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November 27, 2017

5 Thoughts on TCU – Baylor

The Frogs shook off a slow start and proceeded to make short order of the Bears, setting up a rematch with Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game.

November 27, 2017

5 Thoughts on TCU – Baylor

The Frogs shook off a slow start and proceeded to make short order of the Bears, setting up a rematch with Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game.

5 Things We Noticed

1. Morning has Broken

As it has been prone to do much of the season, TCU got off to a troublesome start. The offense took the field looking half-asleep — or still sluggish from too much Thanksgiving pie — and promptly lost the ball, resulting in a first-possession safety, the first against TCU in more than 10 years. The defense, never to be outdone, wiped the sleep out of its eyes and allowed Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer to toss a long ball to Blake Lynch for a 54-yard touchdown. The 9-0 deficit, accrued after a minute-and-a-half of game time, lulled the crowd back to sleep. We’ve been saying it all season, but the Frogs need to start hot and create tough conditions for opponents from the opening whistle. Beating Oklahoma on Saturday probably requires it.

2. That’s Our Boesen

Bow down to Mat Boesen, the new TCU record holder for most sacks in a game. The senior defensive end from Torrance, California, broke through futile attempts to block him and rushed into Baylor’s backfield to terrorize Brewer for the game’s duration. While Baylor’s freshman quarterback delivered on some dimes and did his best to rally the 1-11 Bears, his attempts at executing the offense were undermined by Boesen all afternoon. TCU’s #9 caused a first-quarter fumble and went on to garner five-and-a-half sacks. The tackles behind the line of scrimmage resulted in a loss of 34 yards for the Bears and earned Boesen National Defensive Player of the Week honors from the Walter Camp Football Foundation. Part of what ruined TCU’s evening several weeks ago in Norman, Oklahoma, was Boesen’s first-quarter expulsion. If the defensive star can do his thing in Arlington, Texas, on Saturday, well, Baker Mayfield will be hard-pressed to have another career day.

Mat Boesen, #9, is the new TCU record holder for most sacks in a game. Photos by Glen E. Ellman

3. Relying on Reagor

Every so often, a special football player dons the purple and white and starts contributing in big-game situations from day one. This season’s freshman phenom has undoubtedly been Jalen Reagor, the wideout from nearby Waxahachie. As the year progressed, he went from being a big-play threat to one of quarterback Kenny Hill’s favored targets. Reagor is second to John Diarse in both number of targets and total yards on the season, but the frosh is leading the pack in touchdown receptions with six. In a program that has boasted several future pro receivers in recent years, the heir apparent couldn’t be clearer.

4. All Hail the Seniors

Early in the fourth quarter, first and goal, quarterback Kenny Hill decides to run the ball for a touchdown. In addition to this three-yard run, Hill also had three touchdown passes. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

Early in the fourth quarter, first and goal, quarterback Kenny Hill decides to run the ball for a touchdown. In addition to this three-yard run, Hill had three touchdown passes. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

Remember when sports commentators (professional and amateur) said that TCU could not compete in the Big 12? The 2017 class of seniors didn’t get the message. They’ve won an astounding 26 conference games in four years and garnered at least 10 wins in three of those campaigns. As an extra bonus, many of these Horned Frog heroes saved the best for the last game at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Hill perhaps had his best game for TCU, throwing for an easy-looking 325 yards and three touchdowns and scampering for another score. Kyle Hicks scored his 19th career touchdown, good for first among active Big 12 running backs. Desmon White caught a touchdown on an afternoon when he looked like an NFL wideout. Nick Orr and Anthony Texada were their usual masterful selves in the secondary, and the offensive line quietly greased the offensive wheels. TCU fans are really going to miss these guys, at least on the collegiate gridiron. The big league may be calling, so don’t get too bummed. (The NFL Draft happens to take place at the same stadium TCU plays in the Big 12 Championship.)

5. Still Climbing

The College Football Playoff has been a miraculous development, at least if you ask the undefeated TCU teams of 2009 and 2010, who had zero chance to compete for a national championship. But only four teams can make the national mini-tournament. Lots of great programs finish the season with a high-profile bowl game preceded by a conference championship game. The Big 12 reinstated its post-season dustup after a six-year hiatus. To no one’s surprise, the Frogs will make an appearance. For perspective: Baylor, Texas Tech, Iowa State, Kansas, West Virginia and Oklahoma State have never been successful enough to earn a spot in the showdown. Saturday’s game alone is a monumental accomplishment this season. It’s time for college football’s best and brightest programs to get down to serious business. It’s one more milestone for Coach Gary Patterson and crew. Fans will show up in droves to express an opinion on who they believe to be the best team in the Big 12. Will your voice be a part of the conversation?


5 Tweets That Told the Tale

 

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