Monday, October 15, 2012

Baylor Recap.

I'm guessing they mean the back of the line.

Well, that certainly went swimmingly.  After 4 straight games of the TCU offense bungling away games they turn in a 7 TD, turnover free performance.  Pretty amazing what happens when you hold onto the ball, no?  Let's keep doing that.

I'm going to apologize ahead of time - Despite this being the one game this season actually worth recapping, I really just do not have time for today.  However, since you guys did so great taking the reins of the hate post, you're in the spotlight once more!  Yaaay readers!  A few observations and talking points to guide you:

  • Is Trevone Boykin a better fit for this offense than Casey Pachall?  I'm referring specifically to the offense as it is right now, down to only fourth and fifth string RB's and an offensive line that has underperformed, thus requiring the QB to be a jack of all trades.  Casey has all of measurables - size, killer arm, vision - but clearly running was an issue.  I'd currently put Boykin somewhere between Jeff Ballard and Andy Dalton on the scale of TCU QB's, although Boykin has more inherent talent than Dalton did as a RS Fr.  It's here that I would normally say something like, "It's going to take Boykin a while to improve his decision making..." but, at least based on this week's performance, I'd say he looked pretty sharp.  The stats are really pretty incredible to look at - would you have EVER guessed TCU would out gain Baylor?One of the stats that we REALLY needed to win was TOP, which we did by holding the ball for 42 minutes.  True, Baylor typically scores so quickly that they will rarely hold that advantage, but Boykin ground out multiple drives of 7+ yards, just like the TCU teams of old.  Boykin converted 14/19 third downs, many in the 8+ yards category.  That'll work.  Of course, going from playing a good defense to playing the worst defense in the country certainly helps, as does your defense forcing six turnovers, so maybe we should hold off on anointing him until after this weekend's game against an insanely improved Tech D.  I'm at whatever is above cautiously optimistic.
  • Who will be TCU's leading receiver in this retooled offense?  Maybe I was just chugging the Kool-Aid Saturday night, but didn't the receivers look as good or better than they have all season?  Like, maybe they were playing harder for Deuce Boogie than they were for Quad Poogie?  Clearly the biggest development was getting Cam White and Ladarius Brown involved in the passing game, something that wasn't happening with Pachall, and which can possibly be attributed to White and Boykin working out together even before coming to TCU.  I'm not sure why Ladarius hadn't been targeting as much this year, but that TD pass clearly showed us what we've been missing.  And it goes down the list - Boyce had his highest reception total to date this season, Skye Dawson held onto the ball and heck, even David Porter caught a pass.  Perhaps Casey got into too much of a routine with Boyce and Brandon Carter - though who could blame him? - and Boykin brings a fresh perspective?
  • Will Aundre Dean and BJ Catalon actually be able to carry the load?  At least based on Saturday, they might manage.  Dean still spins WAY too much for my liking, but he ran with aggression for the first time as a TCU Horned Frog.  Catalon, for his part, tucked the ball away and had a better grasp on when to reach for that extra yard or to cut his losses and go to the ground.  With Tucker still banged up, I'm guessing we'll need a heavy dose of both guys this weekend if we want to soften up Tech.
  • Is the defense THAT good?  Nick Florence had thrown 5 picks entering Saturday; He left Floyd Casey Stadium with 9, and really 10 if you count the one the refs bungled.  Outside of 3 passes, 2 that went for scores, he looked shaky all evening and could never get comfortable. Baylor came into Saturday on a 10 game streak of gaining 500 yards of offense and an 8 game streak of scoring 45 points, both of which were snapped.    Kevin White getting a pick was MAJOR redemption, as was Verrett's early in the game considering what happened to him last year.  Sam Carter looked great, as did Chris Hackett.  Really, the only disappointing thing defensively was Stansly Maponga going down with an injury, although apparently it is minor.  Heck, the defensive performance is even more impressive when you consider Baylor scored a 74 yard TD on the second play of the game, at which point I think we all gave up hope JUST a bit.  No matter, the defense clamped down and got it done.  Let's hope that trend continues.
It's here I turn it over to you guys, but one last thing - Considering the circumstances, when is the last time you can remember TCU playing a better complete game?  The Rose Bowl immediately comes to mind, but we were firing on all cylinders at that point.  Baylor still isn't very good at football and you're likely to see a bit of an "Auburn sans Cam" effect going forward, but you still expected them to put more than 21 points on the board.  

25 comments:

BuckNasty said...

Did Dean look faster than he has been? Looked like he had alot more burst. And does Boykin ever smile?

Jack Burton said...

Call me crazy, but I think there is something to be said about the young guys playing harder for Boykin...

danders said...

