Get to know this term. Fans of the Frog won’t be rid of it anytime soon. Last Saturday, TCU lost to Kansas (Kansas?!?), a team that’s won a total of three games in three seasons and has never beaten Gary Patterson while he’s been head coach. Our local hopes were still soaring as Pained in Purple running back Darius Anderson scampered with the ball while his team trailed a mere three points with less than two minutes remaining. Those hopes flushed when he bumped into sophomore center Austin Myer’s backside and fumbled the football within sniffing distance of the end zone. Kansas recovered the ball, ran down the clock, purposely took a safety with one second remaining, and squib-kicked the ball back to TCU to end the game. The Frogs are in a three-way-tie for last in the Big 12 standings.
Where Did it All Go Wrong?
The causes for this season’s woeful performances are as complex or simplistic as fans can rationalize. The Horned Frogs are breaking in new quarterbacks behind a young and inexperienced offensive line, and injuries have depleted the defensive secondary. The simpler reason is turnovers. Only one team in Division I football suffers a worse turnover margin than the Frogs. That means 128 programs are better at taking and keeping the ball than the Frogs. Purple defenders have forced only six turnovers this season. The offense has given the ball away 18 times. Last Saturday in Lawrence was no exception. The Fumbling Frogs lost the ball twice and took it away none. Frog offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie tried to run bruising-back Sewo Olonilua in the “Wildfrog” formation on fourth down from the 1-yard line and was stuffed during the first quarter. Fans should petition Cumbie to remove that one-dimensional formation from the playbook until the offensive line improves.
Turpin Time Has Expired
Coaches dismissed senior KaVontae Turpin from the team after police arrested him on suspicion of domestic assault early in the morning of October 21. A bench warrant had been issued over the summer after a similar allegation from a spring break trip to Las Cruces, New Mexico. Turpin was easily one of the most dangerous kick returners in the country. Cumbie utilized him in the downfield passing game and fed him jet sweeps in the running attack. TCU missed Turpin’s big play ability against Kansas, though wide receiver Jalen Reagor looked outstanding.
Not All Gloom and Doom
TCU’s new starting quarterback Michael Collins completed more than two-thirds of his passes, threw for a touchdown, and ran for two more in his first career start. Reagor tallied 177 receiving yards and a touchdown. Anderson ran well for 95 yards despite the butt fumble. The team outgained the Jayhawks by almost 200 yards. Collins had a hand (or foot) in all three trips to the end zone and sports an air of confidence at the position that’s very Andy Dalton-ish. Overall, the offense moved the ball efficiently with Collins barking plays.
When’s Basketball Season?
Not a question most Horned Frog faithful ask this time of year, but it’s applicable now. TCU appears unlikely to pull three wins from the next four games to achieve bowl eligibility. West Virginia still controls its destiny for the conference championship, and Oklahoma State spent the past weekend proving that Texas is not quite as good as Longhorn fans believed. This week brings the Kansas State Wildcats to Fort Worth. The clawless and fangless Wildcats are having a similarly terrible year with only three wins for a program accustomed to consistent success. Head Coach Bill Snyder’s teams run the ball and limit their mistakes. Two turnovers by TCU could spell failure against the worst team remaining on the schedule this season.