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Biding Time on Bye Week

September 6, 2019

Happy Friday, Frog Fans!

It’s the second week of the college football season and what are you going to do with yourself this weekend? The Frogs are off, but there’s plenty to watch. I’m getting a head start on game prep for Purdue — more on them in a minute.

You’ll have no problem scratching your CFB itch this weekend. ESPN’s College GameDay is in Austin, so you can see Matthew McConaughey with his playbook and his Haggar double-knit-burnt-orange-suit-making predictions. Alright, Alright, Alright. Geez.

A pretty-good Cincinnati team visits Ohio State at 11 a.m. on ABC. Your Fightin’ Texas Aggies are at No. 1 Clemson at 3:30 p.m. on ABC. (Cheer for the Aggies — their move got the Frogs into the Big 12, don’t forget that.) Texas hosts LSU at 6:30 p.m. on ABC, and then for you night owls, you can finish with Minnesota at Fresno State at 7:30, and then Oregon State at Hawaii at midnight. There you go. You’re all set!

I’ll be watching Purdue. They play Vanderbilt at 11 a.m. on the Big Ten Network. Head coach Jeff Brohm likes to run a wide-open offense, and he loves to sprinkle in trick plays to spark drives. He did that with regularity and success at Western Kentucky.

Watch for wide receiver Rondale Moore. He’s a weapon — an elite player as a wideout, runner and returner. Last year, he was an All-American as a freshman. All he did was win the Paul Hornung Award, given to college football’s most versatile player. Purdue will move Moore all over the field pre-snap to test reactions and keep the defense’s eyes moving.

This time next week we’ll be headed to the Midwest and West Lafayette, Indiana.

Can you name famous Purdue alums?

Enjoy your weekend off, Frog fans.  Until next week,

 

Kick ‘Em High!

Patterson Leads a Seasoned Team with Depth

August 30, 2019

There’s a buzz around campus on this Friday that’s unmistakable. Opening weekend in college football carries its own flavor, its own feeling. Fans are ready. The players are very ready and, after a month in fall camp, it’s frankly a relief for all “inside the room” at TCU to get it going.

Be sure to cheer on the defense — the group is sure to make TCU's opponents miserable. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

Be sure to cheer on the defense — the group is sure to make TCU’s opponents miserable. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

Now comes the steady stream of opponents every seven days or so. The season waits for no one. Once you’re on the Big 12 rollercoaster, you’re on for the long haul. Win or not, injured or not, you have to be ready to go each week. That goes for the fans as well as the players. Make sure to keep your arms and legs inside the car at all times. And Frog fans, make sure you show up — no matter who the team on the other side is.

TCU Football Head Coach Gary Patterson named K-State transfer Alex Delton the starter quarterback for Saturday’s game and quickly mentioned that freshman Max Duggan will see the field early in the game against UAPB. This combo gives the Frogs a tandem of experience and extreme potential at the QB spot. Delton, the elder statesmen with years of tutelage under coaching legend Bill Snyder, who performed CPR on the KSU Football program not once, but twice. The way Snyder did it was by asking his QBs to: 1. Take care of the football, 2. Sustain clock-eating drives and 3. Don’t try to do too much in the way of play-making. A similar recipe will work for Patterson, however Delton’s assortment of offensive weapons is a little more extensive that his toolbox at KSU. Duggan has a command of the offense and his arm will make him fun to watch, especially when he throws the ball deep.

TCU defense is positioned to make opponents miserable this year.

Ross Blacklock is back and depth along the defensive line is there. The play of defensive ends Ochaun Mathis and South Carolina transfer Shamiek Blackshear (who replace Ben Banogu and L.J. Collier) will be key. The good news is they look like the next big thing in a long line of stellar DE’s at TCU.

Jonathan Song closed last season with a game-winning 27-yard field goal in overtime to give TCU a 10-7 victory against Cal in the Cheez-It Bowl. TCU is relying on him again this season. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

Jonathan Song closed last season with a game-winning 27-yard field goal in overtime to give TCU a 10-7 victory against Cal in the Cheez-It Bowl. TCU is relying on him again this season. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

The kicking game needs settling. Jonathan Song needs to have a great senior year or else freshman Griffin Kell will hear his name announced a lot in stadiums around the Big 12. Punter Jordy Sandy had a big-league leg and might be the Frogs’ biggest defensive weapon.

