A win is a win. One point or 100 points more than the opponent still equals the same in the win column. Week 5 against the Cyclones from Iowa State was a real nose-pincher of a home win for the Frog Faithful to endure. The Horned Frogs were fortunate to kick their way to victory in the waning seconds of family weekend at Amon G. Carter Stadium. TCU placekicker Jonathan Song shot his hands to the sky in the closing seconds, seemingly to thank the football gods for not wiping away the whole messy affair with several well-placed lightning bolts from the heavens.
The fumble flu and interception itch are still rampant. TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson threw an ugly pass into triple coverage that was picked off late in the fourth quarter. Luckily, the ball was downed on the Iowa State 3 yard-line, and the purple pass rush was able to stiffen and give their offense another shot to win the game. Robinson tossed other questionable throws that the Cyclones were not able to take advantage of. Robinson also fumbled a ball that the Corn Commandos eventually drove for a touchdown. TCU tight end Artayvious Lynn coughed up the ball after a reception from Robinson. If you’re counting (and crying), that makes at least three offensive turnovers for the third straight week.
Gary Patterson’s defense was stout. Iowa State was gifted the ball three times and scored only 14 points. The purple defenders finally produced a turnover of their own by sacking Cyclone quarterback Zeb Noland and forcing a fumble, which defensive star Ben Banogu scooped and scored for a 47-yard touchdown. The defensive points proved to be vital in a game that felt eerily familiar to a three-turnover defensive struggle in Ames, Iowa, last year, when the Frogs lost.
The hex is broken. Right? Kind of. The Frogs managed to avoid the drastic 14-point swings endured during the last two games. Banogu’s touchdown occurred on the opening drive of the third quarter. The truth is, TCU has yet to play a complete football game this year. The fourth quarter was alarming, as Iowa State running back David Montgomery repeatedly ran over tacklers and imposed his will against the defense. Noland is not a “mobile” quarterback. With a first name like Zeb, I’m figuring he’s an elderly moonshiner. But he scrambled for 28 yards on a seemingly insurmountable 3rd-and-25. That romp continued the scoring drive for the Cyclones. Ohio State, Texas, and now Iowa State have all sustained extended clock-killing scoring drives in their fourth quarters. The TCU safeties and cornerbacks are still searching for their first interception since the opener against Southern. The secondary had chances in this contest but could not pull in errant throws. The ball hawking must start when pass-happy Texas Tech invades the Carter with their bearded coach-bro ready to take the ball to the skies.
Banged-Up Bye Week
The Horned Frogs conveniently reach their bye week ahead of facing the Red Raiders and the Sooners in consecutive weeks. Robinson left the Iowa State game in the fourth quarter with what appeared to be a shoulder injury. It is too early to speculate whether we’ll see him or backup Michael Collins in the shotgun against Texas Tech. Electric Frog receiver KaVontae Turpin is also banged up and was viciously hit during a play that was initially ruled targeting before being overturned. Turpin needed stitches for a face laceration sustained during that second-quarter hit. Offensive Guard Cordel Iwuagwu left the game against Texas last week with an undisclosed injury. Iwuagwu had started every game at left guard dating back through last season. Offensive line shuffling might explain some of the rushing woes for the Frogs against Iowa State and in the second half of the Texas game. Safety Niko Small left the game against UT with an undisclosed injury and was notably absent this week. Small is usually considered to be the quarterback of the defense. His presence will be sorely missed if he isn’t ready to go against Tech. A bye week is literally just what the doctor ordered for TCU.