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...