell you to shut up.  K State has something OSU hasn't had to deal with all season either, and that's a freak-hybrid QB who is the runaway favorite to win the Heisman at this point.  Also, K State plays a lot better defense than anyone OSU has seen yet and they are playing this in Manhattan.  I'm assuming their stadium isn't underwater from Hurricane Sandy despite being in Manhattan, and I think K State uses that home field advantage/hurricane momentum to beat down the Pokes.  Final Score:  K State 42 - OSU 24.




Morning Dump: 10/31

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Frogs in the NFL - Week 8 Recap


As a TCU and Cowboys fan, I felt like Saturday and Sunday were back to back gut punches. But can I just get on my soapbox for a minute? I've seen friends and fellow alums, on other forums and social media, complain about GP and ready to throw in the towel on TCU. That's garbage. This is one of the youngest teams in the conference, if not the youngest, and well over half our starters are guys that the coaching staff probably hadn't planned to allow to see the field this year. And yet, they have fought and competed and played their tails off as injury after injury and distraction after distraction pile up. Was the defense gassed in the second half against Okie State? Obviously. Did they give up? No way. Depth is going to be our undoing this year, but anybody that has watched this team play, and has seen what the rest of the Big 12 has going forward, should be really excited about the future and an even bigger believer in GMFP.
Now on to the recap...

Marcus Cannon - OT - Patriots (beat the Rams 45-7 in London) This was an absolute demolishing, as Brady threw for 300+ and the Patriots ran for over 150 yards. Brady didn't get his jersey duty, and probably could have hung in the pocket in his Ugg boots and still passed for 200 yards.

Tank Carder - LB - Browns (beat the Chargers 7-6) Tank didn't collect any stats in this game, probably for the best as it was a snoooooooooooooooozer.

Andy Dalton - QB - Bengals (Bye Week)

Clint Gresham - LS - Seahawks (lost to the Lions 28-24) The Seahwaks fourth quarter magic ran out a little this past week, as it was Matthew Stafford and the Lions who pulled off the come from behind victory. Marshawn Lynch had the longest TD run of his career, as he broke free for a 74 yard score and all of the skittles.

David Hawthorne - LB - Saints (lost to Denver 34-14) No Hawthorne still for the Saints, who could have used him or anyone to try and get a rejuvenated Peyton Manning and co off the field.

Jerry Hughes - LB - Colts (beat the Titans 19-13) Hughes had a sack and a tackle for Indy, bringing his season totals to 3 sacks and 20 tackles. He has been a solid producer for a Colts D that has performed better than expected, as Andrew Luck and Indy are one of the feel good stories of the year.

Colin Jones - S - Panthers (lost to the Bears 23-22) Jones had two tackles as the Carolina D allowed 16 points in the fourth quarter, squandering a big lead to Cutler and the Bears.

Jeremy Kerley - WR - Jets (lost to the Dolphins 30-9) Kerley, coming off possibly the best game of his career, game back to earth with five catches for 43 yards, as Sanchez was absolutely awful for the Jets.

Marshall Newhouse - OT - Packers (beat the Jaguars 24-15) In a game that was never really as close as the score indicated, Newhouse and Co gave up two sacks but otherwise bought Rodgers enough time to make enough plays to win the game.

Jason Phillips - LB - Panthers (lost to Chicago 22-23) Phillips had a single tackle in the loss. 

Herb Taylor - OT - Jacksonville (lost to GB 15-24) Gabbert was back for the Jags and was sacked twice for 24 negative yards in the loss.

Daryl Washington - LB - Cardinals (lost to SF 3-24) The Cardinals were hammered by the Niners on Monday night, but it wasn't our man D-Wash's fault. Washington had six tackles and two sacks as he was a beast on the field, but unfortunately doesn't play offensive line or quarterback so Arizona struggled.

Malcolm Williams - DB - Patriots (beat the Rams 45-7 in London) Williams was activated for this game and had a tackle in the win. Can we talk for a minute how dumb these London games are? Does the NFL really need to be a global thing? I know it's all about the almighty dollar, but let them keep soccer across the pond and we will play our football over here, thankyouverymuch.

What's on tap for this week? Can Andy Dalton out-duel Peyton Manning at home? Will Washington win the battle of fromer Frogs against Marshall Newhouse and the Pack? How many total TD's can
TCU alumni score on Sunday?

SOUR GRAPES:
The "What Other Bizzareness Can Possibly Befall The Frogs This Season ?" Edition


