The Frogs will play their first football since 1997 without Gary Patterson. But they’re still going to play a football game.
Hey Mason, cool time to take a day off.
Yes, our MMQB scribe is MIA this week; well not really MIA, he drove home from South Carolina this weekend and I knew a while ago I would be handling this week’s MMQB… I just didn’t know what that would mean.
Well, by now you know, Gary Patterson is no longer the head football coach at TCU. What this means is mostly to be revealed, but here is what we do know:
- TCU has had a terrible three weeks on the field
- TCU has had a weird 18 hours off of it
- Jerry Kill is interim head coach
- #16 Baylor comes to town Saturday
I am sure everything is going to be fine.
Let’s start with Kansas State:
Well, that sucked.
The Frogs have played back to back beyond disappointing games the last two weeks, losing to a bad West Virginia team at home (no offense Mountaineers) and getting smoked by a decidedly average Kansas State team on the road (no offense Wildcats). The latter became the second week in a row that the Wildcats have gotten a coach fired* after sucking their hopes and dreams from them in disturbingly clinical fashion.
(* was Gary Patterson fired? Did they mutually part ways? Does it matter? We might never know.)
TCU did very little right on Saturday: the defense was bad on third downs and gave up too many big plays, the offense got shutout through three quarters and other than a garbage time touchdown would have gone six straight without scoring, and the players looked disinterested and poorly prepared and like making a bowl game was the last thing they wanted to do. But hey, special teams was awesome, thanks to Jordy Sandy!
Though rumblings began years ago, the whispers became amplified over the last two weeks. Look, no one that loves TCU wanted things to end this way or to see Gary Patterson and the program get to this point. But most of us have jobs that don’t care how good we were ten years ago — they care what we’ve done recently. So, as someone who loves TCU, who covers TCU, who cares deeply about TCU in so many ways, I have rationalized being frustrated with the state of things while still being incredibly appreciative of how far we’ve come. And it doesn’t matter what we think: change is coming and change has come.
I feel like I could ramble forever sharing my feelings but for today, or at least this column, I am going to try my damndest to focus on what happened in the Little Apple.
Kendre Miller, you beautiful human.
With Zach Evans sidelined by the same injury that kept him out of the second half of the Texas Tech game and hampered him against West Virginia, Kendre Miller got the start and looked every part of a guy that could be a #1 a lot of places.
Miller was a menace on the ground and as a receiver out of the backfield and might have been even better if TCU hadn’t been digging itself out of a big hole most of the afternoon. Miller had 14 carries for 102 yards on the ground and hauled in four receptions for 28 yards in the air. Why he had just 18 touches is a different conversation, but the sophomore reminded folks why he is 1B to Zach Evans 1A — and why we shouldn’t get all that worried about 1A’s instagram bio.
Ochaun Mathis the menace.
Speaking of menaces, Ochaun started scary season a day early, recording a sack and two tackles for loss against the Wildcats. Mathis has come on strong since Oklahoma, and has looked every bit the part of a pass rushing terror with his edge rushing mate Khari Coleman returning to the fold.
Mathis is a guy we all expected to be a lynchpin of the TCU defense, the heir apparent to the playmaking ability and leadership shown by guys like Garret Wallow and Trevon Moehrig. Though he had a slow start, he’s absolutely been that in October, and is reasserting himself as one of the most fearsome rushers in the country.
Jordy Sandy for MVP.
I have been trying to find a replay of Sandy’s pump fake/successful punt, and have yet to do so. But folks were certainly talking about it:
Jordy Sandy with the best TCU play of the season, pump faking on what would have been a blocked punt and getting it off cleanly.
— Shehan Jeyarajah (@ShehanJeyarajah) October 30, 2021
That move by Jordy Sandy to avoid getting his punt blocked was the greatest thing a #TCU player has done all day. Even used his left arm to keep himself off the ground.
— Colin Post (@colinp_3) October 30, 2021
Jordy Sandy having an A+ game
— Billy Wessels (@BillyWessels) November 9, 2019
Sandy has quietly had an impressive season, and has certainly had plenty of opportunities to show out.
I mean… we know this, right?
The Frogs’ defense actually improved Saturday, allowing less than 400 yards to an opposing offense for the first time since the opener, limiting the Wildcats to just… 388 (grimace).
But the K State was 6-12 on third down (converting third and long multiple times) and 1-1 on fourth down (a fourth and one that became a 42 yard touchdown run) and maybe saying players on this side of the ball looked disinterested is harsh but…
… whatever their look was wasn’t good.
Skylar Thompson, playing through a lower leg injury, looked fine Saturday, throwing for 242 yards on just 13 completions and rushing for a long of 26 and a touchdown. Deuce Vaughn crossed the 100 yard threshold on the ground and was impossible to cover all day long, getting what he wanted when he wanted it.
Defensively, TCU’s offensive line looked like it had allowed a record-setting sack day to pass rush specialist Felix Anudike-Uzomah, though later he was given just four sacks on the day (still barf) as two fumble-causing sacks were taken off the scoresheet.
Lastly, TCU made a QB change at the half, as a clearly limited by injury Max Duggan was replaced by Chandler Morris.
Well, we all know that the most popular player on a team is the backup QB, but if you thought Morris was going to solve all TCU’s problems, well, sorry. Morris was fine: 9-14 for 111 yards, but had — and lost — two fumbles and had a long of just eight on the ground as he was asked to beef up the QB run game.
Say it with me: MAX IS NOT THE PROBLEM.
So, cool time to play Baylor, right?
The Frogs’ biggest rival comes to town Saturday for a 2:30 PM kickoff on Fox, and while our Waco “friends” are reveling in the most painful moment of most of our TCU fandom careers, there’s still a football game to play and we know the Frogs will show up to play it.
The Bears are good… like, really. Their ranking is earned and they seem to get better weekly under Dave Aranda.
Would it be just HILARIOUS if a completely in flux TCU team beat them and knocked them out of the Big 12 Championship picture?
Huh. Yeah, that would be fine by me.
Perish the thought.
Thank you, GP, and Go Frogs forever.