Amazing how good they looked when firing on all cyclinders! They need the same game this week against Lubbock but I think they'll be up for it - having gained some needed confidence. Boykin and the WRs were all strong and going forward will be a bigger threat than most were expecting! This is going to be fun!
Re: Dean - looked like he finally reealized he could run! Each run looked stronger and more confident - but the spining has got to stop!

danders said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tanner said...

having seen poor 3rd down defense a few times before, I can only imagine baylor fans were giving themselves more than a couple bald spots while ripping hair out after those long LONG conversions. I heard after that they dropped to dead last in FBS in 3rd down Defense, which I think sends mixed signals for us going forward.

NEELEY2006 said...

Question - are we also maybe seeing an effect of Pachall's lack of leadership leaving this team? One has to think that if his problem is as bad as the school wants to make it sound, that his team surely knew and probably figured they couldn't trust him. This entire team looked just that Sat night - a team. Haven't seen that since Grambling. I read quotes from players last week about the high maturity level of Boykin and Catalon. Maybe getting them into actual leadership roles on the field has even higher yields, much like the leadership of one Andy Dalton.

JHale said...

I've also heard that Boykin/Catalon are just natural leaders. With a young team that is huge. I expect them to gain a ton of confidence from this past game but still see the Tech game being very close. I hope they get a little too confident but not sure if they will or not -- there will be a ton of hate going on Saturday

Lyle Lanley said...

I'd love to hear a report on Baylor fans trash talking before the game from someone who was there.

JHale said...

Oh they were... I was walking around tailgating and most of them didn't say a word but a few were running their mouths (especially the baylor line kids when I walked in). It was fantastic watching their entire stadium file out with 9-10 minutes left in the game. Their faces were priceless.

FrogHorn07 said...

1) I was shocked their fans were leaving early in the fourth quarter, they had two TD "drives" that took less than 30 seconds. How do you think a 21 point game is out of reach? What a bunch of Nancys.

2) I was impressed with our offense, granted BU has no defense, but we looked solid.

3) Our defense did a good job with takeaways, but our inability to force a punt scared me (we forced two). When Nick was not forcing bad passes BU was walking down the field with ease or torching our safeties with slot receivers.

I guess a bend, but don't break defense will work, but I long for the 2009 and 2010 don't bend or break, lights out defenses.

SnK said...

"walking down the field with ease"? They had 2 long TD's and 1 sustained drive all game that should've been negated by what would've been our 5th INT and 6th turnover. They had the ball for 18 minutes. I'd say you're being quite nitpicky there.

JHale said...

Agreed... and I don't think Florence gave us all those picks. Some of our DB's out played their WR's for position (See Verret's interception)

Hope we can play like that for the rest of the season -- Glad the O-line learned how to play mean

Tanner said...

super game, lots of picks, good QB play (although i worry about Boykin trying to lower the boom on.....well....anyone like he was doing), great KICKING ?!??!, all around awesome.

but.....
what is the deal with maponga? Is he hurt, and why has he been a ghost for several games? our lack of pass rush concerns me.

I watched the game on TV, hardly heard his name, then he is on the sidelines. what's his frequency?

InGaryWeTrust said...

If I remember correctly, I think Kevin White dropped another INT on a bubble screen that could have been an easy 6 pts. Aside from 2 break downs, the DBs looked like they were lined up where they needed to be, and flat out made plays.

Catalon looks a step or 3 quicker than Dean. We need Tucker back, STAT.
Was thrilled with the performance. Glad to see the defense had that in them with similar offenses coming up our next 3 games. Boise was a pretty impressive performance last year, but this is right up there.

Sir Wesley Willis said...

I BELIEVE Maponga injured his ankle-ish and sat out the rest of the game. Apparently he will play this weekend though, but I agree - he's been a ghost this year. Has he been double teamed THAT much? Regardless, clearly Fields is picking up the slack.

Forgot to mention Boykin boom-stickin'g that Baylor DB on his TD run. That was pretty phenomenal, but you definitely have to be a BIT concerned about how much he initiates contact. CANNOT lose that guy.

I think it definitely speaks some volumes how much crisper our offense looked with Boykin running the show from a leadership perspective. Definitely have to think there was a LOT more going on behind the scenes with Casey than we will ever hear about.

Regardless, the rest of the season just got a lot more desirable to watch.

Cowtown Food Junkie said...

I had three Baykor fans tell me in the porta potty line that we had no chance and asked if I was high on weed. I just smiled and said "we'll see what happens." Those assholes were awfully silent by the fourth quarter. One of my favorite wins in ten years of attending TCU games. They were absolutely shocked that we clobbered them so badly. (Though to be honest so was I.) Boykin just seems to have an intangible smoothness to his game. Saw him yelling encouragement to his teammates on the sideline and constantly getting people amped up. I'm sure there will be rough patches, but those who assumed Tyler Matthews would automatically be the heir apparent to Pachall might need to slow their rolls.

