Initial Thoughts On Iowa State Loss

We break down our thoughts on TCU's loss to Iowa State.

The Horned Frogs suffered their first loss of the season Saturday afternoon with a 37-23 loss to Iowa State. It was the Frogs' first loss in thirteen games and only the second loss at home since 2007.

The Frogs turnover problem continued and it finally caught up to them as they faced a good Cyclone defense.

Here's some random thoughts on the game I had while watching from the booth.

1. Iowa State receiver Josh Lenz had only five career touchdown receptions coming into the TCU game. He had three against the Frogs on Saturday. He got away with an obvious push off on his 51-yard score. How I saw that from the pressbox and thousands of fans saw the same thing yet the referees missed it is a mystery to me. One player who didn't miss the action was likely Baylor receiver Terrance Williams, who had over 300 yards against West Virginia last week.

2. Give the Cyclones credit; they threw a curve ball starting Jared Barnett over Steel Jantz. Barnett gave the Cyclones a spark that they needed and I don't think there's any quarterback controversy in the Cyclones' future.

3. Offensive line play looked the same as it had against Virginia and SMU in the first quarter; sloppy. Then, they came alive. If there was a unit that I feel performed well, it was the offensive line. They created several running lanes for B.J. Catalon on the day. They did give up four sacks, but at least three of those can be credited to the Cyclone secondary with great coverage.

4. When was the last time we saw TCU hit on deep balls as much as their opponents do?

5. Although the team lost, you've got to like what the future has in store. This team started a freshman at quarterback, a freshman at runningback and two freshmen on the offensive line. The offense only has three senior starters while the defense only has one.

6. Nine lost fumbles on the year. Nine. The Frogs turnovers finally caught up with them against Iowa State. You can't turn the ball over two times inside an opponent's five yard line and expect to beat a team with a good defense, especially with a young offense. I don't think I've ever seen a TCU team with such a turnover issue.

7. Without question, the best linebacker duo in the Big 12 is A.J. Klein and Jake Knott. The two combined for 22 tackles, 1 sack, 2 tackles for loss and 1 interception on the day. Knott seemed to be wherever the ball was every down and Klein usually wasn't far behind.

8. Trevone Boykin showed us what he can do and Casey Pachall can't do at the 9:57 mark in the second quarter. Of course, there were some plays that he didn't make with his arm that Casey could've. Although he threw three interceptions, I felt Boykin was the biggest reason the Frogs stayed in the game. He made plays with his feet and did make some good throws. His 28-yard completion to Brandon Carter in the second quarter was honestly a throw I didn't think he could make yet. He did admirable in his first start, were there some unfortunate throws, sure, but overall he really did keep TCU in this game.

9. Before what I have to say on this, let me preface and say that I love Patterson's style of defense. But…I would scrap the three man rush on 3rd and longs. I don't know the percentages, but I have to believe that the success of stopping a conversion is far less than the opponents making a first down.

10. Aviante Collins did his best Michael Oher impression at the 2:10 mark in the second quarter on Aundre Dean's 24-yard run. Collins blocked his guy all the way off the field and into the Iowa State sideline almost all the way into the student section.

11. Where would this team be without Skye Dawson's kickoff return ability? He consistently gives the Frogs good field position and today he was just a few tackles away from breaking another long return.

12. Speaking of special teams…freshman of the year so far is Jaden Oberkrom. He has been the most consistent freshman of the fifteen that have played thus far. His 50-yard field goal today could've been made from close to 60. His kickoffs consistently reach the end zone as well. We said it in fall camp, he can pretty much kick the ball wherever he wants to.

13. TCU defense played exceptional in the second quarter. The Cyclones managed 12 total yards. Meanwhile the TCU offense got 168 yards.

14. Biggest play of the game…Maponga's personal foul penalty in the third quarter. Upon further review, it looked like Barnett was starting to lose the ball, but he was on the ground for nearly a full second when Maponga came flying in. At live speed it could've gone either way, but regardless, it was a huge momentum changer whether the refs got it wrong or not. The game changed after that play and shortly after the Cyclones extended their lead to 30-20.

15. I guarantee there wasn't a more enthusiastic pair of coaches at any game this weekend than Gary Patterson and Paul Rhodes. Both coaches love the game and you can tell they love to teach their players. Say what you will about Iowa State, but they've got one of the best in the business up there.

16. I was honestly surprised how good a thrower Jared Barnett was. I didn't expect him to have the kind of accuracy he showed on Saturday.

17. The defensive line played well for three quarters. After the personal foul on Maponga, the defensive line lost a little momentum.

18. The trick play on the reverse pass was a brilliant play call. The Frogs defense wasn't anywhere close to the Iowa State tight end.

19. Although he put the ball on the ground twice, you've got to like the potential for Catalon. The true freshman led the Frogs with 86 yards on only 13 carries. He shows quickness and looks like he can break a long run at any given time. Did you also notice in the second half, he protected the ball much better. You've got to admire is resilience.

20. Brandon Carter quietly put together another big day catching the ball, finishing with 94 yards on 6 catches. It would've been his third 100-yard game of the 2012 season. His catch in the fourth quarter kept a Frogs scoring drive alive.

21. The shift in the offensive line appeared to pay off today. Eric Tausch started at right tackle and true freshman Joey Hunt made his first career start at left guard. Aviante Collins got some reps at left tackle as well.

22. Aundre Dean had his most memorable game as a Horned Frog rushing for 55-yards on 12 carries.

23. He's taken some heat in the past, but I think TCU fans will miss the big play capabilities of senior Skye Dawson.

24. Devonte Fields, you're on your way to being remembered for a long time coming.

25. Biggest deflator? Iowa State's defensive end returning an interception for a touchdown and extending the Cyclones' lead to 37-23. Intercepting that pass was 6-foot-7, David Irving.

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