From The Other Side: TCU

Each week, BearsIllustrated.com will dig deeper into the opponent by interviewing a media member from the opposing team. This week Jeremy Clark, from HornedFrogBlitz.com, helps us learn more about the TCU Horned Frogs.

In our sixth question and answer series, BearsIllustrated caught up with HornedFrogBlitz.com Publisher, Jeremy Clark, to dig deeper in to the TCU Horned Frogs and answer questions regarding the upcoming game against in Waco, Texas. This game will be televised nationally on the ABC/ESPN Network on Saturday, at 2:30 PM. Come inside The Bear Pit, as we discuss this top 10 matchup, and the first of its kind in the new McLane Stadium!

--- TCU has always been known for their great defense, but it seems the offense is beginning to gain a lot of attention. What have been the keys for Coach Cumbie and Coach Meacham to get things rolling in Ft. Worth?

I believe for the most part, the biggest key was just getting the players to buy into a new system; which understandably was easy to do after two disappointing seasons in the Big 12. What's made the offense work in my opinion was a set of skill players that already had the talent, it was just finding a way to get them more involved and have fun while doing it. If you ask any offensive player, they're having a ton of fun in this system and love playing for Coach Cumbie and Meacham. The Frogs have also improved up front by leaps and bounds compared to last year. Trevone Boykin took a lot of heat last year for inconsistent play, but he was running for his life nearly every week while the offensive line struggled to block anyone. Combine improved play up front and a set of talented skill players, both coaches just had to prove this offense works. And so far, they have.

--- Most of the success of the TCU offense has come from Trevone Boykin. Talk about his leadership growth and what he has done to take the reigns of that offense and make it as explosive as it has become.

It's really remarkable to see the transformation Boykin has taken this season. It started in the off-season when he really dedicated himself to playing quarterback. I also feel the transfer of Matt Joeckel lit a spark as well. Boykin spent the off-season working out; losing 20 pounds. He also spent more time watching film and throwing to his receivers on a daily basis. Coach Cumbie being around really helped his development and as Gary Patterson has mentioned this week, both Cumbie and Meacham taught him the value of being a team player instead of individual. Last year, Boykin tried too often to put a team on his shoulders to win. Now, he's relying as much on others to go out and make plays. The media joked with him earlier this week asking him what position he is now. Before the season, I think many labeled him as an athlete that plays quarterback. Now, he's a quarterback that's an athlete. I think everyone is done with the days of seeing Boykin at receiver.

--- The TCU defense made some key stops and had a key turnover to ice the game last week, but the OU offense had some success moving the ball. What are some of the concerns that TCU has on the defensive side of the ball, heading in to the Baylor game?

Two things are of concern; quarterback scrambles and vertical passes. TCU held Oklahoma to 152 yards on the ground, but a majority of that came from quarterback Trevor Knight on scrambles. The Frogs front did another good job of slowing down an opponents running back, this time they held Samaje Perine to just 87 yards on 25 carries. He didn't have a run over 10 yards until the third quarter. Unfortunately though, Knight had some big plays on scrambles and that's been a problem in two games this season for the Frogs when facing a quarterback that can make plays with his legs. The other issue, giving up deep passes, was exposed against the Sooners. Oklahoma receiver Sterling Sheperd hauled in over 200 receiving yards and overall the Frogs gave up five passes over 35 yards. They did a good job to limiting those plays in the second half as Knight only threw for 79 yards. But, with aggressive play from TCU safeties, they sometimes fall for play-action passes. No doubt Baylor will "ride" the play-action passes on Saturday; they're probably the best in the league at doing so.

--- TCU had their starter at DT, Pierson, go out with an injury. What is his status and are there any other injuries that TCU might be worried about?

Patterson told media on Wednesday that Pierson is ready to go and so is the rest of the team. That's one plus of having two bye weeks at the beginning of the season; the Frogs have remained pretty healthy in four ball games.

--- It seems this “rivalry” has grown in nastiness over the past few years. What are your thoughts on its revival, and what are you keys to the game on Saturday? And who do you see prevailing in this clash of top 10 teams?

I love the rivalry; I agree with what Patterson said on Wednesday, this game should be played at the end of the year. It's easy to see that the two programs have a lot of respect for each other and both have made tremendous strides to get their respective programs where they are today. Who would've thought that TCU-Baylor would be the marquee game the same day Texas and Oklahoma are battling each other in the Red River Rivalry?

My keys to the game are simple; score early and often, limit big plays through the air, and pressure Petty all night. If they can score early, it will give them confidence on the road. If they limit the Bears' big plays through the air, in other words don't let Goodley and Cannon run wild, they will have a chance. Lastly, putting pressure on Petty is key; they have to force him into making mistakes. If they do those three things and don't turne the ball over, they may get out of Waco with an upset win. Regardless who wins, it's going to be a great game to watch.

BearsIllustrated wants to thank Jeremy Clark for taking the time to answer questions. Baylor fans be sure to follow Jeremy on twitter @JClarkHFB and also at HornedFrogBlitz for all information on TCU Football leading up to the 2:30 pm kickoff on Saturday, October 11th at McLane Stadium.


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