September 17, 2018

5 Thoughts on TCU – Ohio State

TCU came up just short on Saturday at AT&T Stadium, but Horned Frog Nation has many reasons to be hopeful. Here are five.

Jalen Reagor, TCU touchdown

TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor runs downfield after catching a Shawn Robinson pass during the Advocare Classic at AT&T Stadium on 9-15-18. Reagor had seven receptions for 98 yards, a career high. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

September 17, 2018

5 Thoughts on TCU – Ohio State

TCU came up just short on Saturday at AT&T Stadium, but Horned Frog Nation has many reasons to be hopeful. Here are five.

5 Things we Noticed

1. Shawn Robinson is the real deal.

In his biggest game, on the biggest stage in front of 64,362 fans, during the most-watched college football game this year, the sophomore quarterback from Desoto, Texas, proved that he is an NFL-caliber talent. Poise in the pocket, dual-threat capabilities and down-field prowess highlighted Robinson’s game. The phenomenon threw for 308 yards, including a 42-yard sling to star receiver Jalen Reagor and a 51-yard touchdown to junior TreVontae Hights … through double coverage. While Robinson did throw a costly pick-six during Ohio State’s run of 20 unanswered points, the young signal caller was calm and collected against one of the most dominant programs in the country. Robinson can only improve from here, so Frog fans should be excited about what they have under center for the foreseeable future.

Shawn Robinson phenomenon

TCU quarterback Shawn Robinson, playing in the biggest game of his life, had a career-high 308 passing yards in a 40-28 loss to Ohio State. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

2. “Jet” is back.

In the second quarter, with the Frogs down by three, Robinson handed the ball off the Darius “Jet” Anderson on the 7-yard-line. The rest is history. Literally. Anderson ripped off a 93-yard touchdown run to put the frogs ahead of Ohio State, completing the longest rushing play in TCU history — breaking the record previously held by LaDainian Tomlinson, who watched on from the sidelines. It was also the longest play from scrimmage given up in Ohio State’s storied history. Anderson finished with 154 yards on 12 rushes, nabbing a nifty 16-yard diving touchdown in the third quarter. It looks as if “Jet” has returned to last year’s form, which can only mean good news for the Horned Frogs. And with junior Sewo Olonilua adding 33 yards and a gutsy 7-yard touchdown in the first quarter, Big 12 defenses should be fearing the TCU backfield.

Darius Anderson, Jet Anderson, TCU rushing record

A healthy Darius Anderson broke a TCU record with a 93-yard rushing touchdown against Ohio State. Photo by Glen E. Ellman


3. Speed Kills.

Ohio State defensive lineman Dre’Mont Jones told ESPN Staff Writer Adam Rittenberg that TCU was “the fastest team I’ve faced at the college level.” Compact, fast and nimble players have dominated Big 12 recruiting in recent years, much to the chagrin of programs in the Big 10 and SEC, which tend to rely on size and strength. But Gary Patterson’s squad used these David-like qualities against Ohio State’s Goliath. TCU tallied 511 yards to OSU’s 526. What’s more, TCU had a whopping eight receivers gain more than 10 yards through the air, a testament to the versatility and quickness of the Horned Frog offense. While the Frogs came up short, TCU’s undersized-but-fast personnel proved a viable strategy for success against one of the nation’s biggest teams.


4. The Big 12 is wide open.

A conference championship presumed to belong to Oklahoma by default has quickly changed into a wide-open race after the Sooners’ less-than-impressive showing at Iowa State on Saturday. Led by future Oakland Athletic Kyler Murray, OU beat the Cyclones 37-27 (the Sooners’ only 2017 regular-season loss was to the Cyclones, 38-30). Iowa State quarternack Zeb Noland shredded the Oklahoma defense for 360 yards and two scores, while the Sooners defense looked shaky amidst poor tackling. Previously unheralded Oklahoma State came away with a big win Saturday over 17th-ranked Boise State, 44-21, placing itself in a crowded race for the Big 12 title along with West Virginia and Heisman hopeful Will Grier. After what can only be described as an impressive loss Saturday night, TCU has a real shot of returning to AT&T stadium for the Big 12 Championship game on December 1.


5. The Frogs can play with anyone.

A series of unfortunate events in the third quarter solidified Ohio State’s win over the upstart — and previously leading — Horned Frogs. Three self-inflicted wounds — giving up a 63-yard touchdown run, a pick-six and dropping punt — buried TCU as a 21-13 lead quickly evaporated into a 33-21 deficit. Barring those significant miscues, TCU was matching the Buckeyes punch-for-punch, taking an eight-point lead early on in the third quarter. Horned Frog Nation should be reassured, rather than dismayed, at the way the team played at Jerry World. A mistake-free TCU team could have beaten Ohio State, a team many believe to be one of, if not the, best team in the country. Take heart. The future is bright.    

TreVontae Hights

TreVontae Hights is all smiles after scoring a 51-yard touchdown in the third quarter of the Advocare Classic at AT&T Stadium on Sept. 15. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

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