Bad News First
The Frog Offense continues to be the cure for the common defense. Watching future Major League Baseball player and current Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray pick apart an injured TCU secondary is one thing, but watching one of the more maligned defenses in the Big 12 mostly stagnate the Horned Frogs awfense is worse than paying a toll for the privilege of hastily leaving the state of Oklahoma.
Where’s the Defense?
TCU’s defense has been holding games within reach despite frequent offensive blunders. Saturday shattered that narrative. Murray and his crimson comrades forced Coach Gary Patterson and the Horned Frog defense to choose which implement they’d prefer to be flogged with all game. Defensive pressure would either unleash Murray to showcase his startling speed or open up an injured defensive secondary to be carved up by talented Okie receivers. The most surprising part of the Sooner attack was the rushing game. The running backs, along with Murray, broke through the defense with the speed of the original frontier Sooners that land-grabbed from Native Americans before being legally able. Former Mansfield Tiger Kennedy Brooks should dress as Freddy Krueger this Halloween, as he is now the star of Patterson’s night terrors, finishing with 168 yards and a touchdown with a near 10-yard average per touch. Other back Trey Sermon finished with over 100 yards and two touchdowns. If you are counting, that adds up to a butt whipping.
Looking on the Sonny Side
Criticism has blanketed TCU Offensive Coordinator Sonny Cumbie like a stud cornerback all season. Quarterback Shawn Robinson looked shaky in the first half, missing easy throws and making poor decisions with the ball. Cumbie benched him during the second quarter. Enter Michael Collins, who made his first meaningful appearance with eight minutes remaining in the first half. Welcome to the starting position, Collins! His pinpoint throws proved more essential to Cumbie’s offense than Robinson’s fleet feet. The sophomore transfer went right to work by hitting Jalen Reagor and KaVontae Turpin for touchdown strikes on consecutive throws. The Frogs went quickly from being blown out 28-7 to down only 28-24 at the half. Collins ran the option and displayed a tough rushing style, stiff-arming his way to extra yards several times. The hope ended at halftime. The Frogs would manage one meager field goal the rest of the way. The final gun ended the pain at 52-27. A rare bright spot was ball security. This was the first game in five the offense had fewer than three turnovers. Good job, guys?
Toto, We’re Heading Back to Kansas
This game scares me. Not because there’s a good chance TCU loses but because anything seems possible now. TCU could dominate or stagnate while facing one of the worst teams in college football. The TCU secondary will look different. Safety Niko Small is still questionable for Saturday, safety Innis Gaines is likely out for the season, and cornerback Jeff Gladney is iffy. The offense will not have their game-breaker in Turpin, who was kicked off the team this week after Fort Worth police arrested him for allegedly assaulting his girlfriend over the weekend. Robinson will undergo season-ending surgery to repair the damage sustained in the closing minutes of the Iowa State game. TCU has never lost to KU since joining the conference in 2012. Better Horned Frog squads than this one have narrowly escaped defeat in Lawrence before. Time to embark on the quest for bowl eligibility.