Arkansas Pine Bluff is looking to take another step in 2019 in rebuilding its football program. The SWAC Champs in 2012, UAPB struggled in recent years. Last year, the team brought in Golden Lions alumnus Cedric Thomas to turn the Titanic. UAPB went 2-9 last year and ranked third in total offense at 423.5 yards and 25 pointes per game. The team features a solid running back in first team All-SWAC selection Taeyler Porter, who ran for 1,220 yards and had seven 100-yard rushing performances. He’s paired with Missouri transfer, wide receiver Harry Ballard, who’s a large wideout at 6-3 and 205 pounds. For the quarterback position, the battle is on between last year’s starter Shannon Patrick, who was injured mid season and sophomore Skyler Perry who, as a freshman, replaced Patrick for the last eight games and threw for 1,748 yards and eight touchdowns. You’ll likely see both.

Defensively, the Golden Lions run the 4-2-5 scheme similar to the Frogs. They move well to the ball, but I’ll be watching to see how they handle the Frogs’ fleet of wide receivers. The pressure is definitely on the UAPB secondary.

It’s a 7 p.m. kickoff, but get there early. You’ll want to take it all in. It’s time. Happy New Year!

We’re on the air at 6 p.m. CT on the TCU Sports Network.

Until then,

Kick ‘Em High

Reagor and Delton to Lead 2019 Frogs

August 28, 2019

TCU Spirit leads fans in cheers at a home football game. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

TCU Spirit leads fans in cheers at a home football game. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

For some folks I talked to, it seemed like the Frogs were finishing off Cal in the Cheez-It Bowl just last week. For others, the off-season seemed like a trip to Shawshank. Regardless of where you stand in the time warp, you’re about to get a healthy dose of college football. I’m ready.

At the start of the season, everyone in college football is undefeated. From Pullman to Poughkeepsie, hopes are high. Teams are healthy, the fields are green and the wear and tear of the season is far away.

Speaking of wear and tear, I think the Frogs had enough injuries last year to make them good for 4 years. That was unreal. The volume of injuries (many season-ending) were coming in waves. In 38 years of being around TCU Football, I’d never seen anything like it. Not even in Coach FA Dry’s tenure — when we often never saw a practice in pads after October 1 — could a team afford to get hurt. The 2018 season was full of challenges. To think that the Frogs reached a bowl and won it makes it my nominee for the best coaching job that Gary Patterson & Company have ever done. They took what they had each week and, especially the last five games, figured out a way. Never gave up. Got it done. Now it’s time to “Earn the Chip,” as the Frogs’ motto for this season commands.

Jalen Reagor led the Big 12 in percentage of receptions at TCU with 30.1 percent, the highest mark by a Horned Frog in the 18-season tenure of Head Coach Gary Patterson. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

Jalen Reagor led the Big 12 in percentage of receptions at TCU with 30.1 percent, the highest mark by a Horned Frog in the 18-season tenure of Head Coach Gary Patterson. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

Now the 2019 season stares at us, fresh and new. Here’s what you’re going to like about these Frogs:

  • The speed. From what I’ve seen, this is Gary Patterson’s fastest TCU team EVER. Wall-to-wall, this team can run.
  • The ability to play field position. This healthy defense (along with new punter Jordy Sandy, who can flip the field with a big leg — and directional punt) will be a combination that will keep many opponents imprisoned in their own end of the field.
  • Maturity. Even though this is still a very young team, it’s a group that went through a ton of adversity last year and fought through to ultimate success. That experience can’t be duplicated with a speech in a team meeting. You have to live it, survive it and the Frogs who return from last year will play much older than their years. Experience = wins.
  • Jalen Reagor. Don’t miss a play when he touches the ball.
  • Alex Delton. The graduate transfer from Kansas State came in and won over teammates with his work ethic and attitude. He also comes from a place that put a premium on taking care of the football. After last season’s 29 fumbles (11 lost) and 15 interceptions, this quarterback job is about what a QB won’t do as much as it is about what he can do.
  • Chemistry. This team has been through a lot together and many players are happy to be back from injury and are hungry for a great year. This group is tightly-knit. Same as the other great teams in the Patterson era.

There are many more things to like about this team and several will bubble up in front of your eyes on Saturday night against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. We’ll take a close look at the Golden Lions on Friday.

