The instant reaction, thoughts, and and what matters after TCU’s 33-31 win over Texas.
TCU owns Texas
TCU is 7-2 against Texas since joining the Big 12, which is a little like joining opening a restaurant at a food court with a McDonald’s in it and having better fries.
Oklahoma might own the Big 12 lately, but Texas is the big dog in the conference in terms of money, influence, power, and everything else that makes the Big 12 the Big 12.
And … it’s Texas.
It’s not supposed to be losing to TCU, but it just did. Again.
And now Texas still isn’t back. It still isn’t national championship good. It has issues. Again.
— TCU Football (@TCUFootball) October 3, 2020
Sam Ehlinger struggled, Max Duggan didn't
Texas QB Sam Ehlinger threw for 321 yards and two touchdowns last year with 43 rushing yards against TCU in the 37-27 loss, and he also completed just 46% of his passes with four picks.
TCU QB Max Duggan completed 70% of his throws for 273 yards and two touchdowns with an interception, and he ran for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Ehlinger completed 47% of his passes this year with an interception, but he threw for 236 yards and four touchdowns with 49 rushing yards. That was good, but …
Duggan hit 20-of-30 passes for 231 yards and ran for a game-high 79 touchdowns and two scores.
It’s really, really early, but in a league with Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler, Iowa State’s Brock Purdy, and Ehlinger, Duggan just threw his hat into the ring to be considered among the league’s best quarterbacks.
The TCU defense wasn't great, but ...
It was great when it absolutely had to be.
Allowing 388 yards to the high-powered Longhorns wasn’t bad, but the Horned Frogs were gashed for well over six yards per carry and gave up enough yards to Sam Ehlinger and the passing game to be a problem. However, the two takeaways meant everything.
Just when it looked like Texas was going to punch it in for a late go-ahead score, the TCU defense came up with one of its biggest stops in years, not only coning up with a big hit, but defensive tackles George Ellis recovered a fumble and the Horned Frogs had the win.
This isn’t going to be a special TCU D, but this year, it just has to be opportunistic.
Tom Herman really, really, really, really, really needs to beat Oklahoma
This isn’t really working. At least the Tom Herman era at Texas isn’t working like it’s supposed to be.
He might be 3-for-3 in exhibition bowl games to get everyone all excited, but with this loss he’s now 27-16 at Texas. In the category of no duh, that’s just not good enough.
This is his team now. This is his program. Charlie Strong isn’t to blame, and neither is Mack Brown for things falling off at the end of his tenure. Texas committed 12 penalties – to be fair, TCU got hit for 14 – was -1 in the turnover margin. It was gained by 69 yards, and TCU had the ball for almost ten minutes longer.
Coming off the miraculous win over Texas Tech, this game was a problem.
And now it’s make-or-break time. Beat Oklahoma next week, and everything is back on track with the Big 12 title still there for the taking along with possibly some CFP consideration by winning out. Lose to OU, and it’s another lost year for a program that should be deep in the hunt for much bigger things by now.
Okay, TCU, now build off of this
TCU got the big road win it needs considering the rest of the schedule works out its way.
The 37-34 loss to Iowa State in the opener will be tough to overcome, but three of the next four games are at home including the Oklahoma game, the regular season finale against Oklahoma State is in Fort Worth, too, and the last three road games are against Baylor, West Virginia and Kansas.
TCU got the big one out of the way.
The team isn’t tight enough to run the table – the defense didn’t generate a lick of pressure on Ehlinger, the offense could stand to be a wee big more consistent, and …
TCU just beat Texas. It’s not a season-maker at this point, but things are still working just fine under Gary Patterson.
Main Photo Credit: Ricardo B. Brazziell-USA TODAY Sports