BREAKING NEWS! - "I'm Ron Burgundy and here is what is happening in your world San Die...err, Fort Worth. In the news today, an alien spacecraft appeared over Amon Carter stadium and kidnapped the entire TCU Horned Frogs football team, taking them to Zeta Reticuli 5 to teach the Zeta Reticulans how to play the galactically great defense TCU is famous for so they can win the Star Trek Bowl on New Orbit's Day against the 2nd ranked Alpha Centauri Squigglers. Alien Head Coach I. M. Pointy later released a press statement saying that not even they were stupid enough to try to kidnap Coach Patterson, and the players would be returned to our planet in time for Spring camp.
That is what is happening in your world today. Stay classy Fort Worth; I'm Ron Burgandy?"
Coach Pointy- Head Coach of the Zeta Reticuli Critters
Seeing this headline leading the news tomorrow is probably about the only way that this season can get any stranger. Mr Murphy would be proud that his law is being followed so closely. What other bizarreness can possibly befall our boys? Unfortunately, the bizareness of this entire year, from February's adventures in pharmaceuticals to Ed Wesley's admirable courage and priorities to Casey Pachall's curb jumping seems to have  finally caught up with the Frogs last Saturday. And yet the Frogs looked really good...at least for a while, and it is certain to say that TCU has as much depth as any team in the Big 12. If we didn't, we would not be able to field a punt return team after all of the largely off the field strange happenings of this year. 
Okie Lite's fans seemed to acknowledge this. TCU ran an ad about the renewed rivalry in the Stillwater newspaper that was deemed on Orangepower.com as "very classy", although others seemed to blame the Frogs for censoring the "paddle people" at OSU for all future Big 12 games (don't ask). Other fans seem to have been very  impressed that Randle was the first person all year to put up more than 100 yards rushing against the Frogs, stating essentially that despite the odd year TCU is having, they are still monsters on defense. Those OSU fans seem pretty perceptive after all. Another astute OSU observer wrote that " they looked really big and fast. I think we scored 36 points on a very good defense." I am starting to like these OSU folks a little bit. The general response from most OSU fans had a general tone of surprise that OSU did nearly as well as they did against the Frogs, as if they were expecting far worse. 
The renewed rivalry between TCU and Okie State is going to be an intense one - both on the field and in recruiting - but it also is shaping up to be one of class and mutual respect. That is a good way to start the future. Unless the world ends on Dec 21 when the Mayan fourth quarter ends.
The two new teams on the block, both of whom are having interesting first years, meet next week in what is sure to be feet and feet of snow in Morgantown, thanks to the Frankenstorm that is currently eating New York and New England (I wonder if the aliens had anything to do with that as well...hmmm). If the game is not cancelled, moved to Fort Worth or otherwise affected by the storm then the snow might prove to be something of an equalizer as football turns into an outdoor version of something played on ice with a football - call it foothockey or hockball or flockey or something. Predicting this one is a toss up, but the Frogs are due a break. Be sure to bring your ice skates if you go to the game. And a thick jacket. And your long johns. Frogs win by one point.
Of course the Frogs are the classiest program in the league, and the nation - that is why the Frogs never lose, we just occasionally get outscored. Winning is what Coach Patterson does in the way he teaches, coaches and lives with his team - class always wins, whatever the score. In this Year of the Great Bizzar0, we need to remember that win or lose on the field, class and integrity is what counts and makes winners off of it, and the Frogs have an abundance of both.

Okie State Recap

Mash Unit
TCU's new helmet.

Well, that sucked...again.  If you had told me we'd scored the first 14 of the game and be up 14-3 after one quarter, I would've put our chances of winning at about 90%.  Little did I know that would be as good as it got for TCU on Saturday afternoon.  It really felt like our offense didn't even take the field at all during quarters 2 and 3, and by the time we started attempting to mount a comeback in the 4th it almost felt like a lost cause.  It also doesn't help that upon further review Trevone Boykin's arm was STILL going forward when that ball came out, but I'm immune to bullshit calls going against TCU this year.  It doesn't phase me anymore, and I fully expect to get screwed a few more times down the road, especially in Austin or against Big 12 Darling K State.  After taking a look back at some of the keys to the game from my preview, pretty much everything that I (and all Frog fans) wanted to happen did not happen.  Let's revisit those keys real quick:  

Slow down Joseph Randle- He's the Big 12's leading rusher for a reason, and he showed us exactly why on Saturday.  I said I thought we'd keep him under his season average which we did, but by "under" I didn't mean he'd get 126 which is 1.5 shy of his season average.  I thought we'd hold him under the century mark and that would be a key to winning this game, and for the majority of the game it looked like we would.  Then the 4th quarter happened and he wore us down.  Clearly the defense was exhausted because our offense couldn't sustain much as mentioned earlier in the middle of this game, and a great back like Randle took advantage of a gassed D.  So despite holding him under that season average, I'd mark this one as a fail.

 Wes Lunt or Clint Chelf?- I think we all wanted to see Chelf, the 3rd string who's had nothing but mop up duty play, but in reality I never thought it would be the case.  Lunt was pretty rusty early on as evidenced by the Olabode pick 6, but once he got rolling he looked incredibly sharp.  Also, doesn't hurt to have WR's running wide open on flea-flickers, but I could do an entire post on getting smoked by trick plays so I'll save my breath.  He also threw some great looking deep balls, one which beat Olabode's outstretched arm by about 3 inches and was one of the prettiest throws I've seen this year.  That guy is a freshman, and he's going to be quite a good one for the Cowboys.  So I think that having Lunt play and having him play as effectively as he did would definitely qualify as a fail for us as well.  

Will either defense show up?- It sure looked early on as if the TCU defense came to play and would have a major impact on the outcome of this game, but as mentioned earlier, they seemed to completely wear down by being on the field too much in the middle of this game.  Hard to fault the defense despite allowing 36 points, but they were outshined by an OSU defense that really took me by surprise.  Somehow we won the TOP battle 31:18 to 28:42, but it sure didn't feel that way.  If it wasn't for overwhelming clock control in the first quarter though we really didn't win it at all, as quarters 2 and 3 were basically dead even and the 4th was greatly in favor of them.  That's why our defense looked so exhausted down the stretch.  There wasn't much rest in the 2nd half.  TCU's string of 32 consecutive games scoring over 20 came to an end Saturday, and Oklahoma State takes over the nations longest streak in that department now at 32.  TCU didn't get to Lunt all game and recorded ZERO sacks for the first time this year.  OSU sacked Boykin twice, forced 3 turnovers, and held us to a dismal 2-14 on 3rd down conversions.  Can't win many games that way.  I'd say we lost this battle pretty handily as well.  

Win the turnover battle- TCU 3 - OSU 2.  Lost that one as well.  The frustrating part about this stat is that OSU put the ball on the ground FOUR times and we were only able to fall on one of them for a recovery.  Sometimes the bounces don't go your way, and clearly they didn't here.  I could also argue that the turnover battle should've been dead even, because any competent replay official could see Boykin's arm was going forward when we were trying to mount a late, 4th quarter scoring drive.  The failure to properly overturn that call took what little wind we had left in our sails out for good.  