Until then, get your game day gear ready, stay out of the heat and,

Kick ‘Em High!

41

December 5, 2018

As I sat watching the numerous memorials and tributes to President George H. W. Bush over the past days, and the memorial service at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. today, I realized how lucky I am.

TCU Chancellor William E. Tucker with Vice President George H. W. Bush and TCU Chair of the Board of Trustees Bayard Friedman on campus in 1983. Courtesy of TCU Archives.

TCU Chancellor William E. Tucker with Vice President George H. W. Bush and TCU Chair of the Board of Trustees Bayard Friedman on campus in 1983. Courtesy of TCU Archives

Lucky because I was at fall convocation at TCU’s Daniel-Meyer Coliseum on Oct. 27, 1983, to hear then-Vice President George Bush deliver a speech in front of a packed house. My teammates and I were all there — Coach Jim Wacker made us go. “It’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” Wacker said. “And I better see all of you there. It’s the vice president, for cryin’ out loud.”

I was lucky to have a coach who “coached” us to be there.

It was a critical time. The U.S. Marines barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, had just been destroyed by suicide bombers four days prior to convocation, killing 307. So soon after the terrorist attack, international tensions were high and Bush didn’t mince words. He spoke of the tragedy and the loss. He also spent a long time talking about what the U.S. response should be and not just militarily. He spoke of America’s place of leadership in the world and how we must change our approach to meet these “new challenges.” He rattled off deep knowledge of the international scene at the time and he quoted details and names with aplomb. He was strong in tone, but gentle in the message. Bush was reassuring in his address. He also spoke of how happy we was to be back in Texas. It was impressive. I remember leaving the Coliseum thinking “that’s our next president when Reagan finishes up.”

My other memory of that day came around 2:45 p.m. when it was time to go out to practice in the stadium. It was a Thursday, so we had a light day ahead. The Houston Cougars were coming to visit on Saturday. Final tune-ups and special teams work. I went out early to get a few kicks in. Stopped by the equipment window and got a bag of footballs from our equipment manager Mark Valdez ’75 and headed down the tunnel. To my surprise when I got out of the tunnel, I heard a voice from above yell, “Hey!”

I looked up and it was a sniper (Secret Service, I assume) in the southwest corner of the upper deck — he was looking toward the TCU Tennis Center when he spotted me on the field.

It was then I remembered Bush was over at the Tennis Center getting in a few sets with a group that included TCU’s Chair of the Board of Trustees Bayard Friedman (for whom the Tennis Center is now named). I immediately put my hands up and emptied out the bag of balls so he could see I was no threat. “OK!” he yelled and I went about my business working on kickoffs. With a raised heart beat.

I thought, “How cool is that — the Vice President is getting in some tennis.”

What a cool day. And a vivid memory.

Salute, sir!

Basketball Gains Momentum, Soccer Advances in NCAA Tournament

November 14, 2018

As we get over the hump this week, our attention turns to a short week and Thanksgiving. For TCU students, the semester is winding down quickly, but there’s still lots to do before Turkey Day and that tryptophan-driven nap on the couch. By the way, I love cornbread dressing with oysters in it – the best!

Alex Robinson led TCU against Oral Roberts, finishing with 23 points marking his fifth 20-point game. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Ellman Photography

Alex Robinson led TCU against Oral Roberts on Sunday, finishing with 23 points marking his fifth 20-point game. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Ellman Photography

TCU Men’s Basketball gets back on the floor tomorrow night against Fresno State. The Frogs haven’t played the Bulldogs since the first round of the 2017 NIT when the Frogs took their first step toward the NIT crown. It was also the game in which Jaylen Fisher broke his wrist, ending his 2017 season. He’s been through some other injury issues and I’m looking forward to seeing him back on the floor soon for the Frogs. After Fresno State, the Frogs host Lipscomb Tuesday night before shutting it down for the holiday.

Women’s Basketball is off to a 2-0 start and they take on SMU at 2 p.m. Sunday at Moody Coliseum in Dallas. Congrats to Jordan Moore on becoming just the 18th player in TCU history to reach 1,000 points in a career. She had 18 in the blowout win over Mississippi Valley State.