As for the commenter who said he was concerned with our lack of pass rush, are you kidding me? Yes, Maponga hasn't had the numbers, but he's been double teamed on almost every single snap of the season. And that's ok because Devonte Fields looks like he's gonna be quite possibly the greatest TCU defensive player ever. The dude is just a beast. Leads the Big 12 in sacks and TFL, and he's 18! That's just crazy. Ubben on ESPN has him as the Big 12 defensive POY at the halfway point. Also, we had 4 sacks against Baylor and several knickdowns and hurries. CGP finally unleashed some blitz packages and it worked. Sam Carter had 2 sacks to go with his 2 INT's.

johnjesse2122 said...

This game was pretty much a masterpiece all around, but I think it's possible that Gaylor sucks. I think we should keep the expectations for this team still relatively low. I'm lucky enough that my dad is a TCU alum also so ive been going to games for about 20 years, and since we beat Carson Palmer and SC Ive noticed a trend. We have always been a better team when nobody gives us a chance or the chips are down. Patterson has a way of motivating the guys by telling them they aren't supposed to win, with the exception of the Rose Bowl team, and they were supposed to lose to 'sconsin so it still kinda fits. Remember last time we played tech and we won and got really high on ourselves? Asses kicked by BYU a few days later. Supposed to roll on Boise in the Fiesta bowl? Beat down. We gotta have these guys thinking that we doubt them and that nobody believes. In reality, lets hope that all the tech players "fat little girlfriends" tell them how good they are and they come in here and get rolled on.

johnjesse2122 said...

Almost forgot, beat OU in norman. Lose to SMU. No chance against #5 Boise last year. W. It's weird but I bet I could come up with a dozen more examples. Ya'll already know this but I just wanted to throw it back out there because we need to beat Tech this saturday. I'm flying in from Phoenix just to see this game.

Skeptical Frog said...

I was able to watch until about midway through the 1st Qtr. Had to follow online and I'll tell ya, I really was just about to give up after a 2 play Baylor TD and 3 and out by the Frogs. Instead, I watched the game (and got shit faced drunk) and had a night reminiscent of the Rose Bowl for sheer enjoyment.
Seriously, the team looked like a whole new squad. They looked like they were having fun and were loose, like they were actually a team with a QB to rally around.
Maybe it's still a Pachall Hangover and I'm just really down on the guy, but there was zero spark all season while he was out there. Even last season was a little bit like slogging through mud. Pachall has a lot of talent but it appears he is sorely lacking in some intangibles (leadership, creativity, character?)
I'm still hesitant to start thinking we're gonna kick ass the rest of the season (should still make a bowl and a good shot at getting that Texas monkey off our back), but I think it'll at least be fun to watch this bunch of spirited young guys. If this is what we can look forward to in the future, I'd just as soon not see Pachall come back.

bscooter26 said...

I thought there was a couple of good lines from one the dump articles, where GP got in the face of some offensive players to get them fired up in practice instead of just defensive players. Another one (or maybe the same article) talked about how some of the receivers told Boykin to stay calm and told him, "We've got you," or something along those lines. Pretty cool to see and hear the players support him just as much as they probably rallied around him Saturday.

Tanner said...

CowTown,

I know Fields has been very good, but I don't really think Maponga has been double teamed that much. He had one tackle assist at Baylor. Nothing else. I know Fields is picking up slack but Maponga was the hyped one and I worry that he just isn't making an impact. We did have a few sacks, but those were the results of blitz...es if I recall. I'm not watching the whole game again but I did look up ISU (honestly the only tough matchup prior to Baylor) game, and we had 1 combined sack on the day. The result of blitzing is sometimes the 80 yard td passes on 1-1 wr/cb mismatches, and sometimes yes it is a sack. So when I say I'm concerned about pass rush, in reality I mean base defense, 4 down linemen pass rush, which I'm certain we aren't getting much of.

Does it matter where the sacks come from? Nope. I was just pointing out a concern about Maponga, since he was supposed to be our new Blake/Hughes reincarnate.

Oh how I miss them...

FrogHorn07 said...

TCU does not have a SEC style pass rush, where they rush four and drop seven and get pressure fast. Not many teams outside the SEC can get immediate pressure with a four man rush, Texas is the one that stands out. And not every SEC team can do it, but Bama, LSU and USC do.

BuckNasty said...

We do lead the Big12 in sacks. Just saying.

JHale said...

Ya... I am actually worried about the Tech O since they rely more on a fast pass (3 step drop) kind of QB play. Baylor and WV play a more deep ball threat so it is easier to get pressure on them. ISU played a quick passing game against us with lots of crossing routes and def did not work out as well as the BU game. I think our defense has improved a ton but we will know more after this week.

Cowtown Food Junkie said...

I think Fields will make you miss them a whole lot less. I agree that Maponga has been a disappointment so far, and his injury won't help. Fields has been the breakout defensive player of the Big 12 though. Kid is just a beast.