Can Fields keep it up?- Field wasn't bad by any means, but Fields wasn't the Fields we've seen to this point.  Just 4 tackles for him on the day, no sacks, and none for a loss.  The lack of Stansly Maponga will hurt Fields's number for sure, but you've just got to hope it opens up opportunities for others to make plays.  Or hope that Maponga comes back.  I'm not holding my breath on the latter.  

Will Boykin continue to progress?- Simply put- no.  Not in this game.  As you all know, to make matters worse he injured his knee on his last drive late in the 4th on his 1 interception.  Still no word on what his status is and I honestly don't think we'll find out until Saturday.  We never seem to find these things out with CGP.  Hopefully he's okay because after seeing the Matt Brown pass on the reverse trick play, I'm worried.  That thing fluttered like something had shot the air out of it mid-flight.  I realize it was completed, but a good throw and that's probably 6.  I'll be honest and say that I didn't see his next 3 passes as I had given up on the game after Gundy dick-headedly ran it in with a minute left for no reason, so I don't know what Brown looked like on that last drive.  I do know he was picked off though.  Please, Trevone, have magical elastic ligaments that can never be damaged.  I know the entire team seems to want to get injured this year, but we REALLLLLY need you to get us bowl eligible.  Get well soon.  Get well now.  Like right now.  

So overall it looks like we lost in every phase of the game.  There are not a whole lot of positives to take away from this.  Stansly Maponga missed another game.  Brandon Carter didn't play.  I don't recall seeing Blaize Foltz play.  Jason Verrett appeared to be dinged up as well.  Trevone Boykin may be gone for a while now too.  What else can I say about this game?  Let's just move on and try to win the next one.  At least Texas looks a lot more winnable now than it did a month ago, right?  Look on the bright side- at least we aren't Maryland who is now starting a freshman linebacker at QB, and at least we haven't had to endure anything like the Marcus Lattimore injury.  Now can we please catch ONE break this season and get another win?  I can't keep writing about this.  Too depressing.  At least we aren't Baylor...

Morning Dump: 10/30


Football:
Sandy not to affect game Saturday - TCU360.com
Horned Frogs in WV hoping to stop skid - SBNation
TCU Younger than expected - Charleston Gazette
Pivotal Week for TCU-WVU - WV Metro News
Tired TCU headed for Morgantown - WV Metro News
TCU meets WVU at a bad time for the 2nd time - The Smoking Musket
"Once in a Lifetime" Halftime Show for TCU@WVU - WVIllustrated

For those going to West Virginia for the game - The Smoking Musket

Monday, October 29, 2012

Happy Birthday Bob.

Morning Dump: 10/29


TCU 14 - Oklahoma State 36 [unanswered]
Oklahoma State roars back to overpower TCU - Star-Telegram.com
TCU can't turn fast start into victory against Oklahoma State - Star-Telegram.com
Horned Frog offense sputters after 14-0 lead - Star-Telegram.com
Breaking down TCU's 36-14 loss - Star-Telegram.com
Wes Lunt returns, leads OSU past TCU - Daily Oklahoman
Cowboys RB Randle carries the ball career-high 32 times - Daily Oklahoman
Cowboys defense dominates - Daily Oklahoman
TCU vs. OSU: Frogs fade in second half - SB Nation
Patterson: "I won't talk about injuries" - TCU360.com
Patterson: "What our players have to understand is that losing is a disease" - TCU360.com

Others:
Cross Country Women fifth in Big 12 - gofrogs.com
Volleyball loses to Iowa State - gofrogs.com
Women's Swimming and Diving win Rice Invitational - gofrogs.com



Saturday, October 27, 2012

Morning Dump: 10/27


Football:
On its maiden voyage, TCU faces toughest stretch in Big 12 - Star-Telegram.com
GMFP Previews OSU game - Daily Oklahoman
The Oklahoman's picks for TCU @ OSU - Daily Oklahoman
RB Joseph Randle carrying load for OSU - Daily Oklahoman
Cowboys prepare for dual-threat QB - Daily O'Collegian
Tim Love food truck on the campus of TCU, around the area on football weekends - TCU360.com
Who to Watch: TCU, OSU - TCU360.com
Five Questions: OSU - TCU360.com

Women's Soccer:
Baylor hands TCU 2-0 loss - gofrogs.com

Friday, October 26, 2012

TCU Predictions vs Okie State

I'm still recovering emotionally from Saturday, but neither blown offensive PI calls, nor triple overtime, nor fourth string players will keep me from putting back on my purple colored glasses and making a prediction sure to go wrong for SpitBlood's faithful following this Friday.

The Frogs, coming off an ESPN Instant Classic triple OT battle at The Carter, have to regroup and head on the road to play in front of a massive crowd in Stillwater tomorrow. Like TCU, the Pokes are playing with their backup QB, but the difference is Wes Lunt, a true freshman, came into the season as the starter, before getting hurt and losing his role to J.W. Walsh, who is now hurt and has been replaced by half a Lunt.

Despite the flux behind center, OK State is still a potent offensive team, averaging over 45 points per game. They get it done on the ground and through the air, to the tune of over 600 yards a game. Joseph Randle, the returning star at tailback has been outstanding, and though the receiving corp has been decimated by injuries, they have enough depth and playmakers to get the job done. This is another in a string of tough tasks for the TCU D, and quite possibly the most efficient and balanced squad the Frogs have faced this year.

The onus is going to fall on the secondary, which had a rough outing on Saturday, who struggled to make stops in the passing game and didn't ball hawk the way we've seen in victories against Baylor or Virginia. Jason Verrett, who continues to be the best cover guy we have, will need to take his game to the next level and look to get deflections and force some turnovers. Either Kevin White or Chris Hackett are going to have to make plays, and Olabode, Carter, and Anderson (where has he been?) need to probably play out of their minds against the pass. I predict that TCU gets back to making big plays, and pick off two Lunt throws, as experience pulls through.

