An inability to get a pass rush on LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger gave the senior all day to throw. At times, he was able to move in the pocket for five to six seconds before releasing the football.
Against the receivers like Jarvis Landry and Odell Beckham Jr., a pass rush is pivotal for any team hoping to slow the newly installed Cam Cameron offense at LSU.
"There were times in 11 personnel where if we had any pass rush at all, they wouldn't have had five to six seconds to throw the football," TCU head coach Gary Patterson said after the game. "Having a guy that can speed rush would have made a big difference for us."
In a 37-27 loss Saturday to LSU, the TCU defense gave up nearly 450 yards of total offense to LSU and made too many mistakes to overcome a sound Les Miles coached team.
After the TCU defense gave up a field goal on LSU's opening drive, Brandon Carter foreshadowed what would be a problem for TCU all night: miscues.
Carter fumbled the kickoff return to gift-wrap three points for LSU who took a 6-0 lead.
With the Frogs trailing 13-10 with five seconds to go in the first half, officials declared the half over when an LSU player lost his helmet which resulted in a ten second runoff.
With Les Miles adamantly arguing the ruling, officials overturned the call because the clock was already stopped due to an incomplete pass.
According to Big Ten referee John O'Neill, "When a helmet comes off and that's the only thing that stops a clock, that's an opportunity for a 10-second runoff under one minute in either half. In this case, we had two things that stopped the clock, the helmet off and an incomplete pass. As a result, that does not qualify for the 10-second runoff."
The third quarter belonged to LSU.
Terrence Magee broke a 52 yard touchdown run off left tackle that opened up a lead that the Bayou Bengals would not relinquish.
Ten straight points by TCU to start the fourth quarter kept the game close, but Zach Mettenberger found Odell Beckham down the sideline for 26 yards to ice the game with 3:12 to play in the ball game.
Offensively, LSU had what TCU lacked all game: consistent receiver play.
?Jarvis Landry finished with 109 yards receiving while Odell Beckham added 118 yards as well.
Brandon Carter led TCU with 44 yards receiving, but only four players caught passes for the Frogs on the night.
Carter and Deante Gray dropped passes, and Kolby Listenbee let a 40 yard completion slip through his hands.
"I'm not sure you're going to play against much better than [Jarvis] Landry. He's a big strong receiver, and I watched him all last year make [big] plays," Patterson said.
Casey Pachall got the start for TCU, but he and Trevone Boykin split most snaps. Neither quarterback reached the 100 yard passing plateau as LSU kept the TCU offense off the field.
The Tigers dominated time of possession, amassing over 36 minutes of possession. LSU head coach Les Miles said much of the credit for the ball control goes to new offensive coordinator Cam Cameron.
"I felt like Cam Cameron started his debut at LSU and did a very, very strong job," Miles said.
Miles said tonight was exactly how he envisioned Mettenberger to look under Cam Cameron.
"Yes, that's exactly right. I think that Zach will have nights like that pretty routinely from this point forward."
Mettenberger finished the game with 251 yards passing, and he was sacked just twice by the TCU defense.
Mettenberger threw to a talented corps of receivers that were able to find holes in the TCU defense continuously.
The same cannot be said for a TCU receiving corp rich in talent but short on production. Without the departed Josh Boyce, the Frogs have yet to find a consistent target on the outside.
Starting receivers LaDarius Brown and Cam White combined for zero catches.
Patterson did find some positives in what he calls a "confidence booster" for his team.
"How about B.J. Catalon. Great player. Here is a guy that nobody knew about," Patterson said about his sophomore running back. Catalon returned a kickoff for a touchdown and also led TCU in rushing with 53 yards (26 of which came on one run).
"Without watching them on tape, the linebackers did really well for three guys that haven't ever really played before. That's a good front that [LSU has]. I'll be honest with you, I was very excited about our front six because besides the one run, we did what we were supposed to do. We're more athletic," Patterson said.
TCU now heads back to Amon G. Carter stadium next Saturday to take on Southeast Louisiana in their home opener.