Frogs Saddle Up for the Stretch Run
November 15, 2019
It’s the exact middle of November in college football and it’s the Time of the Season (see The Zombies, 1964) when the outcomes of games decide big things — like bowl games and the College Football Playoff.
Such is the situation with your TCU Horned Frogs. For the Purple and White, it’s a three-game season that starts tomorrow at Texas Tech. Time to saddle-up, head to Lubbock and win “The Saddle Trophy.” Lubbock has been good to the Frogs of late as they’ve won the last two matchups with Tech at Clifford B. and Audrey Jones Stadium (that’s what it was called when I was playing at TCU, long before AT&T put their name on it). This is one the Frogs need to get if they hope to go bowling. OU awaits in Norman next week, and West Virginia comes to visit the day after Thanksgiving. Plenty of work to do .
It’s the 62nd meeting between these two teams … and maybe the most urgent in the history of the series for both teams. A pair of 4-5 programs each looking for their third Big 12 win in seven tries. Both teams dealing with injuries roster-wide and on thin ice at the QB spot. Tech expected to be thick where signal callers were concerned with sophomore Alan Bowman and junior Jett Duffey competing for the job at the start of the year. Bowman emerged as the starter until a shoulder injury suffered against Arizona ended his season. Duffey’s been good, completing 69 percent of his throws for 1,774 yards and 10 TDs, while throwing just two to the other team. Pretty stout. New head coach Matt Wells has changed the look of Tech’s offense — they go fast. And for the first time since Spike Dykes ran the show, there are tight ends on the depth chart, and they are large — watch for #11 Donta Thompson and #15 Travis Koontz. (Jim Carlin is smiling!). By the way, does anyone remember a tight end at Texas Tech in the 70s named Andre Tillman? He was good.
Receivers are plentiful, and the best of the bunch is #9 T.J. Vasher.
Defensively, the Red Raiders have gone to a three-man front, much the fashion these days. They are an attacking group with a solid line, and the linebackers are stellar. #1 Jordyn Brooks is the Big 12’s leading tackler, averaging 11 tackles per game. He makes a lot of plays behind the line with 18 tackles for loss on the year. The secondary is another story — the worst in the Big 12, allowing a whopping 309 yards per game through the air. The middle of the field will be wide open. Rumor is they’ll name everything between the hash marks “Jalen Reagor Boulevard.” I hope so.
The Frogs will need to start fast. That’s a must on the road. The weather will be perfect on the fast artificial surface with the forecast calling for cloudy and 55 degrees at kickoff.
The Frogs go for their third straight win on the South Plains. Did you know TCU did not lose in Lubbock from 1979-1983, tying Tech three times? In 1979, a snowstorm was the big winner in a 3-3 tie. In 1981, a sellout homecoming crowd at Tech welcomed the Frogs. TCU, down 24-7 at the half, came back to tie 39-39 in a game that took 4 hours and 30 minutes (a long game at the time). In 1983, a Thursday sand storm followed by heavy Friday rains left the game to be played in a chocolate milk-like surface. It was a slippery, turnover-plagued game. The game ended in a 10-10 tie.
Here’s to hoping the Frogs make it three-straight wins in the Hub City.
We’re on the air at 10 a.m. on the Horned Frog Sports Network. Join us!
Kick ‘Em High!!