Outside of two great sacks by Devonte Fields to start the second half last Saturday, the pass rush was non existant and Doege had basically all day to throw. That's going to have to change tomorrow if TCU wants to have a chance. Hopefully we see Maponga back on the field - I haven't seen a status update regarding that. It's nice to know Fields can still make plays when all the focus is on him, but we clearly need Big Stansley on the other edge to get continuous pressure on opposing QB's. Kenny Cain, who has been outstanding, also seemed to be hurt by Maponga's absence, and the lack of depth was evident late in the game and in OT as the D was gassed. With a true freshman at QB, the opportunity to throw different looks at him and have Lunt playing on his heels is there, and I think the pressure notch is dialed way up. Multiple sacks and a sack fumble seem possible.

If the TCU D can hold OK State under 400 total yards, turn them over a couple times, and prevent the big play, they will do enough to put the offense in a position to win.

The TCU offense, led by emerging star Trevone Boykin, had it's ups and downs verses Tech, and I don't think anyone that watched that game doesn't think TCU is in GREAT shape for the future. But the only future I'm worried about is 24 hours from now, and how Boykin and co can fair against  the Cowboy's D. State gives up 25 points a game and almost 400 yards, so this is no defensive stalwart, but not Baylor either. Clearly, the Frogs can have some success on the scoreboard, and while it might not take 50, it's going to take 30+.

Boykin threw two picks on Saturday, but neither were terrible decisions. The long TD he threw to get TCU back into striking distance was about as perfect a pass as you will see - or so I heard as I'm pretty sure my eyes were closed at that point as I was praying for Divine Intervention (you're welcome). He continues to be more and more effective and his football IQ is rising by the series. This kid is on his way to becoming a legit star in the Big 12. Boykin will account for over 300 yards of offense on his own, and continue to spread the ball around to his bevy of targets. Brandon Carter was almost the forgotten man last week, and I think he comes back for a big game, to the tune of 5-7 receptions and a score. After Skye Dawson being the leading receiver against Tech (who would have thunk it?), Josh Boyce and LaDarius Brown will be the big stars once again, and Brown catches yet another long touchdown pass. The ground game has improved with Boykin in the backfield, and BJ Catalon, who finally got his first collegiate score, will get back in the endzone Saturday.

The special teams was insane last week... Jaden Oberkrom is quite possibly the best kicker in the country. But, as much as I love the kid, I hope to not see him putting points on the board tomorrow unless they're singles. Too often the offense settled for three, and that was the difference in the game. They have to get in the endzone if they want to have a chance. Look for Dawson to build off his solid game and break a long return or two - OK State has a great special teams, but they have given up a few big returns, so maybe Skye can finally break one all the way.

As much as I hate to do it, and even though I can't hardly remember TCU's last three game losing streak, I just don't know if the D has enough gas in the tank to slow down the Cowboy attack at home and give the O a chance. OSU 38, TCU 35.

Let's hear your predictions in the comments: Who comes up with the big play on D? How many times does Boykin get in the endzone? Will we get a Gundy "I'm a man rant" if they end up on their 12th string QB by the end of this game? Here's to hoping I'm wrong... Go Frogs.

Okie State Preview


Much like last week, Crazy Gundy will just never be not funny.

In light of Tech trying to kill spitblood last week, clearly things have been toned down a bit here this week.  Congrats Red Raiders.  Not so much on the game, but more on your ability to kill a little bit of internet fun.  You win this round, although I survived the weekend so maybe you didn't get EXACTLY what you wanted out of it.  Now quit calling.   Also, don't worry spitblood faithful- I promise, I will never die. I've noticed we still have some Tech hangers-on which is fun.  Stick around guys, and I hope you continue to enjoy the site because clearly if you didn't like it, you wouldn't still be here.  Hell, we even have an SMU fan who still hangs around and comments occasionally, although I'm pretty certain he's got Stockholm Syndrome and is now a Frog fan.  Maybe the same will happen to all of the Raiders who can't stop checkin' us out.  As for now, it's officially time to put the Tech thing to bed and move forward with what's left on our schedule.  Might I suggest y'all do the same.  Big game with K State this weekend, so go bug that awesome K State mask guy.  As for TCU, we've got what I believe is our most winnable remaining game on the schedule.  Don't get me wrong though, because I don't think one more win is all we have in us.  I just think given the current situation that this is our game for the taking and we need to make it happen.  Let's take a look at a few factors that could make all the difference on Saturday afternoon.

Something's gotta give:  Oklahoma State RB Joseph Randle averages 127.5 yards per game on the ground, which tops the Big 12 and ranks 8th nationally.  TCU has the #7 rushing defense in the country, allowing just 92 yards per game.  Yes, Tech scored on us, but with the exception of one run where every defender within arms reach was trying to strip the ball, they didn't muster up much on the ground at all, totaling just 71 yards.  Admittedly TCU hasn't faced a back like Randle all year (no, Zach Line in a monsoon doesn't count), so the task will be much tougher than it has been all season.  Randle went for 151 against the only decent defense he's played this season in Iowa State, but it should be tough sledding against a stout front 6 (7?) for TCU.  I think we hold him well under his season average, but I don't expect it to be as easy as it has been for the Frog's D.

Who plays QB for OSU?:  It appeared as if J.W. Walsh had stolen the job he lost in the offseason from true freshman Wes Lunt, who went down early in the season with a knee injury, but Walsh was lost for the season last week.  Now the biggest question in Stillwater this week is whether or not Wes Lunt is healthy and ready to go again with Walsh no longer in the picture.  If Lunt can't go or is limited, the duties fall into the hands of Junior Clint Chelf who began the season as the 3rd stringer for the Cowboys.  You never root for injury, but honestly it's a bit refreshing to see we aren't the only team dealing with major personnel issues.  I feel for ya, Okie State.  That being said, if Chelf does have to play I really, REALLY like the Frogs chances, because his mobility is questionable at best.  Many of you have seen him before and just didn't know it.  He's usually eating pancakes, cereal, driving hot rods, or riding around with Uncle Hank trying to catch bad guys...

photo - Clint Chelf speaks to the media during the OSU spring football press conference at Boone Pickens Stadium on the campus of Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Okla., Monday, March 12, 2012. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman  

See?  Dead ringer.

