2013 Storylines

TCU finished their 2013 football season last week and the staff at HornedFrogBlitz.com recaps some of the season's storylines.

TCU completed their 2013 season last weekend and needless to say, it was an up and down season for the Horned Frogs; mostly down.

The Frogs finished with a 4-8 record and missed their first bowl game in eight seasons.

It was a strange season for Gary Patterson and Co. as most predicted the Frogs to compete for the Big 12 championship. On the year the Frogs lost four of their games by a combined 11 points and were within scoring distance in 11 of 12 games with less than seven minutes remaining.

The staff at HFB, Jeremy Clark, Alex Apple and Jeremiah Glenn give our opinions from the season.

BEST GAME OF THE SEASON

Jeremy
TCU vs. Baylor. Although the Frogs lost, the Frogs left everything on the field in the three point loss. No one gave TCU much of a chance to win the game, but the Frogs dominated the Bears in just about every phase of the game except turnovers. It was a nice end for the seniors to, to have the chance to play in front of a nice crowd.

Alex
TCU vs Baylor. The game against the Bears was perhaps the Frogs most complete game of the season. Amon G. Carter was loud, and much was at stake when these two teams faced off. The defense was exceptional, nearly getting TCU a win even while the offense handed the Bears 21 points. The Frogs showed fight and resiliency in this game, giving them something on which to build.

Jeremiah
With a 4-8 season, it's tough to pick a best game. I would have to go with TCU's dominating home win against cross town rival SMU. TCU won handily, 48-17 on the strength of 5 SMU turnovers and a 2 TD passing day from Trevone Boykin. Even with the lopsided score, the game was close through 3 quarters. TCU led 17-10 after three but exploded for 31 point in the 4th quarter."


WORST GAME OF THE SEASON

Jeremy
That's easy…Texas Tech. In a game that has become a heated rivalry between the two fan bases; the loss at Lubbock pretty much set the tone for the season. It gave the Red Raiders bragging rights for another year.

Alex
TCU vs Texas Tech. For so many reasons, this game was demoralizing for TCU fans, and the Frogs gave one away. This game was also the worst of the season for Big 12 officials.

Jeremiah
Hands down, it was against Texas. Aided by a 3 hour weather delay, the Longhorns rolled the Frogs 30-7. It was 10-7 after one quarter and the crowd was as good as the Frogs have had in any game since 2009, but the weather killed any momentum TCU may have had and the Frogs returned from the delay only to look flat and out of sync


BEST PLAY OF THE SEASON

Jeremy
Ladarius Brown's onside kickoff return. While the play didn't impact a win or loss, seeing Brown score on an onside kick after SMU had scored was a nice little way of telling the Mustangs, nice try.

Alex

Jeremiah
Again, not a lot to choose from here but the two most exciting plays of 2013 came from the same player. B.J. Catalon's 100 yard kick return for a touchdown against LSU is the season opener gave the Frogs new life and kept them in the game early on. For sheer excitement, that may be number one. The other play that ranks up there is his 47 yard run against Baylor that set TCU up 1st and goal from the 2 yard line. On the run, Catalon showed vision, power and speed as he ran over, through, and past Bear defenders on one of the best runs I've seen all year anywhere in the country."


WORST PLAY OF THE SEASON

Jeremy
Hmm, so many to choose from. There were many times this season where TCU had closed the gap to one score late in a game only for the defense to give up a big play. On the other hand, the offense had opportunities to make plays as well. Which leads me to two plays; both against Baylor. First was the reverse to Brandon Carter, just not a good time for the Frogs to 21-yards. Then the very next play, the Frogs have their own infamous "butt fumble" when Catalon hits the back of one of his linemen which lodges the ball loose and Baylor recovers at the TCU 1-yard line. It changed the tone of the game.

Alex
TCU's defense stops Kansas State, and Kansas State pins TCU deep inside their own five yard line. But wait, TCU is penalized for having two #2s on the field. Never seen that before. Might never see it again. That play gave Kansas State momentum when the Frogs should have had the ball and the lead.

Jeremiah
Brandon Carter's decision on the reverse pass against Baylor. It's not all on Carter though as they call made no sense at the time as TCU was moving the ball and playing well. Carter, however, took it to epic proportions when he failed to throw the ball away. Instead, he held on too long and end up tossing it out of bounds, drawing a intentional grounding call putting TCU deep in their own territory. The next play after it could also qualify. BJ Catalon then took the handoff and ran into one of his own linemen, fumbling, with Baylor recovering on the TCU 1 yard line.


