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Instanalysis - TCU


Matt Cotcher
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FINAL SCORE: TCU 48 – Texas 10

First half: TCU 20 – Texas 3
Second half: TCU 28 – Texas 7

First half observations

  • Really hard to comprehend that Jaxon Shipley didn’t trot out for the offense’s first series.
  • A couple of interesting formations to start the game, but Texas got behind the chains and went 3 & out.
  • A little surprising that they called Armanti Foreman’s number so early in the game. He dropped a catchable pass. That’s tough for his confidence on a night when the offense needs him to contribute.
  • TCU got great field position on their first possession courtesy of a big punt return (and poor coverage) but the Texas defense held them to a field goal. That’s a win for the Horns.
  • On their second possession, the Texas offense lost yards on 1st & 2nd down, and then Swoopes was pressured heavily on 3rd down. They got behind the sticks again and fail to convert.
  • Swoopes took a big hit and was obviously bothered by his eye. Texas does not call a timeout and Swoopes throws an interception into double coverage. Not a good sequence.
  • TCU got into the Red Zone after the interception but the defense held them to another field goal. Early on this feels dangerously like an early season game where the defense keeps the team in the game early but folds late.
  • The Texas OL is overpowered by any TCU blitz. On a Swoopes fumble, TCU scoops and scores to make it 13-0. The Horns have already gone to Daje Johnson and Armanti Foreman early – both had no effect. This offensive folly is an OL issue.
  • The Horned Frogs pick up some yardage early in the 2nd quarter, but the Texas defense stays home on a trick play and forces a punt. Kick catch interference has Texas at the 35 – their best field position of the game.
  • There is more than 10 minutes left in the 2nd quarter, and offensive ineptitude makes it feel like they’ve been playing for hours.
  • On 4th & inches, Kent Perkins jumped early, then he’s late to come out for the FG unit. Not his best moment. Regardless, Rose’s kick is good and it cuts the TCU lead to 13-3.
  • Quandre Diggs has back-to-back stops on 3rd downs in the 2nd quarter. He’s doing his best to keep the team in the game with sure tackles. He was also downfield to make a play on the deep ball to Doctson, but tried to play it from behind the receiver. He’s giving up 6” in height on that matchup.
  • When Texas only rushes 4, Boykin has too much time in the pocket. On the TD pass to Porter, Boykin looked at 2 other wideouts.
  • Texas generates yardage but no points in two-minute offense to end the half. Even worse, Swoopes looks gimpy as he heads to the locker room.

Second half observations

  • The Horned Frogs moved the ball on the opening possession of the half, but a few key negative plays for the Texas defense stalled the drive and forced a punt. Patterson seems content to play field position with his 17-point lead.
  • The screen pass has been the Horns’ only effective offense.
  • The Horns have legitimately stuck to the run, but every rush is between the tackles. Watson & Wickline are not doing anything (on the ground) to stretch TCU horizontally.
  • Swoopes threw another bad interception (while looking uncomfortable in the pocket and not setting his feet), but redeemed himself by forcing a fumble on TCU’s return. Great hustle and effort.
  • Like Diggs in the first half, Duke Thomas and Mykkele Thompson misplay a jump ball and allow TCU to complete another deep pass. With double coverage, Texas needs to make that play.
  • On Dylan Haines’ interception, he did an excellent job releasing off the seam route to make a play on the ball.
  • After being shutout in the tonight, Texas has only scored 7 total points in the third quarter of their six losses.
  • On Swoopes’ third interception, he and John Harris were not on the same page. There’s no way to know who is at fault for the turnover. Regardless, the interception gave the ball to the Horned Frogs in the Red Zone with them owning a commanding 3 score lead.
  • Diggs yielded position on a jump ball again. This time it costs Texas a touchdown. The DB’s have underestimated TCU’s athleticism all night. This will not be the game film that Diggs shows to NFL teams to demonstrate his coverage skills.
  • Armanti Foreman showcases exactly why he got targets throughout the game when he took a catch up the sideline for a TD. Speed for days in that youngster.
  • Cedric Reed and the DL came alive after a 30 yard run by Green and force a punt. Diggs, who dropped an easy interception earlier in the drive, misplayed the punt and TCU recovered a live ball. From the Red Zone, the Horned Frogs convert easily for another touchdown. It’s 34-10 and people are heading for the exits.
  • The last two touchdowns for the Horned Frogs are more of a comment on Texas players’ attitude than the game. The Longhorns checked out of this one and the last 5 minutes was proof.

Three takeaways

1. The first half performance by Texas was reminiscent of their play in the first month of the season. The most troubling sign was how well TCU controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

2. Six turnovers will get a team beat by an unranked opponent. Giving a team like TCU that many extra chances will get you beat by 5 touchdowns.

3. After the game, both Charlie Strong and Shawn Watson talked about what an advantage it is to have depth for roster competition. Tonight when players didn’t perform, the coaches didn’t have many (or any in some cases) options on players to put in the game.


Notable Stat’s

  • Texas outgained TCU by 7 yards in the first half.
  • 41% of the Horns’ first half yardage (59 of 144 total) came on their final possession of the half.
  • Early in the 4th quarter, TCU had 10 TFL’s and had forced 4 turnovers. Definitely give credit to the Horned Frogs for a big part of the offense’s lack of production.
  • Malcolm Brown and Johnathan Gray combined for 44 rushing yards on 21 carries (2.1 ypc).
  • Without Armanti Foreman’s run after his catch, Texas did not complete a pass of over 15 yards.
  • TCU was 5/5 on Red Zone chances.
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I'll add a couple thoughts.

