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.