FORT WORTH, Texas - Of the many upsets TCU has enjoyed since Gary Patterson became its head coach, its 37-33 win on Saturday over Oklahoma warranted a good field-rush by the fans, but it should not come as a major surprise.
From the sidelines, it was apparent quickly TCU was a big underdog in name only. TCU entered its game ranked 25th, but it was apparent quickly they were/are much closer to the then No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners than previously thought.
TCU could run with, stand up to, and push Oklahoma. These are not your Rose Bowl TCU Horned Frogs. The Rose Bowl-team was an intelligent group, but this team has players who can compete with the biggest and best of the Big 12. TCU was ready to win and close out this kind of game against that caliber of opponent.
TCU's win over OU was not an accident, or much of an upset. The Horned Frogs were the better team, with the better quarterback, and they deserved to win. Watching this game you had the feeling they would beat OU again. Not 10 out of 10 times, but five out of 10.
In the AP's latest Who the Hell Knows What The Top 25 Really Is Poll, TCU is No. 9. TCU's next opponent, Baylor, is fifth. The USA Today poll has TCU 12th, and Baylor No. 3. The Bears received one first-place vote in the USA Today poll.
Since it happens about as often as Winter Olympics in Kenya ... I told you so. Last week, I wrote it felt probable that TCU would go 1-1 in the stretch of games against Oklahoma and Baylor. My initial thought was they would barely lose to Oklahoma, and win at Baylor. I would not be suprised if they beat Baylor, or barely lose. From a talent standpoint, TCU is there with the rest of the Big 12.
(BTW - I love this photo of No. 24 celebrating the win with his teammates, and a TCU bro' who squeezed in 9 on Saturday morning before he hit the tailgate. Ryan DeNucci is the backup place kicker, does not look like he dropped a single bead of sweat during this game, and will have this memory forever. This is why college football is better than the NFL.)
TCU's front seven, specifically the linebackers, are able to do the things Gary Patterson needs in order to work. They are active, athletic and make plays near the line of scrimmage. He will not like the fact they gave up 33 points, or that OU receiver Sterling Shephard had 215 receiving yards. Gary should be thrilled that TCU held OU running back Samaje Perine to an average of 3.5 yards per rush, and QB Trevor Knight threw two interceptions and completed 40 percent of his passes.
TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin looks like a player who has two years of experience, and knows what to do. He also competes like his life depends on every play. The line in front of him is improved, and his ability to move alleviates any pressure they feel to hold blocks for a more coventional passer. In college football, a decent line with a mobile quarterback can buy yards, points and wins.
TCU should not be expected to win the Big 12, but it should no longer be a big surprise when they beat Oklahoma, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, and Baylor.
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