I had hoped that returning to Dallas Cowboy’s Stadium would bring back some of the magic that was around for the Oklahoma game in 2009. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. The Horned Frogs capitalized on three Cougar punts-but-not-punts to put up 21 points on short fields, en route to a 38-28 victory. I, like you, am baffled by the severity and quantity of punting errors, but I am also happy by the way our team played. For the first time in four years, our team was actually in this game.
Keys to the game
Nelson. Riley threw for 215 yards and a touchdown, while rushing for an additional 84 yards. He threw two interceptions as well. One of which was tipped by his receiver into the hands of a Horned Frog in the endzone. The other was a comical throw-it-up-in-the-air-as-you’re-falling gaffe that was a horrible decision. Despite that notable lack of judgement, I felt that Riley played a good game, and he was not, in fact, shut down by the TCU defense, as many feared he would be.
Receivers. There was only one passing touchdown, and that went to RB Michael Alisa. Hoffman, Apo, and Falslev led the pack with 67, 42, and 35 receiving yards each.
The Rush Attack. The Horned Frogs evidently had prepared for Michael Alisa, as he was only able to muster 11 yards on 6 carries. The only effective runners were DiLuigi (69 yards) and Nelson (84).
Special Teams. Unbelievable. For the first time in years, the Horned Frogs were a low enough caliber team to be beaten, and BYU actually played well enough to win. The bright spot was JD Falslev returning a punt 67 yards for a touchdown. That bright spot was overshadowed by the three bad punt snaps – two that led to no kick, and one that led to a partially blocked kick. Giving TCU 21 easy points in a 10 point game is no way to win.
Bronco D. The total yards and first down totals put up by TCU is misleading, because they nearly always had a short field, courtesy of the BYU punt team. The best stat for the Cougar defense was that TCU was only 5/14 on third downs. It’s hard to say if BYU could have kept the Horned Frogs off the scoreboard if the punts had been full length…in the end it doesn’t matter.
What we know about TCU (7-2, 4-0 MWC)
After beating BYU, the Horned Frogs went on to beat Wyoming, and will take a four game winning streak with them on the road next week as they take on #5 Boise State. This game will determine the MWC championship, and also will go a long way to determining who the Non-AQ BCS buster will be this year. If it’s not Boise State, Houston (9-0) may be another candidate. TCU will be moving on to bigger and better things next season as they begin play in the Big 12.
What we know about BYU (6-3)
If BYU went into the TCU game looking for an identity, they came out of it with one similar to what they had after the Utah game, with more comedy reel than highlight reel material. After having a week off, the Cougars will host the Idaho Vandals on Saturday November 12th. They wrap up the season with New Mexico State and Hawaii. Win all of those and the Armed Forces Bowl, and this team can still win ten games this year.