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September 23, 2018

5 Thoughts on TCU’s Loss to Texas

The Frogs left Austin without a historic fifth-straight win over the Longhorns. What happened? What’s next?

Sad TCU fans

Young TCU fans look on as TCU loses to Ohio State in the Advocare Classic at AT&T Stadium on Sept. 15, 2018. Photo by Glen E. Ellman

September 23, 2018

5 Thoughts on TCU’s Loss to Texas

The Frogs left Austin without a historic fifth-straight win over the Longhorns. What happened? What’s next?

5 Things we Noticed

1. Running on Empty

TCU’s run game has been THE story in the last several meetups between the Frogs and Horns. In 2016, Darius Anderson ran for 103 yards in Austin. Last year, Anderson gashed ’em for 99. But TCU’s running backs couldn’t get the stove hotter than warm on Saturday. Texas has wised up on defense and held “Jet” to 15 yards, and he had to earn every inch. Shawn Robinson was the only Frog to find holes through the Longhorns’ defense. He was TCU’s leading rusher with 57 yards. Though TCU outgained Texas in total yardage (372-367), the lack of a substantial run game proved fatal, helping Texas thwart TCU’s attempt at a history-making fifth-straight series victory.

 

2. Come Undone

After standing toe-to-toe last week against a behemoth in Ohio State, the TCU offense struggled in Austin. Shawn Robinson completed 17 of 29 passing attempts for 197 yards, a touchdown and two particularly ugly interceptions. The offense was littered with dropped passes, and play-calling was cluttered with gut runs and predictable screen passes. Saturday’s performance was a far cry from the impressive display TCU faithful saw at AT&T stadium. It seemed Sonny Cumbie and Gary Patterson relied less on options and spread offenses this week, opting for a more traditional pocket for Robinson to throw from. Little movement from the quarterback on the ground and an offensive line that looked shaky at best were also contributing factors to a 16-point showing. This Horned Frog attack has shown flashes of brilliance this season, but miscues and poor execution sealed their fate against the Longhorns.

 

3. The Red

The 2018 schedule doesn’t get much more forgiving from here on out. An upstart Texas Tech squad and a stronger-than-feared Baylor team mean that the Big 12 round-robin doesn’t have any gimmes. So the Frogs need to capitalize on end zone points when they can smell the opportunity. Saturday’s FOUR missed touchdown opportunities from inside Texas’ 25-yard-line won’t cut it if the Frogs want to be league contenders. For the rest of the season, SEE SCORE – GET SCORE. (No offense to Jonathan Song’s steady leg, but 3 < 7, so but field goals leave a bit to be desired).

 

4. Reverse This Curse

So … the third quarter is not TCU’s thing this season. In consecutive weeks during the 15 blasted minutes otherwise known as the third quarter, the Frogs have driven the dagger into their big purple hearts and self-sabotaged in huge games. Brain game meltdowns during the third quarter have led — in the span of eight days — to four turnovers, one blocked punt, 293 yards allowed, and 35 points allowed. It is time for Coach P to preach fire and brimstone in the locker room at halftime. If he has an audible voice as the second half begins next Saturday, he’s doing something wrong.

5. Even Flow

Last week, TCU, Iowa State and Oklahoma State were the impressors of the conference. This week it was Texas, West Virginia and Texas Tech. The latter two throttled their conference opponents, and Tech thrust into the Associated Press rankings for the first time this season, keeping the Big 12’s total of ranked programs at four. Oklahoma underwhelmed — besides a flashy Kyler Murray rushing touchdown in the second quarter — again, narrowly slipping past Army in overtime. All of this is to say what we already knew: The Big 12 is a toss up. And, for the most part, evenly matched. Which means TCU will still have plenty of opportunities to bolster its resume and can keep conference championship hopes still in sight. Next up is a tough Iowa State team under the lights at Amon Carter stadium. Be there.

 

5 Tweets That Told the Tale

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1 Comment

  1. First and foremost 7-0 in turnovers the last 2 weeks has killed this team. Not to mention it should be 8 with the blocked punt it works the same as a turnover. I was shocked to see the defensive play calling to be passive at best. Many times with 3rd and long and rush 3 and give up a big play. I would rather be beaten being aggressive than being passive and letting the other team take the attack to TCU. I think Shawn Robinson needs to start playing at the high level that he can play. I don’t think seeing him smiling after the pick is a good look. This team has talent but something seems to be missing. Do we have leaders? Are the leaders the right people to be put in that place?

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