Trevone Boykin’s first throw looked shaky. He overthrew an open receiver, but after calming, Boykin was poised and accurate for much of the evening. He showed good poise when Samford made a good play, and most importantly, he proved that he was the leader of the offense.
His maturation is key because so much is put on his shoulders in the new offense. He must stay mentally sharp for 60 minutes. That will allow the offense to keep the tempo they want.
Boykin made sure there was no quarterback controversy.
Running back - B
The running backs did roughly what was asked of them on Saturday. A 4.3 yard per carry average is good, not great. That average higher if Boykin’s 10 carries for 29 yards is removed.
A positive to take away is that the Frogs have looked for a bruising back, and Trevorris Johnson looked up to the challenge. He carried the ball eight times for 43 yards. Catalon was also productive catching the ball out of the backfield.
Wide receiver - B+
Kolby Listenbee is in the building. The new offensive coordinators showed quickly how this system is different. It takes players like Listenbee and puts them in positions to use their best assets.
Sophomore Ty Slanina was also impressive. In all, nine receivers caught passes, and they appeared to be in-sync with Boykin for most of the evening. Catch of the day goes to Josh Doctson for catching a pass while falling down on a curl route. They still need to improve upon their run after the catch. Taking a three yard pass and turning it into a 10 yard gain is key in a spread offense.
Listenbee said after the game that he feels like the offense has a new swagger. "I feel like with the new offense and the new coaches, we have a swagger about us now. Everybody is having fun and nobody is uptight about it. It’s natural, we make routine plays going out there and we’re having fun.”
Offensive line - C-
Samford got pressure on Boykin, and the offensive line killed two drives with penalties. We’ll start by discussing the negatives.
Tayo Fabuloje looked shaky at best, and he was slow footed off the snap. Line coaches want their players to have violent hands, but Tayo looked slow in all facets. The interior of the line was also inconsistent. Foltz and Naff held their own, but rarely did they get to the second level of the defense to spring a running back.
The bright spot along the offensive line was Joey Hunt. Hunt was able to quarterback the line and diagnose blitzes. He also did a good job of making his first block and moving onto the second level.
The left tackle position (Fabuloje) will continue to be a question mark for the Frogs. For now, they get a C- because they were merely adequate.
Defensive line - A+
An A+ rating does not mean they were perfect. There were certainly small areas of the game where they could improve. However, Carraway, Tuaua and Hunter were dominant. They played in opponents backfields all day long, and Samford averaged just 1.9 yards per carry.
Tuaua is the surprise of the game. He roasted a new tackle for Samford, and his first step was elite. What was most impressive about Tuaua was the hip fluidity he showed. Defensive linemen that are capable of quick hip turns can turn the corner more quickly on offensive linemen.
Linebacker - B+
?Marcus Mallet and Paul Dawson finished first and second on the team in tackles respectively. In Patterson’s 4-2-5, the linebackers must show an ability to run sideline to sideline. The experienced Frog backers are capable of doing just that.
Dawson and Mallet were not tested much in coverage, but they did a solid job running to the football. However, the Frogs allowed too many yards on scrambles by Samford quarterbacks. Gary Patterson told the media after the game, “We just need to keep moving forward. The number one thing I was not happy about was the quarterback scrambling.”
Secondary - A-
The TCU secondary held Samford to just 56 yards passing. When the Bulldogs brought in their backup quarterback, he threw for an unimpressive -7 yards.
Ranthony Texada made his first career start, and he did not allow any big plays. Sure, he was not facing the type of talent he will face next week against Minnesota or against a Big 12 opponent, but so far, so good for the youngster. A successful game against Samford will help build his confidence.
TCU’s safeties are sure tacklers. Hackett and Carter both played well.
Special teams - B+
Oberkrom and Perry both have the potential to be All-Big 12 specialists. Oberkrom tallied seven touchbacks on eight kickoffs; he was also 2-2 on field goals.
Ethan Perry averaged 48 yards per punt with a long of 57.
The special teamers would have earned an A if Cameron Echols-Luper had not fumbled on a punt return. The coverage teams were good but not up to the level Patterson demands.