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November 6, 2017

5 Thoughts on TCU – Texas

After one Saturday off the tracks against Iowa State, TCU returned to its course to show Texas Longhorns who really runs the state.

November 6, 2017

5 Thoughts on TCU – Texas

After one Saturday off the tracks against Iowa State, TCU returned to its course to show Texas Longhorns who really runs the state.

5 Things We Noticed

1. Beware of the Wild Thang

All season, TCU has relied on the Wild Frog formation to score at the goal line by snapping the ball to Sewo Olonilua for a direct run up the middle. The play has been trusty more often than not. Unfortunately, the formation turned into a frustrating no-gainer in the loss to Iowa State. So, when Olonilua lined up under center in the first half against Texas, some TCU fans sighed and quietly cursed. They wanted to see a new and exciting play, and, well, that’s what they got. The ball instead ended up in the hands of KaVontae Turpin, who then tossed it to Olonilua for a thrilling play that ended just a yard shy of the end zone. Kyle Hicks sealed the deal. The offense returned to a vanilla ground-and-pound game plan after the Frogs jumped to an early lead, but was the SavageFrog play an indication of the tricks offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie is saving for the year’s remaining games?

Quarterback Kenny Hill scans the gridiron for a receiver during the game against West Virginia. On Saturday, Hill released the ball as fast as 0.6 seconds. Photo by Glen E Ellman
Quarterback Kenny Hill scans the gridiron for a receiver during the game against West Virginia. On Saturday, Hill released the ball as fast as 0.6 seconds. Photo by Glen E Ellman

2. Catch and Release

Quarterback Kenny Hill probably rocks at playing Hot Potato. Once snapped, he got the ball out of his hands quickly – less than a second quickly. His reaction time was on point. His judgment was solid. He knew when to make the trusty screen pass, when to run the pigskin himself and when to pick any number of reliable receivers. Hill’s 12 consecutive completions ranked second in TCU history for a single game. His passes to seven different receivers totaled 146 yards. His rushing yard total was only surpassed by running back Darius Anderson’s.

3. Sacked

TCU punished Texas quarterback Shane Buechele with SEVEN sacks, a season-high for the Frogs. The defensive middle continues to be unforgiving to opposing offenses. Holes in the line were nonexistent on Saturday, and the Longhorns finished with just NINE yards on the ground. The Frogs are leading the country right now by allowing the fewest yards-per-carry by their opponents. TCU’s success at stacking the box is forcing opponents to throw the ball if they plan on scoring points. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield will take just this tactic next week in Norman, but we suspect the TCU secondary will be up to the challenge. When this season is settled, we’ll have to ask: Was the 2017 Horned Frog defensive squad the best unit of Gary Patterson’s entire tenure? The guys are making a strong case.

4. Coach P’s House

Coach Patterson is not the welcome wagon. In Tom Herman’s first visit to Fort Worth as Texas head coach, Coach P sent him home with a loss. Sounds like a good way to celebrate Patterson’s 100th home game with TCU.

5. Routine Win

It’s ironic that the game finished with a final score of 24-7. Beating Texas has become so normal and so expected that the contest hardly merits circling on the schedule, at least from TCU’s perspective. Patterson told a Frog Club gathering last week that Texas played TCU’s fight song throughout spring practice because beating the Horned Frogs has become an important aspiration for the once-mighty program down in Austin. Though the Frogs can now dust cow hair off of their shoulders and move on to tougher opponents, fans should take a second to realize the magnitude of these four-straight wins over the Longhorns. Last time this happened was between 1935 and 1938.


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