Fall baseball is over but the season is less than 100 days away. I talked to Coach Jim Schlossnagle last night at length about his team and he said he’s looking forward to a great season with several new faces. It all kicks off on Friday, February 15 when the Frogs take on Cal-State Fullerton in Scottsdale. Our first Jim Schlossnagle Radio Show is February 12th at The Railhead.

Yazmeen Ryan, left, sealed the game for TCU's first-ever NCAA Tournament victory. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Ellman Photography

Yazmeen Ryan, left, sealed the game for TCU’s first-ever NCAA Tournament victory Friday. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Ellman Photography

And good luck to TCU Women’s Soccer as the team goes for a second-round NCAA Tournament win over Texas A&M on Friday. The game is at 1 p.m. in Knoxville, TN. Eric Bell and his team have made history this year. Let’s hope they keep the story going with a win over the Aggies (those are always sweet).

TCU Football is getting ready to make the 83 mile trek down I-35 to Waco Saturday to take on the Bears. Baylor is playing better and head coach Matt Ruhle seems to be pulling that program out of its dive. It’ll be a huge task for this beat-up bunch of Frogs who are trying to win their last two to get bowl eligible. If they can do it, rumor has it the Frogs would end up in the Texas Bowl against an SEC team.

The Bears have several weapons on offense and we’ll get a closer look at them on Friday.

Until then,

Kick ‘Em High!

TCU Needs Tight Coverage to Beat West Virginia

November 9, 2018

Wow, it really felt like fall this morning didn’t it? Put another log on the fire, it’s going to be a chilly weekend.

It’s also going to be chilly where the Frogs are headed. Destination: Morgantown, WV.

It’s raining there right now and tomorrow it’s going to be cloudy at Milan Puskar Stadium. A balmy high of 38.

Coolest game of the year for TCU, but it won’t be nearly as chilly as the reception that Mountaineer fans will give the Frogs on their way down the tunnel. Picture Arkansas with muskets. Mountaineer fans bring it and the Frogs better as well.

The No. 9 Mountaineers are on a roll. WVU’s offense is a machine and defense matches in strength.

The recipe for TCU's success is to go after quarterback Will Grier and keep tight coverage on Mountaineer wide receivers. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

The recipe for TCU’s success is to go after quarterback Will Grier and keep tight coverage on Mountaineer wide receivers. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

Will Grier is a Heisman-level talent at quarterback. The only team that he’s lost to is Iowa State, who blitzed and blitzed and blitzed. The Cyclones were in his face so much you would’ve thought Bob Huggins was calling the defense for ISU. That’s the recipe for TCU – get after him. While you’re coming from all angles, make sure to keep an eye on the running backs for WVU.  They’re good. #6 Kennedy McKoy is speedy and catches the ball out of backfield as well. Master Blaster Martell Pettaway #32 is what the Mountaineers use to knock down the door. Then there’s the receiving corps: All-American David Sills is a former QB turned uncoverable wide receiver at 6-4. He’s a scoring machine, especially near the goal line. Marcus Simms and last week’s last-minute hero Gary Jennings, Jr. give the Frogs plenty to cover.

One of the most improved parts of the WVU team is the defense — in the top four of all Big 12 defensive stat categories that count: rushing defense, pass defense, total defense and what they allow opponents to tack on the scoreboard. The Mountaineers run an interesting 3-3-5 scheme that’s designed to confuse, combat and confound. And they do it well. Defensive Coordinator Tony Gibson had to rebuild in the offseason and his personnel decisions have been spot-on. They’ve also stayed healthy through the first eight games. That helps.

The Frogs need a fast start as WVU loves to jump on opponents and run away. West Virginia averages 27.7 FIRST HALF points at home this year. Again, a fast start for the Frogs is a must. Sustain drives, eat the clock, play keep-away. Throw in a trick play.

I’m looking for the usual slobber-knocker that we always see when the Frogs and Mountaineers tee it up. It seems there’s a healthy rivalry between these two junior members of the Big 12, who both joined in 2012.

Joe D. Denton was a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. Courtesy of John Denton

Joe D. Denton was a member of the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. Courtesy of John Denton

Also, before I run, a shout-out to all our veterans on this Veterans Day weekend. Veterans are different. Special. They’ve been places and done things that most of us haven’t done. More than anything, they are there for us and the U.S. I have several family members who served, including my dad, Joe Denton, U.S. Army Air Corps in the 1940s. I love this photo of him — it says so much about him and that time when nothing was guaranteed in the 1940s. Thanks, Dad, for the guarantee. He’s 94 now and part of that special group that served proudly without second thought.