Will the defenses show up?:  TCU and OSU are numbers 1 and 2 in the nation respectively in consecutive games scoring over 20 points.  TCU has done it 33 straight times to Okie State's 32.  In today's college football world though, scoring 20 points is hardly a feat.  If either one of these teams winds up with anywhere from 21-24 points then I think you're looking at a loss.  Clearly both of these teams can score, but will personnel issues on the offensive side of the ball be able to derail either one of these well oiled machines?  I don't think we're looking at 56-53 again, but I don't expect to see 23-17 either.  Both teams have an abundance of playmakers which is why they've both been consistently getting the job done on offense.  The Cowboys have barely missed a beat offensively despite losing The Geriatric and The Drunk to the NFL draft.  TCU has been doing it despite losing players left and right in such obscure ways that even the writer of the 1993 classic The Program thinks what's been happening in Fort Worth is unbelievable.  To answer the question though, I think the defenses show up, but as has been the case in most Big 12 games, offenses will still shine.

Turnover battle:  For TCU and most teams it's pretty simple:  win the turnover battle, win the game.  TCU is 2-2 in Big 12 play and has won the turnover battle in just one of those games.  Care to guess which one? You got it- Baylor.  They lost the turnover battle against Kansas, but all you need to do to beat Kansas is show up.  The Baylor game has been the most dominant performance on our schedule and not giving the ball up was a major reason why.  The other major reason was that Nick Florence really loved to give the ball to us as well.  Hopefully Lunt or Chelf/Walter White Jr./Flynn does the same and we create some turnovers.  Win the turnover battle, win the game.  Plain and simple.

Can Fields keep it up?:  If I were a betting man, which I am, I'd bet against Maponga playing Saturday again.  So with the attention starting to shift towards freshMan-Child Devonte Fields, can he continue at his torrid sack/TFL pace?  He added another 1 1/2 sacks last weekend against Tech, but outside of him there wasn't much pressure applied all game.  In order to force the turnovers mentioned above, pressure is key.  Florence was intercepted 4 times, and most of that had to do with the fact that we had a defender breathing down his neck every time he dropped back to throw.  That wasn't the case last week, as for the most part Seth Doege had time to drop back, knit a sweater, and then connect with an open receiver.  So if Fields starts drawing all the attention like he should, somebody else has to step up and get pressure.  It's hard to cover receivers.  It's even harder to cover receivers when the QB has all day.

Will Boykin continue to progress?:  Although his numbers were his best against Baylor, I'd say Boykin played his best game last week all things considered.  Baylor's defense is about the equivalent of the defense played at The Pro Bowl except with much less talent, and Tech actually has a formidable squad.  Oklahoma State's defense is not as terrible as Baylor's. Literally nobody in FBS has a defense as bad as Baylor's, but it's not anywhere near as good as Tech's D.  One key for Boykin and the offense will be his health and his ability to run the zone read.  If he is hobbled and isn't a threat in the running game then that severely limits the offense (see Pachall, Casey).  If he's able to keep the defensive line honest and freeze linebackers/safeties on the zone read and/or play action, then that opens up the field entirely for us.  As for the missed deep balls last week- I expect those to improve every week from here on out since he'll be working with the 1's every day and getting used to their speed and route running.  Let's not forget he was throwing to White/Listenbee/Porter/Bush for weeks in practice, so he's still getting acclimated to Boyce/Brown/Carter/Dawson.  I expect to see a lot more that look like the bomb to LaDarius Brown down the stretch last game in the future and a lot less to look like the missed seem routes to Skye Dawson.

What will happen:  For some reason I think this team plays better on the road and has for the past several years.  Oh wait, I know the reason.  They're in front of a full stadium actively engaged in the game for 4 quarters.  Weird concept, right?  We should try it out here too!  I seriously believe there's something to that.  Yes, the goal on the road is to rattle your opponents and make them uncomfortable, but part of me is starting to believe when our guys (and our coaches) see a stadium full of people they get more focused.  Sure, some aspects of the road will be tougher and there will be hiccups in every road game, but we haven't come out flat for a big time road game in years.  I don't think we do it here either.  Randle and Okie State will have their successes running the ball, but I think whichever QB plays will be forced to make throws to beat us.  Does a gimpy Wes Lunt or an incredibly inexperienced 3rd string junior who moonlights as a disabled actor on Breaking Bad have enough firepower to beat our defense?  Can the Okie State defense force a still very young, inexperienced Trevone Boykin into enough bad decisions and mistakes to rattle his cage?  I say the answer to both questions is no.  Our offensive and defensive balance are enough to keep the Frogs in this game late, and we all know what the hidden key is in most close games...SPECIAL TEAMS!  A long Skye Dawson punt return sets up a Jaden Oberkrom (get this kid a nickname already) game winning field goal as time expires.

The Pick:  TCU 34 - OSU 31.

We all will miss Sir Wesley in his usual role of the preview and recap guy, but bear with me as I try to take this thing over Trevone Boykin style while Sir Wesley tries to find himself in blogger-rehab.  There will be growing pains and lumps, and I'm pretty sure my vocabulary, reading level, and nerdy Sci-Fi references cannot match that of Sir Wesley's, but I'll give it my best.  Constructive criticism accepted, and please let me know if there's anything else you'd like to see written about and one of us will try to make time.  Now that hate has been taken out my life, I've got some time on my hands. All work and no hate makes SNK a dull boy.



