After a week filled with questions regarding TCU’s defensive attrition and offensive struggles, the Horned Frogs were able provide some positive answers in their 70-7 drubbing of Stephen F. Austin.
On Wednesday, TCU head coach Gary Patterson told the media that the Frogs would be without starting linebackers Mike Freeze and Sammy Douglas. With little depth on the roster already, Patterson had to make some unusual adjustments. One of which was moving safety Denzel Johnson to the sam linebacker position.
In the third quarter with the Horned Frogs ahead 42-0, Johnson intercepted SFA’s Hunter Taylor and returned the ball 50 yards to the end zone. It was the junior’s first career interception.
The Horned Frogs were also with out defensive linemen Mike Tuaua and Davion Pierson. To make things worse, starting safety Kenny Iloka had to leave them game in the second quarter when he went down on a kickoff return.
But after the Lumberjack’s opening play, a double wide receiver reverse that went for 15 yards, the Frogs’ defense held SFA to 24 yards on 36 plays for the rest of the first half. TCU’s defense would end up controlling the entire game as they only allowed 167 total yards and 21 passing yards. The defenses only blemish was allowing a 75 yard touchdown run by SFA running back Loren Easly with the game far out of reach at 63-0.
TCU’s offense was dominant as well, after an underwhelming performance at Minnesota. The Frogs would rack up 627 yards of offense with 403 coming through the air and 224 on the ground.
Unlike the Minnesota game, TCU wide receivers were able to make some big plays downfield.
TCU wide receiver Kolby Listenbee, who was held to just nine yards one catch against the Golden Gophers last Thursday, finished the first half with 137 yards on five catches and a 60 yard touchdown reception.
Quarterback Trevone Boykin also bounced back well as he went 18-27 with 285 yards and four touchdowns. The Heisman hopeful would find Ja’Juan Story, Kavontae Turpin and Emanuel Porter in the end zone. The one mistake Boykin made was when a short deflected into the hands of SFA defensive back Marlon Walls.
On the ground, TCU’s rushing attack also had a strong showing with 224 yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
Sophomore running back Trevorris Johnson led the Frogs on the ground with 71 yards on nine attempts. Fellow tailbacks Kyle Hicks and Colten Christiansen would both score a touchdown a piece while the Frogs’ starter, Aaron Green would only carry the ball five times, but would score twice in the first quarter.
With the game never in question, as TCU lead the whole way, the Frogs would let some of the younger players see some action, as Patterson told the media after Wednesday’s practice.
On defense, true freshman Tipa Galeai was able to get his first career sack in the second quarter. Safety Michael Downing would get his first career interception when he picked off Taylor in third quarter when Lumberjacks we’re driving in TCU territory.