Once again, the stats do not tell the whole story about Pat Mahomes’ performance. Those stats were pretty good, of course, but how much better would they have been had his receivers not dropped six or seven passes, and had he not suffered a debilitating leg injury in the first quarter? Still, Mahomes persevered through the adversity and gave the Red Raiders every opportunity to win. The only negatives for Mahomes were a few over and underthrown balls to Reg Davis that could have produced touchdowns.
DeAndre Washington had a career day with 188 rushing yards on 22 carries. He was particularly deadly in the first half, but was nullified somewhat in the second. Washington also caught three passes for 31 yards, but he also dropped a pass. Justin Stockton rushed seven times against TCU, but netted only 12 yards. He was definitely not on his game, although he did haul in a 50-yard TD reception.
Photo By Steven Chapman
There is plenty of good and bad to go around here. On the plus side, Jakeem Grant and Devin Lauderdale both had over 100 receiving yards, and one of Lauderdale’s catches was a miraculous grab on a deep sideline route. Ian Sadler suffered an injury in the second quarter and did not return. As a unit, this group performed well in downfield blocking, although perhaps not quite as well as against Arkansas. Against the good, there were several critical drops, three by Grant. In terms of catching catchable passes, it is hard to predict which Red Raider receiving corps will show up on Saturdays.
Well, it took four games, but the offensive line finally surrendered a sack. Not bad at all considering that they were protecting a lame quarterback for most of the game. Run blocking, particularly from Justin Murphy and Baylen Brown in the first half was superb. A false start by Alfredo Morales was the line’s only penalty.
Line play, although hardly spectacular, was probably the defense’s strong suit on an afternoon that saw the defense surrender 55 points and 750 yards. Pete Robertson was a standout with seven tackles, one tackle for loss and a blocked field goal. Branden Jackson, Rika Levi, Breiden Fehoko and Demetrius Alston all had their moments. Gary Moore wasn’t much of a factor, and the relative absence of a pass rush hurt badly. The line, like the defense as a whole, wore down, particularly in the fourth quarter.
Micah Awe and Dakota Allen put up some big numbers, but they also made numerous mistakes. Awe led Tech with 13 tackles, and also chipped in a pair of pass breakups. Allen was second in tackles with nine. He also had a tackle for loss and a quarterback hurry. However, both players were guilty of overrunning plays and taking poor pursuit angles. Awe specialized in the former, Allen in the latter. Malik Jenkins had an excellent pass breakup against a TCU back on a wheel route.
Photo By Steven Chapman
There’s not too much to crow about regarding this unit. Tech simply didn’t have an answer for Josh Doctson who caught 18 passes for 267 yards and three touchdowns in one of the best performances by a receiver in Jones Stadium history. Justis Nelson was the primary victim early on, while Paul Banks took the brunt later. Banks actually had good coverage on Doctson much of the time, but failed to turn and locate the ball when it arrived. Doctson had no such problem. Keenon Ward and Jah'Shawn Johnson were both quite active, although Johnson was a little too active once, drawing a personal foul penalty for hitting a player who was clearly out of bounds. An interception could have made the difference in the game. Nelson dropped one, and nobody else was up to the job.
Taylor Symmank averaged an amazing 52 yards per punt, but when the team needed him most, plunked a 34-yarder that set TCU up in good position for their winning drive. Clayton Hatfield was money on a 37-yard field goal, and Pete Robertson blocked a Jaden Oberkrom offer. Jakeem Grant had one kickoff return for 51 yards, but Justin Stockton fair caught one he should have returned. Coverage was a bit shaky with Kavontae Turpin shaking loose for 47 yards on one return, and recording a 14-yard punt return.