Salute!

We’re on the air Saturday at 10 a.m. CT. Join Brian, a chilly Landry Burdine on the field and me on the TCU Sports Network.

Until then,

Kick ‘Em High!

TCU Hoops Start Promising Season

November 7, 2018

Welcome to Basketball Season! Here we go on a run that will hopefully end in early April in the NCAA championship for both TCU Women’s and Men’s Basketball. Schollmaier Arena is the place to be. Get there.

Coach Jamie Dixon and I are both looking forward to TCU hoops this season. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Ellman Photography

Coach Jamie Dixon and I are both looking forward to TCU hoops this season. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Ellman Photography

Congrats to TCU Women’s Basketball for their season-opening win over Duquesne yesterday 61-48. Jordan Moore had 22 points to lead the Frogs (on 11-for-12 shooting!!). Next up for Raegan Pebley’s bunch is Mississippi Valley State at noon on Sunday at Schollmaier Arena.

We lift the lid tonight on Jamie Dixon’s third season at TCU and the Frogs look a lot different. Sure, the starting five are back and guard Jaylen Fisher is still healing that knee, but there are eight new Frogs who have never played in a college basketball game. Should be interesting. I will tell you this from my observations watching practice: the Frogs are much bigger than in recent years. Center Kevin Samuel goes 6-11, 260 pounds. You can’t teach size! JD Miller is back as the Frogs’ most-experienced player with 103 games played. I’m looking forward to watching him this year – he’s a great defender who has taken on that role and Coach Dixon likes it. Alex Robinson, Desmond Bane, Kouat Noi, Angus McWilliam and RJ Nembhard are all healthy and ready to go.

The Frogs welcome Cal State-Bakersfield into Schollmaier Arena tonight. The Roadrunners have some very good players and a coach who knows his way around the game. Rod Barnes is a savvy coach who took Ole Miss to the Sweet 16 a few years back and had his team within a win of playing the Frogs for the NIT Championship in 2017. Bet you couldn’t name the team that Georgia Tech defeated to reach the NIT final vs TCU! Well, it’s Cal-State Bakersfield. They won 25 games that year.

RJ Nembhard was the 3-point champion at last week’s Frog Army Scrimmage. Courtesy of TCU Athletics | Photo by Ellman Photography

The 2018-19 Roadrunners feature a hot-shot guard in Jarkel Joiner, who set the CSB record for free throw percentage last year as a freshman at 90 percent! Look out for #23 Damiyne Durham, who’s hit 255 three-pointers in his career and needs just 24 to set a new record for three-balls at CSB.

After tonight, the Frogs will play Oral Roberts at 4 p.m. on Sunday, then a 2017 NIT rematch with Fresno State at 8 p.m. Thursday, November 15.

In between all the basketball games, and after a win over K-State last week, TCU Football will travel to No. 9 West Virginia. Games in Morgantown are always wild, physical affairs and I expect this 11 a.m. kickoff to provide us all with more of the same. It’s always fun to watch Gary Patterson and Dana Holgorsen square-off in a game of a thousand adjustments. Stay tuned for a detailed look at the Mountaineers on Friday — and the weather, which is expected to be snowy and in the mid-30s!

Until then,

Kick ‘Em High

A Tale of Two Injured Teams: TCU to Meet K-State

November 2, 2018

November calls.

Thirty days of transition from fall to the holidays and the waiting winter. A month of anticipation and decision, especially in college football.

A month full of big games, rivalries renewed and results that decide who is a champion and who is an also-ran. Four games to go. Three to win to get to a bowl game.

Such is the task ahead for your TCU Horned Frogs and it all begins with K-State tomorrow.

In my 38 years around the program, this is the worst injury epidemic I’ve seen. The Frogs lineup has been decimated by episode after episode of bad luck that has the TCU training room looking like a triage unit. Offense, defense, special teams – they’ve all taken hits and many are not going to make it back this season.

During last Saturday’s game at Kansas, I looked down at my TCU defensive game chart and realized that the Frogs had two – count ‘em – TWO starters left on the field from the original 11 first-teamers who took the field against Ohio State. And that’s just the defense. On offense, there’s only two offensive linemen who have started all 8 games: center Kellton Hollins and right tackle Lucas Niang.