Morning Dump: 10/26


Football:
TCU Trying to Avoid Deep Burns - Daily Oklahoman
Cowboys must improve in the red zone - Daily Oklahoman
Beat writers take on TCU vs. OSU - Star-Telegram.com
Upset Bait - CBSSports.com
TCU vs. OSU: what you need to know - DallasNews.com
Boykin becoming more comfortable - SBNation.com
Hey Big 12, where's the D? - Star-Telegram.com

Freak Out Watch:
Long wants an employed coach for Hogs, we're told it's Patterson - MrSEC.com

Women's Basketball:
Baylor's dominance makes big 12 a race for second - Star-Telegram.com
Big 12 teams familiar to TCU - Star-Telegram.com

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Around the Big 12: Week 9



Last week, like most weeks we've had so far in conference play, was a pretty exciting one in the Big 12.  While we were somewhere in the middle of overtime, Kansas State started bludgeoning what's proving to be a severely overrated West Virginia team in what ended up being a 55-14 beatdown, Oklahoma was wrapping up a 52-7 demolition of lowly Kansas, and Texas and Baylor were about to start their 56-50 tackling-optional track meet down in Austin in which the Horns prevailed.  Like I said a few weeks ago though, beating Baylor shouldn't impress anyone, so I hardly think the heat is off Mack Brown down in Austin.  Honestly though, they're stuck with him and he's not going anywhere...at least not this year.  Oklahoma State got their revenge on Iowa State in the morning, taking down the Cyclones in convincing fashion, 31-10.  The in-conference slate isn't as riveting this week as last week's games appeared to be, but there's a big out of conference match up in Norman worth watching.

#23 Texas (5-2, 2-2) @ Kansas (1-6, 0-4) - Saturday, 11am, FSN

Texas moved up 2 spots in the polls after beating barely a Baylor team in Austin who has now lost 3 straight and has zero conference wins.  I repeat, Texas moved up 2 spots after a home win over Big 12 winless Baylor.  They get winless Kansas on the road this week, so maybe a double digit victory will surge them right up into the top 15, right?  I mean, clearly this team deserves it.  At least the folks in Austin know they're struggling and not very good.  I wish the pollsters would take notice as well.  The Dayne Crist era appears to be over in Kansas, as they've opted for redshirt freshman Michael Cummings instead, and why not?  He went an incredible 10-21 for 111 yards and 2 picks in relief last week against OU.  Man, those folks in Lawrence probably can't wait for hoops to start.  I bet there are more KU fans randomly camped outside of Phog Allen Fieldhouse than there are in the actual stadium Saturday morning.  Final Score:  UT 49 - KU 14.

#14 Texas Tech (6-1, 3-1) @ #3 Kansas State (7-0, 4-0) - Saturday, 2:30pm, FOX

Is it just me or does Kansas State look more and more impressive with each and every game they play? Bill Snyder must be one helluva coach to have done what he did previously at K State, leave, watch them fall off the map, and then almost immediately bring them right back to where he had them before he left.  Oh, and Collin Klein just owned Geno Smith in the Heisman frontrunner battle Saturday night.  It's definitely his to lose now, and I think it's late enough in the season to actually start handicapping the Heisman race.  As for Tech- what can you say?  Looks like the same Tech teams everyone got used to seeing under Mike Leach.  Lot's talent on offense, lot's of holes on defense.  Balanced football teams can score on Tech.  OU did and TCU did, and I fully expect K State (more balance than OU and TCU) to do the same.  K State also boasts the Big 12's best defense by a wide margin and they're at home.  Not to mention I really want Tech to get knocked down a few pegs so they remember that they're just Tech ASAP.  Final Score:  K State 84 - Tech 2.  

Baylor (3-3, 0-3) @ Iowa State (4-3, 1-3) - Saturday, 6pm, FSN

Every week I really like doing this post because every week so far I've gotten to write a big fat ZERO in the win column for Baylor as far as conference wins go.  Don't ever, ever, ever tell us that we're about to start playing "big boy" football, got it Baylor?  Big boys don't go O-fer in conference play.  What this comes down to is pretty simple in my opinion- Iowa State plays defense and can force some punts.  I think you can probably count the number of punts Baylor has forced on 1 hand this season.  I don't care that Iowa State's offense struggles.  Nothing struggles as bad as Baylor's defense in this conference.  The lack of Baylor defense leads them to 0-4 in conference play and well on their way to just having 1 conference win this year.  Final Score:  Iowa State 42 - Baylor 27.

#5 Notre Dame (7-0) @ #8 Oklahoma (5-1, 3-1) - Saturday, 7pm, ABC

Honestly, I think I might want to see Notre Dame lose more than anyone in the country.  The Notre Dame shenanigans exhaust me every single year, and in my opinion the college football world is a much better place when Lou Holtz doesn't have a forum to slobber, slur, and bicker with Mark May about how great Notre Dame is.  Can someone please just beat them by 50 already?  OU?  USC?  Someone please help me.  They've beaten Stanford on a total bullshit no TD call in OT and a handful of lousy Big 10 teams.  Now people are trying to legitimately hype up ND LB Manti Te'o as a Heisman candidate.  Seriously, when was the last time you heard a LB mentioned in the Heisman race, and do you think there'd be any chance of that happening if he didn't play for Notre Dame?  No.  There are better defensive players out there too, but since Notre Dame is undefeated and they've gotta pick a star player to be the face of it all, Te'o is at the forefront since their offense is pretty meh.  You want a defensive player in the Heisman race that bad?  How about you just put a bunch of Alabama defender's names in a hat and pick one, because what they're doing and have been doing for a few years now is far more impressive than half a season from Notre Dame.  You know how to put a stop to all this?  OU can just go out there and kick them in the throat.  Seriously.  Run it up and down the field.  Throw all over them.  This is basically just like going against a big, physical, but very slow Big 10 defense.  That has not worked out well in recent memory for those types of teams.  Give me the Sooners in this one.  PLEASE give me the Sooners in this one.  Final Score:  OU 31 - Notre Dame 13. 