 

1. You hit the turnover thing, but to spend as much time as we did deep in our own territory. Field position was a problem all game.

 

2. Patterson is a defensive mastermind. As good as our defense was, his was just as good or better and had an offense that supported it successfully. Part of the reason Swoopes had the turnovers today was due to Patterson putting so much pressure on him while taking away the run. With a better OL, we may have been able to deal with that. Not this one.

 

 

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Just home from the game.

 

Rarely has a 13-0 deficit felt so insurmountable.

 

Whatever progress Swoopes, the offense and the team had seemingly made was shot down.

 

D played their ass off for the most part other than DBS not able to play the ball.

 

Our special teams are comically bad.

 

A good but not great team beat us in Austin on SR night by 38 and it could have been worse.

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Did anyone else seem to get the feel that Gary Patterson and Charlie Strong aren't very good pals? Patterson didn't seem to have much respect in his post-game interview with Fox1 as he was leaving the field and when Strong was asked if TCU was the best team he's faced, he wouldn't commit to that.

 

Maybe Patterson was just doing his politicking for Playoff purposes...who knows. Just a small observation.

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That early pass to foreman that was dropped, I though it was thrown behind him. Normally Ship makes that catch.

 

At least 2 of those picks Swoopes had, he wasn't under pressure. Ricky Williams talked about that in post game review.

 

The TCU DL manhandled our OL

 

The promise of Foreman was the lone offensive brightspot

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  • On 4th & inches, Kent Perkins jumped early, then he’s late to come out for the FG unit. Not his best moment. Regardless, Rose’s kick is good and it cuts the TCU lead to 13-3.

TCU clearly jumped first and the refs got it wrong. Should have been a first down. 

 

 

Encroachment is a subjective call, as compared to a false start. The DL moved, but I didn't have a problem with them not calling encroachment.

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That early pass to foreman that was dropped, I though it was thrown behind him. Normally Ship makes that catch.

 

At least 2 of those picks Swoopes had, he wasn't under pressure. Ricky Williams talked about that in post game review.

 

The TCU DL manhandled our OL

 

The promise of Foreman was the lone offensive brightspot

 

 

Agree that the 1st pass was behind AF. It was still a catchable ball, IMO.

 

For me, the TCU DL vs Texas OL was the story of the game.

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I'll add a couple thoughts.

 

1. You hit the turnover thing, but to spend as much time as we did deep in our own territory. Field position was a problem all game.

 

2. Patterson is a defensive mastermind. As good as our defense was, his was just as good or better and had an offense that supported it successfully. Part of the reason Swoopes had the turnovers today was due to Patterson putting so much pressure on him while taking away the run. With a better OL, we may have been able to deal with that. Not this one.

 

Agree Texas was challenged by field position all night. I'm not sure it made a significant difference though.

 

The TCU front 7 was in Swoopes head after the first 5 minutes of the game. He never was able to shake that off, even when he had time, he was rushing things.

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  • On 4th & inches, Kent Perkins jumped early, then he’s late to come out for the FG unit. Not his best moment. Regardless, Rose’s kick is good and it cuts the TCU lead to 13-3.
TCU clearly jumped first and the refs got it wrong. Should have been a first down. </p>

Shouldn't have even went that far. Why we go motion on 4th and inches is beyond comprehension. You get up to the line and snap it asap.

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Agree that the 1st pass was behind AF. It was still a catchable ball, IMO.

 

Yes, I thought so as well.  Money did well though.  Second straight game with an explosive TD pass >40 yards.  I dont know for sure but I dont think the starter Johnson has had that many all year.

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Has Shawn Watson reached Greg Davis status among the fanbase already?

 

 

I understand the frustration, but last night was not a Shawn Watson problem. In fact, I thought he called a pretty good game. I questioned the insistence of all runs going between the tackles in the article, but other than that: he tried to involved different playmakers, Swoopes threw downfield, they used a screen package to try to slow the blitz....blaming Watson is inaccurate.

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Really pretty simple game plan by TCU - others have used it on this team this season: 

 

Load the box, liberal blitzing, pressure / confuse Swoopes while stopping or greatly slowing the run. 

 

Dare Swoopes to beat you with his arm. 

 

Gray had ZERO yards, Brown had what 40 yards?, Swoopes had around 90 yards?, several sacks. 4 INT's and 1 fumble.... most TO's turned into frog points.

 

TCU wins.

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Swoopes looked like Jay Cutler, and not the elusive, rarely-seen good Jay Cutler.

 

He looked confused; locked in on WRs, limited check downs, and a turnover machine. I may be mistaken, but I don't think he attempted but one throw for more than 15-18 yds until the 4th qtr.

 

His performance coming off of a bye week was extremely disappointing. The play calling of run after run after run into the teeth of the TCU D-line was baffling.

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I understand the frustration, but last night was not a Shawn Watson problem. In fact, I thought he called a pretty good game. I questioned the insistence of all runs going between the tackles in the article, but other than that: he tried to involved different playmakers, Swoopes threw downfield, they used a screen package to try to slow the blitz....blaming Watson is inaccurate.

 

 

I hope you are right.  I find it somewhat interesting to see Strong so determined and demanding on and of the defense yet he seems to hold the offense to a different, more slack, standard.  Perhaps this is due to all the personnel issues?  I dont think we will know for certain the answer on that point until the end of next season.  But that is a lot of football to let pass you by.

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