The Wildcats are eerily similar to TCU. A beat-up squad that had patched up the retreads and put ice on the radiator to get to 3-5.

On offense, Kansas State players do what they’ve always done – run the ball. And take their time doing it.

A screen capture of Kansas State in formation against Texas A&M. Game footage is copyright ESPN.

A screen capture of Kansas State in a tight yardage formation against Texas A&M. Game footage is copyright ESPN.

They have maybe the best offensive line around and they’re a scrappy bunch that can pass block as well as they run block. They’re led by right tackle Dalton Risner, who has started 46 games in his career. Risner is on just about every college football award list you can think of. When he and his line mates get in that tight short-yardage formation (see photo), watch out!  They’re precise and they rarely lose in situations where the battle is over six feet or less.

The Kansas State quarterback position has been a bit of a revolving door as Skyler Thompson has started 7 of 8 games this year. He’s the better passer and, when he gets pulled, Coach Snyder will go to Alex Delton who started against TCU last year in the oft-interrupted storm game in Manhattan that lasted almost seven hours.

Running back Alex Barnes is a handful, although OU shut him down last week. He averages 5.4 yards per tote. Kansas State doesn’t have the super dangerous wide receivers it’s had in the past but has #7 Isaiah Zuber and #83 Dalton Schoen.

On defense, Kansas State is struggling. They lack a pass rush and the injury bug has not been kind. Sound familiar? The best threat on the line is defensive end Reggie Walker with 5.5 sacks on the year. Linebacker Sam Sizelove has played in 47 games and the secondary is experienced but they’ll likely be missing their best player on defense in cornerback Duke Shelley, who is out with an injury. He leads the team with 3 interceptions on the year.

TCU Coach Gary Patterson and Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder chat at a 2015 football game. Courtesy of TCU Athletics

TCU Coach Gary Patterson and Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder chat at a 2015 football game. Courtesy of TCU Athletics

The kicking game has been rebuilt as KSU graduated everybody: snapper, holder, kicker, punter, kick returner, punt returner. They’re all new. Blake Lynch won the kicking job and he’s made 9 of 11. Punter Andrew Hicks has a big leg, averaging 44 yards per punt.

It’s going to be a beautiful day at The Carter tomorrow. Come early and get in there and give the Frogs your support. They need it and deserve it and your cheers are the one thing they need that’s not available in the training room.

Come for the opportunity to see Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder. He’s 78 now and who knows how much longer he’ll coach. He’s an all-time great. An amazing coach who saved the KSU program twice and the stadium in Manhattan is named for him and his family. He honed his philosophy as Hayden Fry’s offensive coordinator at Iowa in the Hawkeyes’ heydays of the 1980.

We’re on the air on the TCU Sports Network tomorrow at 1:30 p.m. CT. Join us!

Until then,

Kick ‘Em High!

TCU Faces KU Without Key Players

October 26, 2018

Happy Friday!

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for this week to be over so we can get on to game day.

What a week it’s been for Frog fans. Hit from every angle with bad news.

TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson passes in the second quarter as TCU hosts Oklahoma University for the 2018 Homecoming Game in Amon G. Carter Stadium, Saturday, October 20, 2018. Photo by Rodger Mallison

TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson passes in the second quarter as TCU hosts Oklahoma University for the 2018 Homecoming Game in Amon G. Carter Stadium, Saturday, October 20, 2018. Photo by Rodger Mallison

First we learn that quarterback Shawn Robinson is done for the year and will have his shoulder surgically repaired. Then KaVontae Turpin goes down a path that no one should go down and he’s gone. Just like that.

My old coach, FA Dry, used to say, “Don’t ever fall in love with a football player or coach, ‘cuz they’re here today and gone tomorrow.” He told me that in 1982, right after he’d been relieved of his duties at TCU. That same line rings as true this week as it did in November of ’82.

That being said, we must all move on. Set our jaw. Put on our big Frogs pants and get ready to tee it up tomorrow in Lawrence, Kansas, a place that has always been tough on the Frogs since TCU joined the Big 12. The Frogs eeked out a 4-point win in 2014 and a one point victory in 2016. Weird things happen there.

Michael Collins will get the start at QB for the Frogs. Patience will be the key for this offense against a Kansas team that will take chances.