The SOUR GRAPES For The Week -
Gumnut Gets Lucky
And Even More Arrogant Edition

The game against Gumnut was a true classic, a thriller that no one really lost, in which one team just scored more after 3 overtimes. Truly a classic for the ages. Something that will help both schools develop a newfound respect for each other.
BUZZZ-WROOONNNNGGGGG!
Having read what Gumnut fans (Gumnutters?) have said about one of the all time Big 12 instant classic games one would think that TCU was down by 90 in the first quarter after the whole team got caught at Craig James's new brothel in Highland Park taking the "Burying Hookers 101" class. I may have to go back to referring to the school we played last week as tech - using the word Gumnut to refer to them is a little too insulting - to Gumnuts.
Texas Tech has got to have the single most arrogant, smack-mouthed, self important fan base in the nation. They live in their own little world where they have apparently already won the National Championship against Alabama by 102 points, as well as the Super Bowl and whatever Bowl it is that the NFL Europe teams used to win. Oh yeah, and the Grey Cup (that is the Canadian err, "Football" championship trophy, but Canadian "football" is a whole other topic for another day).
When SB Nation starts running major stories entitled Texas Tech fans make fun of Casey Pachall you have to start wondering just what is going on in Lubbock and if there is some sort of psychoactive drug to treat it. The posts that I found from Tech fans after Tech's 3 point outscoring of the Frogs were simply too mind numbing to believe. Just to give you a sample (I am not going to justify the inane silliness of tech fans by quoting more than a couple) "TCU showed just how weak and undeserving to be in the Big 12 they are in this game" Huh? 3 overtimes and catching up 10 points in 60 seconds? Starting the third and fourth strings? Right now TCU is the definition of depth - what other FBS team could lose the equivalent of the entire starting offense AND defense and still be 5-2? Ummm, no one comes to mind. TCU started 16 freshman this year. And yet we were "weak"? Riiiiiggghhht. Okey doky. That tech fan statement speaks (or rather babbles) for itself. Another one that I found simply flabbergasting was the Bleacherreport (my old stomping grounds) commenter that said that this game "was proof that Tech will be playing in Miami this January". I can only assume that he means they will be beachcombing after they follow last year's example and lose the rest of this season's games and play Permian High School in the Nosepicker's National Appreciation Bowl and Craig James Hooker Control Convention in Missoula, because I am just positive that he could not have been referring to the "national championship" (aka, the SEC playing with itself) game in January. Texas Gumnut University has clearly lost it even more completely than when we were in the Southwest Conference (a moment of silence please) with these, err, umm, people. I am thankful that we were not playing them in Lubbuck, as they would have destroyed their home field and torn down the brand new goalposts (installed after they tore the old ones down last week) again. What is it that possesses tech gumnuts to rush the field and destroy it anytime they beat anyone? Well, up until this season it just didn't happen all that often, I guess.
I have arrived back at what I knew when I was a little kid throwing snow balls in the Student Center horseshoe drive, a teenager driving to high school at Paschal High School and when I was attending graduate school overlooking University Drive. Texas Tech fans are clearly - still - out of their individual and collective fricking minds and have no relationship with reality what. so. ever. They think class is something you skip to drink beer, not attend and learn from, and possess for life, to help define your values, life and actions. It is nice to know that some things never change, and that tech still sucks rocks through a power vacuum and thinks that guys running around on a horse at night wearing a mask "raiding" is a good thing. There are some tech fans who are decent, nice, wonderful people. Then there are the others. Maybe one day the voices of the former will outscreech the voices of the latter - until then, tech fans will continue to make tech look like a gooberfest of gumnutters.

I also want to be the first person to get this on the record (and what better place to do so than here at SpitBlood). All of the Kirk Herbsreits and Coach Corsos of the world (although they did both pick TCU over Tech, believe it or not) seem to have not grasped the future significance of their current criticism that "TCU is too young" to compete effectively. I want to be the first to congratulate the Frogs on winning it all in 2014 or 2015. This "young" team that managed to stay ranked through the first half of the season playing not only more freshman than any other FBS team, but also playing the third and fourth slots on many of the positional depth charts will be good this year (I still think they beat the teasips and maybe - if any team does - K-State). They will be monsters in a year or two as they gel. This season has been, to put it mildly, bizarre. In a normal year, when the Frogs keep the starters and these "kids" have grown and matured a bit, watch out! TCU will simply be unstoppable. These freshman will be around for a while - that is a future to look forward to!

Next week - TCU 42, Oklahoma State Cowboys 21.


Further enlightenment: 
Gumnutters Insult Casey Pachall, Displaying Their Usual Class

Texas Complains About Being Entitled, Hilarity Ensues.

Plaque Brown, up to his old antics.

Remember, not so many years ago, when the much hyped and/or maligned Longhorn Network was going to make Texas, already the most powerful athletic program in the country, pretty much untouchable?  Remember, not so many years ago, when ESPN's $300 million investment in the Longhorn brand was going to all but guarantee that UT would haul in the best recruiting classes in America year after year and hand deliver the Longhorns National Title after National Title?  (Interesting aside:  Check the headlines from the SI.com and ESPN.com postings of the same story.  ESPN's reads:  Mack Brown discusses network.  SI's reads:  Texas Coach Brown complains about Longhorn Network.  Do I smell spin control?) Remember, not so long ago, when the Longhorn Network was deemed to be SUCH an advantage that it, at least momentarily, had the Big 12 teetering on the brink of extinction?  

Uh... not so much, anymore.

