Restore the Home Field Advantage of Amon G. Carter Stadium
This is something that needs to be discussed. Amon G. Carter stadium used to be a place that other teams feared coming to. Well, that's not the case any more. After going (2-4) last year, including an (0-4) record in Big 12 play, TCU has allowed opponents to walk into their stadium and bring the fight to the. Starting Saturday, the Frogs need to begin to restore the swagger that they once played with in Fort Worth. Now, you can't mention this topic and not bring up the fans, but the Horned Frog faithful have to play their part. After a disappointing (1-2) start to the season, it would be easy for the fan-base to lose interest, however, the complete opposite is needed. The Frogs need the fans to get there early, get their butts in their seats and make "The Carter" a tough place to play again. If TCU has any hopes of turning this season around, it starts Saturday morning.
Establish an Identity on Offense
Let's face it, last week was ugly. But, if you look back over the last 15 games, the offense has been pretty much hit or miss the entire time. Without the dominant performances many have come to expect over the years, TCU finds themselves looking for answers when they have the ball. At this point, it seems pretty evident that they're going to have to run the football and shorten the game while grinding down the clock. SMU will bring their best effort against the Frogs, they always do, but TCU has to force their will on the Ponies and not allow an inferior opponent to dictate what they'll do when they have the ball. Again, it seems simple, but can they do it? Saturday will be a huge test.
Bring Intensity, Emotion and most of all, TCU Swagger back to the field.
Team's used to fear TCU. With a 7-6 record last season, and a 1-2 start to the 2013 campaign, the Frogs have lost a little luster in the eyes of their opponents. If TCU wants to regain their position as one of the most dominant teams in the country, they'll have to show up in force on Saturday. After a Thursday night, nationally televised game on ESPN that saw TCU absolutely stink up the joint, the Frogs have no choice but to rally and rise again. A 1-3 start to the season would be disastrous in many ways. Not only would it be a tough hole to dig out of for the rest of the season, but it would start to cast a shadow of doubt as far as recruits are concerned. Coach Patterson has stated numerous times that this will be a 3-4 year process of building the depth they need to compete for championships in the Big 12 on a yearly basis. Well, if the losing doesn't stop, it may take longer than that. Recruits want to play for a winner and TCU has been that for a long time. It's time to bring back the Swagger.
Honestly, this is a top 5 key to every game but when you're offense is struggling, turnovers can be your best friend. TCU needs to win the turnover battle and give themselves a chance to work with a short field once or twice on Saturday. In a game that's usually decided by less than two touchdown's, takeaways will be at a premium. The defensive line has looked good early on but they'll need to continue their stellar play to force SMU into making mistakes. A hard hitting, aggressive defense can make this happen but just like with key #3, they'll have to bring it on every play.
Pressure Garrett Gilbert
This isn't the same Garrett Gilbert that we've seen the past two seasons. Having said that, he's no Peyton Manning. TCU needs to pressure Gilbert and force him to move. He's not a statue in the pocket but he's not going to run for 100 yards on you either. If the defense can pressure the Senior QB, they'll force him into bad decisions, which is something we haven't seen a lot of from the Austin Lake Travis product in 2013. After throwing for over 300 yards each of the last 3 games, TCU will need to switch up their coverages, bring blitzes, and apply pressure to Gilbert at every turn to force him to revert back to his old ways. By keeping Gilbert guessing, the Frogs can force the big QB into making game changing mistakes that could lead directly to a Horned Frog victory.