The Horned Frogs entered Saturday’s contest with high hopes as 6.5 point favorites against the No. 11. Cowboys, but it was all Oklahoma State on the field, as the Pokes dismantled the Frogs with 25-point victory. The Frogs struck first in the contest with a KaVontae Turpin touchdown after they recovered a muffed punt, but the Cowboys would go on to score 31 unanswered point as they completely shut down the TCU running game.
“They kicked our butts,” TCU head coach Patterson said. “I’m embarrassed for them [my players] and myself.” http://www.scout.com/college/tcu/story/1729888-as-harvey-sees-it-tcu-osu...
Now, instead of recording a statement win, Patterson is walking away from his 200th game as TCU head coach with his worst home loss since taking over the team’s reins in 2000. Here are some takeaways from the lopsided affair at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
The running game was completely stifled
Many expected the Frogs to heavily rely on the running game to their advantage on Saturday, with running back Kyle Hicks recording five touchdowns over 192 yards two weeks ago against Baylor. On Saturday, the Frogs only amounted 145 yards as a team. Hicks averaged a mere 1.9 yards per carry and was tackled for a loss 12 times en route to a total of 59 yards.
“It was embarrassing,” Hicks said. “They completely dominated us on our home field. We had two weeks to prepare.”
Usually reliable punt-returner/wide receiver KaVontae Turpin also had an uncharacteristically slow day. Despite scoring the lone touchdown of the game for the Frogs, he was held to just 18 yards and fielded two punt returns for a loss. The Frogs were held to just 198 passing yards, amounting to 343 total yards of offense in the loss. The Cowboys on the other hand totaled 541 yards, with 334 of those coming on the ground.
The trips to the red zone didn’t work out
Twice the Frogs found themselves facing a fourth and goal situation in the end zone. Twice they went for it, using a wildcat formation with Hicks at quarterback. And twice they failed. The first time around it was an off-target pass to tight-end Cole Hunt with just seven seconds left in the first half, denying TCU the chance to take a 14-10 lead into halftime.
“It would have been big for us to have that play but it didn’t work out,” Hicks said. “I tried my best to deliver the ball to Cole, but I failed.”
Then again on the first play of the 4th quarter, Hicks was stuffed fourth and one before the Cowboys made it 31-6 on a 94-yard touchdown drive. Though many questioned the decisions to run the plays on fourth down, Hicks said he felt comfortable taking the snaps.
“I’d do those calls again,” Hicks said.
Patterson also defended the play calling.
“Why not? Three weeks ago you wanted me to run Kyle Hicks more. You should be coach,” Patterson said.
And the end of the day though, the Cowboys were a perfect 5-5 in the red zone while the Frogs converted just once, and it may have made the difference in the flow of this ballgame.
Growing pains returned in full-force
Few people would have expected the Frogs to still be figuring the game out on either side of the ball come the 10th game of the season, but the ugly reality Saturday was that the team still hasn’t fully matured despite their experience, and Patterson was none too happy about it.
“I said it after the Baylor game: we haven’t arrived,” Patterson said. “They still need to grow up and do the things they need to do. They need to be able to look in the mirror like I do and realize we got our butts kicked.”
The struggles on routine plays Saturday were highlighted by three missed tackles on a Chris Carson rushing touchdown, several defensive breakdowns on short screen passes, and four penalties for 49 yards.
“We need to start doing a better job of recruiting guys who will grow up,” Patterson said. “When you tolerate what you saw today, you need to change your profession.”
However drastic the changes may be in fixing the “growing up” problem, the Frogs can hope the drastic improvement comes sooner than later.
Quarterback questions again?
http://www.scout.com/college/tcu/story/1719377-si-now-included-w-horned-... It appeared TCU Kenny Hill had re-secured his starting job after the dominating performance two weeks ago against Baylor, but the junior had yet another disappointing showing Saturday. Hill failed to record a single touchdown, while throwing for just 166 yards with two interceptions. Hill was eventually pulled mid-way through the fourth quarter for sophomore Foster Sawyer with the Frogs trailing 31-6, but it was too little too late at that point for TCU to pull off an improbable comeback. The inconsistency among Hill this season has been all but reflective of the entire team, scoring just six points after posting 62 on the road in its previous contest.
“It’s pretty tough but we just have to hope that we bounce back next weekend. We need to pay more attention to the details in practice,” Hicks said on the inconsistency. “You need to make routine plays to be successful on offense and keep the ball moving.”
For now, we can expect Hill to be taking snaps again when the team travels to Austin on Friday, but a lot can change within a week. And it’s all but certain that the leash on Hill is shorter than Patterson would prefer it to be, especially 10 games in.
The pressure is rising for bowl eligibility
The Frogs could have punched their ticket to a bowl game had they recorded their sixth win of the season Saturday, but instead they remain a five-win team with just two games left on the calendar. Neither one will be a cupcake either, as the Frogs will play in front 100,000 strong in Austin Friday before heading back home to take on the Kansas State Wildcats
“You don’t want to be that team in the winter watching all the other teams play,” Hicks said. “My freshman year we didn’t make it and it was the worst feeling ever.”
The 2013 season, which Hicks referred to, was the most recent time the Frogs didn’t go bowling, after finishing 4-8 in the second season in the Big 12. Should the Frogs get into the mix with a six win, it’s likely they will either face an SEC opponent in the AdvoCare 100 Texas Bowl in Houston, or Navy right on their home turf in the Armed Forces Bowl at Amon G. Carter Stadium. But for now, a bowl game is only wishful thinking.
“It’s more than becoming bowl eligible,” Patterson said. “There are a lot of things that go along with bowl games. You get 15 more practices, and for some guys it’s better they get to stay around here than go home. It’s a way of life.”
Emanuel Porter, WR – Overall it was just a bad day for the TCU offense, but we’ll give the honors to Porter Though he never found the end zone, the junior had the best day of any TCU offensive player, leading all TCU receivers with 50 yards while averaging 12.5 yards per catch. Porter has now brought his total up to 195 receiving yards on the season.
Denzel Johnson, Safety – Johnson had one of his best games of the season, recording 8 solo tackles for a combined total of 15 in the loss. Two of those tackles made were for a loss. With the senior only having two more games left in his college career, it was refreshing to see Johnson have a dominant personal performance in a bigger matchup. Unfortunately, the efforts were overshadowed by the lopsided loss.