It's pretty amazing how the most entitled program in College Sports can attempt to generate sympathy from a decision that they made on their own to make themselves even more entitled, but that's how these folks act.  Mack Brown, the most well-paid coach in America, is complaining that a TV deal that gives his program the most visibility in the country and that has been touted as revolutionary, actually leaves his boys a little TOO exposed.  Believe it or not, this isn't the same tune Mack was singing in 2011 when the Network went live.  To wit (via THIS):


“We’re going to sign 20 to 25 players a year, more 20 than 25, and those players will probably be committed to us before June in their junior year. So I don’t think that part will have any effect on recruiting at all. I think the part that will affect recruiting is you’ve got a lot more opportunities for young people to be seen. So there’s no question that the opportunity to show who you are on national TV at every practice, at every ballgame, on a network, is — I mean, it’s a positive.
I'm no psychoanalytical type, but to me that reads that, at the time, Mack could not have been more pleased with the advent of the network and viewed it as, if not an outright advantage for UT, at least something that could be construed in a positive light.  So it's interesting to read yesterday that, after Texas' big show of implementing the network and teasing breaking up the Conference in order to investigate the Pac-12, Mack has changed his tune:
"I didn't ask for it," Brown said Monday..."It's in Waco. Baylor sees every practice," Brown said. "We're a little overexposed."..."I'm a soldier," Brown said. "They tell me to go work with the Longhorn Network, I'll go do it."
How much of that do you believe?  The UT brass is probably as arrogant as any in the country, but do you honestly think they didn't involve their $5 million annual investment in the process of starting a network that's 99% being created to highlight their flagship sport?  I'm going to go out on a tiny limb here and suggest bullshit.  So what do you think happened to make Mack change his tune?  Can't be Texas' struggles the past two seasons or the fact that fans are openly calling for his head, can it? Naaaah.  
Truthfully, Mack has a point - having that much attention on your program can be as much of a disadvantage as an advantage, especially with practices being televised.  But I think the REAL problem is that Mack and UT have always enabled an environment where the football team never has to grow up.  The majority of UT players were among the best at their respective positions coming out of high school, but rather than instill discipline and teach them that they have a long way to go before they are elite, Mack seems to let his players  coast and never take things to the next level.  Coordinators Bryan Harsin and Manny Diaz were well respected football minds before they came to Austin, yet have never been able to replicate their previous success.  Unless Austin is some sort of vortex of football brain fail - POSSIBLE - it probably has more to do with the top down attitude than their own shortcomings.  If the players are told they are gods and treated as such by the boss, chances are they're going to to continue to act that way, and giving them their own TV Network PROBABLY wasn't a great idea.  We just had a pretty fine example of what happens when a mega-talent isn't properly motivated to better himself.  Now imagine that's your entire team, and that's UT.  Thank God for GP. 


Read more here: http://blogs.kansas.com/kstated/2011/07/25/mack-brown-defends-longhorn-network/#storylink=cpy

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Frogs in the NFL - Week 7


The NFL season is almost at the halfway point, and it really has been an interesting season so far, depending on your rooting interests. Regardless of what pro team you do root for, if you are paying attention to the teams with TCU ties, there has been a lot to be excited about.

Marcus Cannon - OT - Patriots (beat the Jets 29-26 in OT) A crazy finish in Foxborough, after the Jets looked like the Jets for three quarters before rallying and forcing OT (sound familiar, Frog fans?).  A couple of vintage Tom Brady two minute drills and a classic Sanchize sack/fumble ended the comeback bid and sent Rex Ryan in search of a few dozen donuts. I'll talk Jets a little further down, as Kerley was LEGIT on Sunday, but the Pats O-Line played well, allowing only a single sack and helping the scrap heap of running backs Belichick employs run for 131 yards.

Tank Carder - LB - Browns (lost to the Colts 13-17) no stats.

Andy Dalton - QB - Bengals (lost to the Steelers 17-24) Dalton had one beautiful throw to AJ Green that he fit through an impossibly small window for a TD, but otherwise struggled. The Steelers, who did not have a tipped pass going into the game, had two on one drive late in the first half, the second that was intercepted at the line and led to a Pittsburgh score. The Red Rifle was only 14-28 for 105 yards in his prime time season debut, but did get some love from the announcers and a really cool nickname montage. Unfortunately, those things don't translate to on-field success, apparently.

Clint Gresham - LS - Seahawks (bye week)

David Hawthorne - LB - Saints (beat the Bucs 35-28) Hawthorne is still not active for NO.

Jerry Hughes - LB - Colts (beat the Browns 17-13) Hughes had three tackles, including a TFL, and a QB hit on Sunday, as Indy beat Cleveland. Hughes has been a revelation, now that he is in a system that suits his skills and it's been fun seeing him making an impact.

Colin Jones - S - Panthers (lost to Dallas 14-19) Colin had one tackle, but his biggest contribution was a negative one, as he had a crucial penalty late that extended a Dallas scoring drive.

Jeremy Kerley - WR - Jets (lost to the Patriots 26-29 OT) As already mentioned, Kerley nearly stole the show on Sunday in New England, as he made a couple spectacular plays on typically poorly thrown Sanchize balls, including a third down conversion off a tip that he somehow corralled for big yardage. In what was his best game as a pro, Kerley had seven catches on 11 targets for 120 yards and was basically impossible to cover. He also had three punt returns for 22 yards, and though he didn't get in the end zone, he was a big reason the Jets had a chance to pull the upset late.

Marshall Newhouse - OT - Packers (beat the Rams 30-20) Rodgers was sacked three times, but only for 10 total yards, and the Packers' O-Line and Newhouse, have improved steadily throughout the year.

Jason Phillips - LB - Panthers (lost to Dallas 14-19) Jason had one tackle in the loss.

Herb Taylor - OT - Jacksonville (lost to Oakland 23-26, OT) I watched most of this game, and still have no idea if and or how much Taylor got on the field. If you're an O-Lineman, I guess that's a good thing?

Daryl Washington - LB - Cardinals (lost to Minnesota 14-21) Washington had nine tackles, two sacks, and two QB hits. He has been ridiculous, and continues to be mentioned as one of the best young linebackers in the league. 

Predictions in the comments... who gets in the end zone in Week 8 and which Frogs can force some turnovers for their respective teams?