25 Thoughts vs. Oklahoma

TCU knocked off #3 OU on Saturday and in doing so, vaulted themselves in to the College Football Playoff discussion. Here are a few things that caught my eye on this historic weekend.

25. TCU jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead when they engineered a 12 play, 75 yard drive that took 4:51 off of the clock. A fast start was huge for the Frogs as they set the tempo for the afternoon when Boykin attempted to run the ball in from the one yard line, but fumbled the ball forward in to the end zone. Clifton Murphy recovered for the TD, marking his first touch of his collegiate career.

24. TCU forced OU to go 3 and out on their first drive. The Frogs defense was up to the challenge and it gave TCU a chance to jump out to an early lead.

23. Josh Doctson hauled in 2 big receptions on TCU’s 2nd drive, both of which had 15 yard penalties tacked on to the end. Catalon finished off the drive with the 3 yard TD to make it 14-0 TCU with 5:52 left in the 1st quarter.

22. Knight connected on a 43 yard strike to Shepard on the next drive and then Perine powered it in from 3 yards out to cut the TCU lead to 14-7 with 3:56 left in the 1st quarter. TCU held Perine in check for the most part but he scored 3 short TD’s on the day.

21. If there was a negative on the day it was TCU’s penalties. The Frogs had their worst effort on the season with 12 penalties for 90 yards. They’ll need to clean that up if they want to keep this thing rolling. The good news is, only one of the 12 penalties came after halftime. TCU made several great adjustments at the midway point.

20. Kindred was the unfortunate target for Trevor Knight on 2 early deep balls to Shepard. Both times he bit on the first move. The first one tied the game at 14 and it stayed that way until the end of the 1st quarter.

19. TCU forced a three and out early in the 2nd quarter that led to punt, which OU shanked, and the Frogs started their drive on their own 46 yard line. Two plays later, Boykin hit Catalon on a 39 yard scoring strike after the TCU offense completely confused the OU defense with a 3 receiver route near their own sideline. The TD made the score 21-14 TCU with 12:06 left in the 2nd quarter.

18. The Frogs rolled on offense for most of the day but they missed on a potentially explosive trick play in the 2nd quarter. Boykin hit Porter in the slot with Porter then attempting to throw back to Boykin. The OU defender jumped up and nearly intercepted the ball but Joey Hunt stepped up and broke up the play by leveling the OU DT, dislodging him from the ball.

17. Perine tied the game at 21-21 with 5:33 left in the 2nd quarter when he plunged in from 1 yard out, on the 3rd try. TCU had held tough and Kindred met Perine in the hole, but the 243 pound OU running back was able to fall forward, even after a solid lick by Kindred.

16. TCU would have to settle for a 32 yard FG from Oberkrom on the next drive, making it a 24-21 TCU lead with 1:39 left until halftime. It was the lone bright spot on the day for Oberkrom who finds himself mired in a mini 2-game slump. He needs to get himself right if TCU has any hopes of making a legit playoff run. Oberkrom had been automatic and I have no doubt that he will be again soon.

15. Ranthony Texada got beat deep for the 1st time in his career when he allowed Duron Neal to get behind him for a huge 41 yard gain down to the TCU 4 yard line. Texada came back on the next play and redeemed himself when he flew off the edge on a corner blitz, catching Knight completely off guard. Texada dropped Knight, who froze in his tracks, for a big time 11 yard loss. That play and incomplete pass to Shepard in the endzone forced OU to settle for a FG. The teams went to halftime tied 24-24.

14. OU fired out of the gates in the 2nd half. The Sooners plowed through the TCU defense for 80 yards on 11 plays, eating up 5:26 off the clock. Perine would get his 3rd and final TD on the day as he bullied his way in from 7 yards out to make it 31-24 OU with 9:28 left in the 3rd quarter.

13. TCU, as they did all day long, answered right back when Boykin hit Gray on a beautiful 30 yard TD strike over the middle tying the game 31-31 with 6:48 left in the 3rd quarter. Gray continues to show that he’s a weapon to be reckoned with as he finished with 3 receptions for 52 yards and a TD on the day. He now has 16 receptions for 196 yards (12.25 ypc) and 3 TD’s on the season, giving opposing teams another threat to worry about.

