The Horned Frogs got everything they could handle from a Minnesota team that simply would not quit. Just when it looked like TCU was on their way to open up the game, Minnesota took advantage of TCU’s mistakes and missed opportunities.
Things got very interesting when Gopher QB Mitch Leidner found K.J. Maye in the end zone with 1:32 left in the game to bring Minnesota within six points.
The game really wasn’t as close as the final score though, and it was the win the Horned Frogs needed.
|3rd Down Eff||7-19 (37%)||4-15 (27%)|
|4th Down Eff||0-0||1-2 (50%)|
|Pass Comp %||26-42 (62%)||19-35 (54%)|
|Yds Per Pass||5.7||5.3|
|Yds Per Rush||4.6||3.7|
KEY POINT TO THE GAME
After Gopher QB Mitch Leidner found Maye in the end zone to bring Minnesota within 6 points with 1:32 remaining on the clock, the home team seemed to have the momentum. The ensuing onside kick didn’t take the hop the Gophers were looking for and TCU came away with it. This essential iced the game for the Frogs.
Positives For TCU
Fast Start For The Defense – TCU forced the Gophers to punt on their first five possessions of the game and a fumble on their sixth. The fumble led to an 11 yard TD pass from Boykin to Josh Doctson.
Fumbling into the end zone seems counterproductive IMO. pic.twitter.com/B4qE4vuKKl
— SB✯Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) September 4, 2015
Held Off The Gritty Gophers – Granted this wasn’t the showing TCU was hoping for, but they got the win at night, on the road and on opening day against a very determined Minnesota team. It might not reflect in the final score, but TCU came out ahead in nearly every facet of the game.
Negatives For TCU
Trevone Boykin – The Heisman hopeful went 26-42 for 246 yards, 2 TD and 1 INT. He was also TCU’s leading rusher tallying 92 yards on the ground. Not terrible numbers by any means, but Boykin’s inconsistency should be a concern. He badly overthrew two wide open receivers in the second half. Both of which would have been touchdowns to help put the game away. Also, Boykin seemed to take an unnecessary number of hits while racing for his 92 yards on the ground. It’s a long season. Gary Patterson will need to find ways for his QB to take fewer shots.
Making Defenders Miss – One difference that seemed to stand out from TCU’s offense compared to 2014’s squad was the explosive plays after the catch. Or rather lack thereof. Credit Minnesota for excellent open-field tackling. The Horned Frogs just didn’t make the offensive highlight reel people were expecting.
WHAT THE WIN MEANS FOR TCU
It means that they have work to do but it also means they’re still 1-0. While many other FBS teams will be playing “directional schools” on opening weekend, TCU went into a tough Minnesota atmosphere at night, and came out with a win. If the Gophers go on to make some noise in the Big Ten West, this could be one of those wins that looks much better in November than it does in September.
Horned Frog PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Jaden Oberkrom – The TCU kicker went three for four on field goals and two for two on PAT’s accounting for 11 points. Oberkrom even booted through a 53-yard bomb for the game’s first points. In a road game where your offense doesn’t look its best, 11 points from your kicker can be (and was) the difference maker. His performance is especially impressive considering the Gophers’ stadium tactics.
Minnesota is using Dramatic Chipmunk to distract kickers & it's working! TCU is 1-2 on FG attempts. (via @jack_kiwi) pic.twitter.com/qGSqrbOBMb
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 4, 2015
Trevone Boykin – He’s a negative and a player of the game, such is the complexity of Boykin. Truthfully, I was expecting more fireworks from the Frog’s QB. However he still threw for 246 yards and had a passing and rushing touchdown. On top of being TCU’s leading rusher, Boykin’s 19 yard TD run to finish off the opening second half drive was the electrifying run the TCU faithful had been expecting to see.
Trevone Boykin already creating that Heisman highlight reel. TCU 17, Minn. 3. https://t.co/u4FUBq8BJc
— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) September 4, 2015
Emptying The Notebook
TCU scored the fewest points in a game since 2013, but that’s not entirely on the offense. Minnesota likes to wear down the clock, and the Frogs had opportunities to pad the scoreboard.
Minnesota didn’t exactly test the secondary, but still, Frog Nation has to like what they saw out of the defense.
We said third down was going to be a key to the game, and TCU won that battle. They held the Golden Gophers on 11 of 15 third downs.