What a difference a week (and a non FCS opponent) made for the TCU Horned Frogs. Last weekend the Horned Frogs had no problem dismantling Stephen F. Austin in a 63-point victory. This week, as the Frogs warm up for Big 12 play, they struggled to put away an SMU team that’s suddenly a quality opponent with Chad Morris as head coach.
It’s easier to understand TCU’s struggles when you take into consideration the number of injuries that the defense is coping with. College football is an unforgiving mistress though, and it’s not going to get easier anytime soon. Going forward the Horned Frogs will continue to rely on their offenses ability to out score opponents until they’re defense can catch back up.
|3rd Down Eff||5-15||5-9|
|4th Down Eff||1-3||0-2|
|Yds Per Pass||9.7||14.2|
|Yds Per Rush||3.7||6.5|
KEY POINT IN THE GAME
The Horned Frogs and Mustangs traded scoring runs throughout the game with the Mustangs refusing to go quietly into the night. TCU finally put SMU away for good when QB Trevone Boykin connected with WR Josh Doctson on a 42-yard touchdown pass, putting the Horned Frogs up 49-37.
— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) September 20, 2015
POSITIVES FOR TCU
The Offense – The offense racked up a total of 720 yards and 28 first downs on the way to scoring 56 points. The Horned Frogs spread the ball around with nine different players who had receptions and six different players who carried the ball. TCU will need to continue to rely on spreading the ball around if they’re going to continue to put up big numbers on offense.
Aaron Green – In our preview of this game we noted that the Horned Frogs would need to get Green going and rely on him more in this game. The Horned Frogs relied on their leading running back as he had 21 rushes for 164 yards and two touchdowns. Green’s ability to keep defenses honest with his runs will be a big key for the Horned Frogs going forward.
NEGATIVES FOR TCU
Penalties – To say that the Horned Frogs struggled all game with penalties would be an understatement. TCU accumulated 9 flags that cost them a total of 115 yards, they simply cannot afford to be this sloppy in Big 12 play. You can bet that Gary Patterson will address the sloppy play this week and make sure that games like today’s aren’t a habit.
Injuries – When it rains it pours and unfortunately for the Horned Frogs they’re in the middle of an injury hurricane. In tonight’s game the Horned Frogs lost two more defensive starters for the season, that brings the total number of defensive starters out for the season to seven through the first three games. The Horned Frogs cannot afford to have any more injuries on defense if they expect to survive this season.
The Defense – In large part the defense struggled because they’re dealing with a glut of injuries for a unit that was already replacing a ton of production from last years team. The simple fact of the matter is that TCU doesn’t have the bodies needed to cover all of the gaps that were created with players leaving the team after last season and this season due to injury. The Horned Frogs gave up 37 points and 508 yards to an SMU team that has just begun to rebuild themselves, Big 12 offenses will be a much tougher challenge for the Horned Frogs going forward.
TCU PLAYER OF THE GAME
Trevone Boykin – Boykin continued to be the engine of the TCU offense tonight with 454 yards passing and five touchdowns passes to go along with 50 yards rushing and one rushing touchdown. The Horned Frogs will rely on Boykin to keep their playoff hopes afloat as they will need their offense to continue to operate at maximum efficiency for the remainder of the year if they want to continue winning.
Boykin gets flipped and then tossed a nice TD. pic.twitter.com/CnPfowNc5W
— Kyle Lang (@sports_kylelang) September 20, 2015
WHAT THE WIN MEANS
TCU enters Big 12 play at 3-0 just everyone in the country expected them to do. There are big questions on the defensive side of the ball for coach Patterson to figure out going forward. Unfortunately the Horned Frogs won’t have much time to regroup as they head to Lubbock next weekend to face a Texas Tech team that just completed a confidence building win in Arkansas. The Horned Frogs will need their offense to produce at a high level now more than ever.
EMPTYING THE NOTEBOOK
TCU now leads the all time series with SMU 47-40-7.
SMU is now 125-178-21 against Big 12 opponents.
It took SMU nine games to score 90 points last season this season they’ve scored 89 points in their first three.