12. TCU had a chance to jump out to a lead on their next drive. After forcing another OU 3 and out, TCU drove down and punched it in on a Catalon’s explosive 30 yard TD. The play was called back, on a very late holding call on Naff, forcing the Frogs to settle for a FG attempt. Oberkrom missed the ensuing 32 yard FG and TCU squandered a big opportunity. Good thing for them, the TCU defense was absolutely suffocating in the 2nd half.

11. At the end of the 3rd quarter, it was tied 31-31 and the TCU crowd started to assert themselves. You could tell that the players were feeding off of the energy. Kolby Listenbee and Chucky Hunter echoed that sentiment with their post game praise of the TCU fans, stating that they want the fans to be like that the rest of the year because it really helped them.

10. Any hope that OU had of putting together a championship performance in the 4th quarter quickly disappeared when Paul Dawson, who was shooting in off the edge on a blitz, recognized that Knight was getting the ball out quickly, pulled up and jumped in front of the OU QB. The former receiver at Dallas Skyline showed off his hands as he intercepted the pass and returned it 46 yards for the TD, making it 37-31 TCU. The extra point was blocked and returned by Zack Sanchez for OU, making it 37-33. The play by Dawson ended up being the winning score, and will go down in TCU history as one of the greatest plays in Horned Frog history.

9. The TCU defense continued to clamp down on OU and Trevor Knight as Chris Hackett picked off the Sooner signal caller, returning the ball to the TCU 34. It looked like it was over there, but OU wasn’t laying down just yet.

8. Catalon fumbled on the next play and OU was in business on the TCU 46 with 6:07 left in the game. OU ground out 24 yards on 7 plays but the TCU defense bowed their necks and stuffed “The Tank” Semaje Perine on 4th and 1. TCU took over on their own 22 yard line with 3:08 left in the 4th.

7. TCU was unable to pick up another 1st down, as they went 3 and out, punting to OU and allowing the Sooners a last ditch effort from their own 29 yard line with :51 left in the game, with no time outs.

6. Again, the TCU defense rose to the occasion, only allowing 25 yards on 6 plays to run off the final seconds. The last play, a “Hail Mary”, never had a chance as late pressure forced Knight to throw the ball too far out of bounds for the Sooner receiver to make a play on it. When it hit the ground, TCU players and fans streamed on to the field to celebrate the historic victory.

5. With Boykin’s performance, the TCU signal caller officially arrived on the national scene. On the season, Boykin has completed 99-161 passes for 1,176 yards and 10 TD’s and only 2 INT’s. On the ground, the elusive Boykin has added 260 yards on 51 carries (5.1 ypc) and 3 TD’s. He has proven that he’s the man for the job, now he just needs to keep improving and leading by example.

4. One of the main things I took from this victory was how impressive the TCU offensive game plan. By mixing in the option, the Frogs caught the Sooners off guard and added yet another wrinkle to their play book. It gives future opponents something else to prepare for on film, thus making the TCU passing game that much more explosive. If the Frogs can do that on OU’s defense, the rest of the Big 12 has been put on notice.

3. As explosive as Samaje Perine is, the reue freshman runner found it to be tough sledding against the TCU defense. The Frogs bent but didn’t break in the 1st half and after making a few key halftime adjustments, they completely shut the Sooners down in the 2nd half. Perine finsished with 87 yards and 3 TD’s on the ground, but it took him 25 carries (3.5 ypc) to reach those numbers. He was hit hard all day long as the TCU run defense once again showed why they’re the best in the country.

2. Overall, TCU outplayed the Sooners Saturday afternoon. The scary thing is, the Frogs still haven’t put it all together. As good as they looked on offense, there’s still room for improvement and they will continue to get better as the season wears on. If TCU fans can think back to the beginning of the season, and all of the nerves they felt about if the new offense would work or not, well, it’s working and it’s only going to get better.

1. TCU made a statement with this victory. After a bloody Saturday in college football, the Frogs find themselves #9 in the AP Poll and #12 in the Coach’s Poll. With a showdown with hated rival Baylor looming, I see no way possible that TCU doesn’t show up in a big way for that game. Everything is there for the taking, the Frogs just have to keep their heads down and keep grinding. Just like Coach Patterson said to his player during the OU game. “Don’t look at the scoreboard, just keep playing”. If the Frogs will adopt that attitude for the remainder of the season, 2014 could turn out to be a magical season.

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