The TCU Horned Frogs defeated the Minnesota Golden Gophers 30-7 and in doing so, moved to 2-0 on the young season. While the offense compiled 427 yards of offense, there’s still plenty of room for improvement. Another off week looms before the team heads across town to Dallas to battle SMU for the Iron Skillet. Before that, we break down 25 things that stood out in today’s victory.
24.) Cameron Echols-Luper kept the crowd in it as he reeled off a 46 yard punt return immediately after Carraway’s sack. The explosive play set the Frogs up with 1st and 10 at the Minnesota 18 yard line and allowed TCU to jump out to a quick 7-0 lead.
22.) Boykin didn’t connect on the deep pass in this game like he did against Samford but the plays were there, the Frogs just need better execution. Listenbee did draw a pass interference however on one in the 1st quarter.
21.) Multiple drives stalled due to penalties that set the offense in long down and distance situations. The Frogs finished a very unimpressive 2-12 on 3rd downs in the game.
20.) Jaden Oberkrom nailed a 46 yard FG with 9:19 left in the 1st quarter to push TCU’s lead to 10-0. With the early lead, the TCU defense was able to apply suffocating pressure on Minnesota.
19.) It looked like Minnesota was going to jump back in to the game after Oberkrom’s FG. The Golden Gophers return the ensuing kickoff 58 yards to the TCU 42, only to see Sam Carter pull in an interception on the next play to kill the Gopher’s momentum.
18.) Through the 1st 3 drives of the game, TCU held Minnesota to -1 yard of total offense. The Frogs filled the gaps and played their customary smash mouth run defense from the get go.
17.) Derrick Kindred had a great game as he finished with 8 tackles, a fumble recovery and an interception. It could have been even better if he could have hauled in a first half interception that he had almost all the way to the ground. #26 continues to emerge as a All-Big 12 caliber player in 2014.
16.) TCU avoided potential disaster when Minnesota looked like they had downed a punt on the 1 yard line, only to have a personal foul called on them for making contact with the return man. The penalty moved the ball to the 16 and gave the Frogs some breathing room.
15.) TCU finished with 8 penalties for 72 yards on the day, but none were bigger than Tayo Fabuluge’s hold that put the offense in a 1st and 20 after it looked like they would have great field position. Part of the reason the offense was 2-12 on 3rd down was the penalties the o-line accrued on multiple 1st down plays.
14.) Josh Doctson turned in the top play of the young 2014 season. On 1st and goal from the 7 yard line, Trevone Boykin once again lofted a fade route to the back of the end zone. This time however, Doctson did his best Superman impersonation as he elevated high above the defender and hauled in the pass with a beautiful one handed grab. The score was 17-0 at that point and the game was pretty much out of reach for the anemic Gopher offense.
13.) Boykin put too much touch on a fade route to Kolby Listenbee and Minnesota picked off the pass, Boykin’s first of 2014. The Frogs struck back immediately when Paul Dawson stripped David Cobb of the ball and also recovered it. It was just more proof that the Frogs weren’t going to allow the Gophers to gain any momentum in the game.
12.) B.J. Catalon scored from 1 yard out to give the Frogs a 24-0 lead with 9:01 left in the 2nd quarter. It was Catalon’s 2nd rushing touchdown of the season but the explosive Junior has yet to get on track through 2 games. He has carried the ball just 16 times for 58 yards (3.6 ypc) through two games, but has added 7 receptions to the mix.
11.) Davion Pierson and Chucky Hunter led the charge against the Gopher running game and Pierson’s sack on 3rd and 9 killed another Minnesota drive. The defense line and linebackers all talked about how much they enjoyed the pace of the game and Minnesota’s straight forward power approach. It played right in to their hands.
10.) The Gophers, down 24-0 as halftime approached surprised me when they chose to run the ball 3 straight times at midfield with 1:30 left on the clock. It seemed like they feared throwing a pass so much that they were willing to concede the first half shut out. I don’t get it. You’re still theoretically in the game at that point, why wouldn’t you try to score?<.p>
9.) TCU outgained Minnesota 427-268 in total yardage. They held the Gopher ground game to 99 yards on 39 carries (2.5 ypc). I think they’ve proven that specific formula doesn’t work too well against them.
8.) TCU forced 5 turnovers and constantly found themselves with a short field for the offense. The Frogs will win a lot of games by forcing 5 turnovers.
7.) Boykin had a mental lapse in the 3rd quarter after the Frogs found themselves in good field position. After a false start, Boykin lost his cool and spiked the ball. Instead of a 5 yards penalty, 15 more was tacked on and TCU found themselves in a 2nd and 37 on the 38 yard line. While Oberkrom connected on another FG, this time from 45 yards out, to make it 27-0, but it could have been 31-0 instead. Against a better opponent, that kind of play can cost you the game.
6.) The Frogs never really seemed to get the running game going. Although they had 169 yards on the ground, their running backs carried the ball just 15 times for 77 yards. Boykin finished with 12 carries for 92 yards to pick up the slack.
5.) Chris Hackett made a nice, leaping INT on a play where the Gopher QB was hit as he released the ball. After pulling the ball in and taking off the other way, he looked to come up gimpy as the Minnesota TE came down hard on his leg from behind.
4.) Another knuckle headed play saw Boykin make an impressive 34 yard run, only to see it brought back 15 yards as he shoved the Minnesota defender in the head as he went out of bounds. As the Frogs get deeper in to the season, and with a stretch of Oklahoma, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech coming up, they’ll need their field general to make better decisions going forward.
3.) The announced attendance was 43,958 for the “White Out” game. The crowd was noticeably smaller after halftime. Hopefully they’ll stay for the whole game when the Sooners roll in to town on Oct. 4th.
2.) Oberkrom closed out the scoring for TCU with 1:43 left in the 3rd quarter when he kicked a 37 yard FG to put the Frogs up 30-0. TCU passed up what would have been a very makeable 53 yard FG in the 4th as they were content with their lead. The Frogs left a few points on the field, but you’ll take 2-0 to start the season with SMU coming up next on the schedule.
1.) David Cobb was coming off of a 220 yard performance against Middle Tennessee State but he found the going much tougher against the Frogs. He finished with 15 rushes for 41 yards and found it difficult to get in to a rhythm against the fierce Frogs front 7.