Nuts and Bolts: Tech 56, TCU 53

Joe Yeager breaks down the Red Raiders big overtime victory on Saturday.

 

 

Scintillating Seth: The game ball for this one goes to Seth Doege and nobody else. How's this for a stat line? Thirty completions in 42 attempts for 318 yards, seven touchdowns, and perhaps most important, zero interceptions.

 

Doege had consecutive bad games against Iowa State and Oklahoma, and has responded with two monster performances in pressure-packed situations against ranked teams. Doege has validated the coaching staff's decision to stick with him and has silenced his doubters, including yours truly.

 

Valuing the Rock: TCU entered the Tech game leading the nation in interceptions with 14. Seth Doege entered the game having thrown seven picks, which wasn't such a good number. There was real concern that, because of these tendencies, Doege would turn the ball over against the Frogs. But he didn't. Not once. And he only threw a couple of balls that came anywhere close to being intercepted. Doege's good judgment probably won Tech this game because, the way it turned out, a single interception could have proved fatal.

 

Overtime Never Should Have Happened: Tech's penultimate offensive series in regulation play was pathetic. There's just no other way to say it.

 

Leading by a field goal, Austin Zouzalik recovered TCU's onsides kick at the Red Raider 49 with 2:23 to play. In order to clinch the win, all Tech had to do was pick up one first down. But rather than make an attempt to get that first down, Tech ran the ball hopelessly three straight times to force TCU to burn its times out.

 

Rather than give your hot-handed senior quarterback the chance to polish off the Frogs, the Tech coaching staff decided to burn clock and punt it away. They did this despite the fact that Tech's defense was fatigued and had just surrendered a quick-strike touchdown on the previous series.

 

When TCU took over, you knew they were going to score. The only question was would it be a field goal or a touchdown? Tech got lucky that it was the former. The ultra-conservative play-calling down the stretch very nearly cost Tech this game.

 

Counterpunching: This game ebbed and flowed. There were times when the Red Raiders seemed to be hanging on by their fingernails, and there were others where they had TCU on the ropes. And Tech's offense epitomized this fact.

 

In the first quarter, the Red Raiders did almost nothing offensively. Tech's depleted receiving corps could not get open and running the ball was not even attempted. But Neal Brown adjusted in the second quarter by working the deep ball and the deep middle of the field, and Tech scored two touchdowns, taking a halftime lead.

 

In the third quarter the Red Raiders were even more inept than in the first. But once more, Brown adjusted. He blocked with six rather than five, and with added time, Doege was able to find receivers downfield. Tech scored 20 points in the fourth quarter. Factor in Tech's efficiency in overtime, and you'd have to say that Brown got the better of Gary Patterson and his vaunted defensive staff.

 

Stats Matter! Whenever Seth Doege takes a knee to end a half or game, he makes sure to get as close to the line as possible before dropping to the turf. It's the difference between a three-yard loss and a one-yard loss.

 

Bag the Blitz: As expected, Tech didn't blitz TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin very often. And when they did, it was singularly ineffective. Most of Tech's pressure came from Kerry Hyder and especially Dartwan Bush in a four-man rush.

 

Drawing Attention: Kerry Hyder has impressed opposing coaches to the point that he's now commanding double-teams. Heck, on Cody Davis' interception in the third quarter he was actually triple-teamed.  He still finished with five tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack.

 

A Very Dumb Play: With Tech nursing a one-point lead in the third quarter and TCU driving, Boykin threw well over the hands of Skye Dawson on a crossing route. Despite the fact that it was an obvious incompletion, D. J. Johnson came up and belted Dawson above the shoulder pads. It was a clear personal foul and it helped TCU score a field goal. Johnson is a senior and supposedly one of the brighter players on the team. He should know better.

 

Something to Work On: Oklahoma and now TCU have effectively nullified Tech's ground game with corner blitzes. Something is occasionally tipping defenses to a run play, and the corner blitz blows it up for a loss every time. If adjustments are not made, defenses will keep short-circuiting the run with this tactic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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