5 Thoughts Peach: TCU 42, Ole Miss 3

Recap, 5 Thoughts and what's next for each team after the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl

Dec. 31 Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl
TCU 42, Ole Miss 3
And You Care Because … TCU dominated from the opening drive with a trick play leading to a 31-yard touchdown pass from RB Aaron Green to Kolby Listenbee to spark 42-0 run before Ole Miss finally got on the board in the fourth quarter on a 27-yard Gary Wunderlich field goal. Trevone Boykin threw three touchdown passes with two to Josh Doctson from 12 and 27 yards out and a 35-yarder to Listenbee, and the D got involved with James McFarland intercepting a pass on the Ole Miss goal line for a score. The Rebels managed just 139 yards of total offense
What Else? TCU QB Trevone Boykin completed 22-of-31 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns with three interceptions, and ran ten times for 65 yards and a score
- Ole Miss QB Bo Wallace completed 10-of-23 passes for 109 yards and three picks
- Turnovers: Ole Miss 4 – TCU 4
- Third down conversions: TCU 8-of-14 – Ole Miss 3-of-15
Game Rating: D

By Pete Fiutak
1. There’s absolutely no question that TCU proved that it could’ve and would’ve been a major force in a playoff format of any type, and there’s absolutely no question that this was TCU being dominant and not Ole Miss coming into the game disinterested, but don’t let a dominant blowout bowl win take away from what actually happened. Remember, for all the screaming about how TCU dropped from No. 3 to No. 6, and for all the discussion that’s going to ensue regarding what kind of a statement the program made with this win, remember, the College Football Playoff committee was going with conference champions – a blasting of Ole Miss doesn’t change that.

Yes, TCU is technically a Big 12 champion, but it still was ranked behind Baylor, who won the tie-breaker in terms of the conference championship. So it’s not about Ohio State getting in over TCU, it’s about Baylor not getting in. There are only four spots, and fair or not, right or not, someone had to be left out. The process might not have seemed fair – no, it’s not right to toy with TCU like the CFP did with the drop in the rankings despite the blowout over Iowa State – but that was the deal.

By Rich Cirminiello
2. Hotty Shoddy.

Isn’t it ironic that what TCU just did to Ole Miss in Atlanta was eerily reminiscent of how Ohio State abused Wisconsin in Indianapolis at the beginning of the month? Unfortunately, timing being everything, the Frogs’ statement effort came on New Year’s Eve, while the Buckeyes’ occurred just hours before the College Football Playoff committee met to determine its four participants.

TCU absolutely bludgeoned Ole Miss, rendering the Rebels impotent in every imaginable phase of the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl. The Frogs were better prepared, clearly more motivated and faster … by a surprisingly wide margin. At the line of scrimmage, a supposed strength for Ole Miss, TCU ran circles around the Rebels.

Did the Horned Frogs belong in the College Football Playoff? Maybe, but it matters little to speculate at this point, even if it is fun to envision how Trevone Boykin & Co. might have fared against the ‘Bama D in the Sugar Bowl. Gosh almighty, that late collapse at Baylor on Oct. 11 will forever be known as the darkest quarter of football in TCU history.

By Pete Fiutak
3. It’ll be interesting to see how TCU and the Big 12 are perceived going into next year. It’s not fair or right to use anything from the year before in the rankings for the following season, but of course that’s always going to happen. Now, TCU showed that it can not only win a big New Year’s Six bowl, but dominate to the point of making an SEC West team look like a Sun Belt also-ran. How amazing was this performance? Remember, Ole Miss beat Alabama, Boise State and Mississippi State – three New Year’s Six bowl teams. This was a team loaded with as much talent among the frontline starters as anyone outside of the playoff, and it was a team that came into the game with the No. 1 defense in the country. Instead, TCU came up with a special effort on both sides of the ball, and now, in retrospect, the team was one fourth down conversion away from being in the four and being a massive threat to do big things. Now the hype will kick in for Trevone Boykin and the program for the next eight months, and it’s absolutely deserved and earned.

4. What’s next for Ole Miss
How many seniors are there on the offensive two-deep? Two – Bo Wallace, and backup tight end Nicholas Parker. It’ll be a battle between DeVante Kincaide and Ryan Buchanan to take over for Wallace, and the offense might look a little bit different. A lot depends on the health of several key players with star WR Laquon Treadwell trying to come back from his horrific leg injury and with OT Laremy Tunsil getting injured in the bowl game. In all, though, all five starters are expected to return to the O line – again, depending on Tunsil’s health – and the rest of the O should be loaded with everyone returning at running back, tight end Evan Engram returning, and almost all the top wide receivers back.

The defense suffers some big hits losing pickoff machines Senquez Golson and Cody Prewitt, but Tony Conner is back in the secondary. The linebacking corps has to undergo an overhaul, but the line should get almost everyone back working around Robert Nkemdiche on the inside. There’s depth to go along with all of the high-end talent. PK Gary Wunderlich is back after a decent freshman year, and P Will Gleeson is back after averaging 43 yards per punt.

5. What’s next for TCU
The fun should continue on offense with QB Trevone Boykin back along with the top three receivers back and only likely to lose David Porter. The backfield gets everyone of note back including Aaron Green and B.J. Catalon as a potentially devastating 1-2 punch of the O goes to the ground game a bit more. The line loses LT Tayo Fabuluje but gets everyone else back – it should be a line that starts five seniors.

The defense is potentially just as dangerous, losing DT Chucky Hunter but getting back everyone else in the front four. Finding linebackers is never a problem for the TCU, but it’s still not fun losing Paul Dawson and Marcus Mallet. CB Kevin White and SS Sam Carter are gone, but the secondary gets back three starters and should be excellent if the linebackers can do their part in the 4-2-5. PK Jaden Oberkrom is back after a big year, but P Ethan Perry has to be better after failing to average 40 yards per kick.

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