It has been a tumultuous week for the TCU Horned Frogs. First they lost their starting quarterback Casey Pachall, who was suspended indefinitely following his arrest Thursday for suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI). Then Saturday, they lost at home 37-23 to the Iowa State Cyclones.
Not Texas, not Kansas State, not Oklahoma, no, Iowa State! No offense to the Cyclones as they played a great game and they have a solid team. They also have a history of upsetting ranked teams; they did it to Oklahoma State last year. But when you’re the #15 team in the country (as TCU was entering the game), you should put up a better effort than that, especially on defense. Head coach Gary Patterson has got to be frustrated with what his team showed yesterday. It all adds up to one bad week for TCU, one that may have severely dampened the prospects for the season.
Iowa State jumped out on TCU early when Cyclones quarterback Jared Barnett found Josh Lenz for a 51-yard touchdown pass. It would not be the last time the two connected. The Barnett-Lenz combination found the endzone three times with touchdowns of 1, 51 and 74 yards. Then early in the fourth quarter, with TCU gaining momentum and trailing by three (23-20), Lenz threw a 15-yard touchdown pass that gave the Cyclones a ten point lead. It ended up being a deficit that TCU could not overcome.
If you look at the box score, you’d think TCU had a pretty good game. They had a steady running game; they rushed for 185 yards. They outgained Iowa State in that respect. 270 passing yards with backup quarterback Trevone Boykin was also respectable. He’s a pretty good athlete, and TCU has a bright future with him under center. But, he is a freshman and he did throw three interceptions. Still, TCU outgained Iowa State in passing yards, too. TCU also owned the time of possession; they had the ball for almost thirty-six minutes. Yet they also had a higher number in the all important category of turnovers. TCU had five turnovers compared to just one for Iowa State. You cannot win games when you turn the ball over five times, especially with a backup freshman quarterback. Iowa State cashed in on the opportunties created by the those turnovers. Coach Patterson has got to be very disappointed with how careless TCU was with the ball plus the six penalties for seventy yards. You’re killing yourself by making these self-inflicted mistakes. It just can’t happen. TCU has got to get better in playing more disciplined football and taking care of the football if they want to have a successful season.
This Saturday, October 13, at 7 PM ET/6 PM CT, TCU takes on Baylor in Waco. Baylor has a terrific offense, one that hasn’t put up fewer than 47 points this season. And they are coming off of a bye week and are looking to get the bad taste of that 70-63 shootout loss to West Virginia out of their mouths. Unless TCU can fix their mistakes and play disciplined, sound football plus Casey Pachall comes back and plays (very unexpected), TCU is in a lot of trouble in this one.
In just one week, a once positive looking season looks very bleak especially with the status of Pachall up in the air. No one knows when he’ll be back or if he’ll be back this season. That is completely up to Coach Patterson. TCU can get back on the right path, but it is going to take a complete team effort. Get back on the winning track and forget the distractions.