Kansas is a pesky team that is led by its defense. Defensive Coordinator Clint Bowen has been at KU for 19 years. He runs a scheme that’s hard to define but it’s basically a three-man front with a lot of guys moving around. Kind of like Lou Holtz ran at Arkansas when he had Billy Ray Smith (millennials can Google Billy Ray Smith). They fly around to the ball and they create a ton of turnovers. Not good news for the Frogs’ offense, which has had the Turnover Flu this year.

Ball security will be key. The Jayhawks are ball-hawks.

Daniel Wise, KU defensive tackle, is an all-conference caliber player who spends a lot of time in the backfield. Kellton Hollins, TCU center, may not play against a better one all year. Other Jayhawks to look out for: Linebacker #29 Joe Dineen, Jr. is the leading tackler and is a great player. The secondary is led by safety Hasan Defense (yes, you read that correctly) who has three interceptions.

Head Coach Gary Patterson prepares to lead the Horned Frogs onto the field as TCU hosts OU earlier this month. The Horned Frogs travel to Kansas to meet the Jayhawks on Saturday. Photo by Rodger Mallison

Head Coach Gary Patterson prepares to lead the Horned Frogs onto the field as TCU hosts OU earlier this month. The Horned Frogs travel to Kansas to meet the Jayhawks on Saturday. Photo by Rodger Mallison

Offensively, the Jayhawks have struggled. They want to throw the ball to Stephen Sims, their best wide out, but they’re still looking for an arm. Kansas has huge issues on offense and are still searching for a quarterback. Head Coach David Beaty fired Doug Meacham, offensive coordinator/QB coach, two weeks ago and took over the play-calling and the QB mentoring. Last week at Texas Tech, the KU offense didn’t show much improvement. Three times in that game, the KU defense gave the offense the ball inside the Tech 20-yard line and the Jayhawks failed to cash in with just three points out of the three short field possessions. Kansas is last in the Big 12 in yards per pass attempt and they are leaning on a freshman running back, Pooka Williams and his 7 yards per carry to give the offense some spark.

The Frogs will be looking to notch win No. 1 of 2 in their two-week quest to win the “Sunflower Championship” by sweeping both Kansas schools. Next week it’s K-State at The Carter for a 2:30 p.m. kickoff.

The Frogs have not lost to KU since TCU joined the Big 12. Let’s keep it going.

We’re on the air at 1 p.m. tomorrow from Memorial Stadium in Lawrence on the TCU Sports Network. Lend an ear.

Kick ‘Em High!

It’s Officially TCU Basketball Season

October 25, 2018

Coach Jamie Dixon answered questions at the Big 12 Conference Men's Basketball Media Day on Oct. 24 in Kansas City. Photo by John Denton

Coach Jamie Dixon answered questions at the Big 12 Conference Men’s Basketball Media Day on Oct. 24 in Kansas City. Photo by John Denton

Hello from Kansas City and Big 12 Men’s Basketball Media Day! It’s officially basketball season when we make the trip up to the Sprint Center for this annual pre-season run through the gauntlet. Head Coach Jamie Dixon along with guard Alex Robinson and forward J.D. Miller are here to meet with national media.

Bob Bowlsby, Big 12 commissioner, announced that the conference championship will remain in KC through 2024 and that’s a good thing. If you haven’t been up here for the Big 12 Tournament, you need to get here. It’s a party and KC does it right. Also, Bowlsby announced the Big 12-Big East Challenge, which will begin next year.

Before we get too far here today, I want to wish my dad, Joe. D. Denton, a happy birthday. On Tuesday he turned 94 and he’s still as sharp as ever. He sees everything and is on top of things as the leader of the Denton clan. He also got a call on Tuesday from Coach Gary Patterson wishing him a happy birthday. Enough said.

My dad taught this: “Whatever you do reflects on the entire family and affects all in the family.”

Wise and especially appropriate words given the events of the week that have left TCU fans hurting and scratching their heads. Big Joe also taught me to keep swinging, work hard and good things will happen. As the Frogs prepare for KU this weekend, it’s back to the hard work.

We’ll take a look at Kansas on Friday. I gotta go, Bob Huggins is waiting and I don’t want to miss a chance to talk with the WVU coach – ALWAYS entertaining.

Kick ‘Em High!