BIGGEST SURPRISE

Jeremy
I think it goes without saying that the biggest surprise was the Frogs' final record of 4-8. No one expected the Frogs to finish with a record four games below .500 much less not make it to a bowl game. Among the surprises was the loss to Texas Tech on the road.

Alex
The biggest surprise was clearly, TCU's final record. Finishing at 4-8 is something that not even the world's biggest pessimist could have projected. The Frogs may be one of the more talented 4-8 teams ever. If TCU had not lost Casey Pachall to injury, I think this team's record would have been much different. The Frogs got in their own way too often and simply found a way to lose games.

Jeremiah
For me, it's David Porter. With all the talk in the preseason about the receivers and guys like Carter, Brown, White and even Listenbee and Story to an extent, Porter was lost in the shuffle. But Porter led all TCU receivers in TD receptions with 5 and hauled in 26 receptions for 435 yards.


STRANGEST MOMENT OF THE SEASON

Jeremy
Is there any question that the strangest moment had to be the two #2's on the field at the same time? It couldn't have come at a worse time for the Frogs, who had forced a Kansas State punt while clinging to a slim lead. After the penalty, Kansas State would go on to kick a field goal. The field goal ultimately led to be the difference in the game.

Alex
Again, the answer has got to be the two #2s on the field play. A runner up would be the three hour rain delay against Texas that took the energy away from the TCU fans and away from the TCU players.

Jeremiah
Brandon Carter's punt return for a TD that wasn't to be. A blown call on a supposed fair catch signal by the refs in Lubbock cost TCU a chance to get back in the game against Texas Tech. Add to that the fact that a wild fox was loose on the sideline and it's clear that strange things were happening on West that night.


PLAY IT AGAIN

Jeremy
Texas Tech and Oklahoma. TCU was without Casey Pachall against Texas Tech and Oklahoma and you have to wonder what the offense would've accomplished if they had Pachall moving the ball through the air. Despite the struggles on offense this season, it did see a difference with Pachall under center and Boykin able to use his versatility at receiver. That could've been the difference against the Red Raiders and Sooners. And don't let the same refs for Texas Tech game within 500 miles of the game.

Alex
TCU vs Texas Tech. This game set the course for the two team's seasons. The game propelled Tech to a 7-0 start while it told TCU that they weren't as good as they think. With the way the Frogs recruit against Tech, it's always important to have a good showing against the Red Raiders.

Jeremiah
TCU vs. Baylor. I think if they played again a week later, TCU wins the game. Actually, I think TCU wins that game 8 out of 10 times.


BREAKOUT PLAYER

Jeremy
It's a tie between Paul Dawson and Kevin White. Before the season linebacker was the biggest question mark. Dawson answered the call, proving to be a force for the Frogs run game and he showed some consistency in covering Big 12 slot receivers. White on the other hand has been known about for two years but this was a breakout year for him simply because he was challenged frequently. With many opponents shying away from Jason Verrett, White was thrown at often. Despite an up and down start against LSU, White proved to be a more than efficient corner. Nearly every Frog opponent saw a decline in their passing offense when they played TCU.

Alex
Paul Dawson. When Dawson cracked the starting lineup at linebacker, many were surprised, but he performed admirably. He led TCU in tackles with 91 and amassed ten tackles for loss.

Jeremiah
Josh Doctson. The 6'4" sophomore hauled in 36 receptions for 440 yards and 4 TD's. He has the best hands on the team (along with Slanina and Echols-Luper) and is expected to be a force on the offense going forward.


BIGGEST CHANGE NEEDED

Jeremy
Well, the Frogs proved they could again be effective on defense; ranking near the top of every defensive category in the conference. So, that leaves the offense and the change has already been made to bring in a more up-tempo offense. Change of offensive philosophy to compete in the Big 12 was much needed. Oh yeah, send more than four guys on third and longs.

Alex
What is, Doug Meacham, Trebek?

Jeremiah
It was clear to anyone that watched that a new scheme was needed on the offensive side of the ball. With the hiring of Doug Meacham, the Frogs addressed their biggest flaw. Now what to do about the offensive line?


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