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November 30, 2015

5 thoughts on TCU-Baylor

Nasty conditions, Patterson magic and a sweet, sweet win.

The crowd of 47,675 fans was the seventh-largest in TCU history. They endured a 45-minute weather delay to start the game, and wind chills dipped into the 20s. (Photo by Sharon Ellman)

November 30, 2015

5 thoughts on TCU-Baylor

Nasty conditions, Patterson magic and a sweet, sweet win.

1. Elemental Football

Memories from Saturday’s sweet, sweet victory over Baylor will be of the unbridled joy we all felt at the end of the second overtime. A favorable outcome can easily erase the pure misery of standing outside for four hours in the worst imaginable weather, not to mention the 45-minute lightning delay. Dealing with the elements is part of being a football fan, though. Adapting to the conditions is the job of the staff and players, and the Frogs stepped up to the task. The offense pitched as mistake-free of a game as was possible, and the defense focused in to take advantage of every weather-related Baylor miscue. Defensive end Josh Carraway’s scoop-and-score was a testament to laser vision and follow-through effort, and in retrospect, perhaps the most important play of the night.

2. Pick Police

The main difference between the 2014 squad and this one was not the injuries, but the turnover differential. While the Chris Hackett-led ball hawks of 2014 snagged interceptions all the way through to Atlanta and the Peach Bowl, the current Frogs have been too busy adapting to new lineups to remember that they can be receivers, too. Until the last game of the season, of course. Freshman Julius Lewis grabbed what would have been the prettiest interception of the college football season had an unrelated penalty not negated his effort. Nick “Pick” Orr took an errant pass away from Baylor receiver Ishmael Zamora in what will hopefully be a preview of his 2016 heroics.

3. Going Steady

Given the nasty, wet conditions, ball security was at a premium. Punts were the flavor du jour, and first downs were not, as receivers on both sides had a tough time holding onto passes with numb fingers. With the continual changes of possession and close score for the duration, punt returner KaVontae Turpin needed to hold onto every kick sailing in his direction — cold hands be darned. Not only did Turp perform this crucial task with the grace of a senior, not a true freshman, but the team also relied on his steady hands to grab the touchdown pass that put the Frogs ahead for good.

4. The Patterson Magic

Yeah, we expect defensive genius from Gary Patterson on a yearly basis, and he delivers time and time again. Getting the 2015 Frogs up to snuff in the most explosive offensive conference in college football was going to be a tall task after the never-ending string of injuries. TCU played 30 redshirt and true freshmen this season, good for second in the NCAA. Could Patterson get the youngsters to play his brand of smashmouth defense? Why yes. By the end of the season, the Frogs launched as good of a defensive effort as they ever had by taking both Oklahoma’s and Baylor’s high-flying ambitions to the woodshed. Patterson AND the fresh-faced Frog defenders deserve legendary status for the grit they showed this season

5. Poetic Justice

No position involved more drama in 2015 than the linebacker corps. From attrition and injury to true freshmen and untimely ejection, no one knew how the defense would perform up the middle on any given week. Shame this happened at TCU, whose veteran LBs earned the program the moniker “Linebacker U.” But with challenge comes opportunity, and Ty Summers stepped up with an epic performance, garnering a Patterson-era record 23 tackles on the night. In light of all of the positional drama, Summers’ fateful stop on the game’s final play (with the help of Julius Lewis) put an exclamation point on the linebackers’ achievements of 2015 and the possibilities ahead.

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The TCU defense stopped Baylor running back Devin Chafin on fourth down in the second overtime to secure a 28-21 victory. (Photo by Sharon Ellman)

5 stats that stood out

1. TCU reached the 10-win plateau for the 10th time in 15 seasons with Gary Patterson as head coach. The Frogs have won double-digit games in season for the sixth time in the last eight years. Prior to Patterson’s arrival in Fort Worth in 1998, TCU had just four seasons of 10 wins or better.

2. The Frog defense was outstanding on a rainy night. Baylor was held to a season-low 21 points, which was fewest for the Bears since 2013, and just 62 yards passing, lowest since the 2002 season. Baylor went 17 consecutive possessions without scoring a point, its longest streak under Art Briles. TCU also held the Bears for three straight quarters without scoring a point, the longest streak since 2009.

3. TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin’s 14-yard completion to Jarrison Stewart was his first completion of the game and broke Andy Dalton’s program record of 812. Boykin now has 830. The first-quarter touchdown was TCU’s 25th straight game with a score in the opening frame, a Big 12 record and tied for the nation’s longest stretch since 1996. On the ground, Boykin scored his career-high ninth rushing touchdown of the season and 27th of his career, ranking seventh in TCU history.

4. Freshman linebacker Ty Summers had a team-high 23 tackles, which were the most ever in the Patterson era, as well as the most by any Big 12 defender since 2000. Pretty good for a guy making his fourth career start. The 23 stops were sixth-most in TCU history and most since Scott Taft recorded 30 tackles versus UTEP in 1997. Fellow freshman Travin Howard had a career high 19 stops and senior defensive tackle Davion Pierson, in his final home game, had a career-high 13 tackles, including 3 1/2 for loss, with a sack and fumble recovery.

5. Baylor and TCU held each other to less than four yards per play on the game. Each offense entered the game averaging more than seven yards per play. Baylor entered the game averaging 7.93 yards per play, which led the Big 12, but was held to only 3.5 yards per play. (TCU ranked second in the conference with 7.15 yards per play, but was limited to 3.8 yards per play in the nasty conditions.

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Sophomore wide receiver Emmanuel Porter led the Horned Frogs with three catches for 48 yards. (Photo by Sharon Ellman)

5 tweets (plus one more) that told the tale