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Felix Luck leads TCU to 4th quarter victory over in-state foe Rice.

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    Soluna

    #1 Auburn dominates Felix Luck in season opening win over #2 TCU

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    Given that Auburn was number 1, how bad does this loss actually hurt TCU big picture? Come playoff time. I cant remember exactly who said it last night, but someone mentioned we will be seeing this matchup again at the end of the season, and i kind of agree. as long as neither trips over a trap game, or doesnt suffer any major injuries..i feel like we will be seeing them both again

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    TCU will be fine, they'll likely stay in the Top 5. With a stronger Big XII than I initially thought, going 11-1 or even 10-2 (with a loss at OU or OK ST, if those are road games) and then winning the Conference Championship should still put TCU in the playoff.

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    It's not like Luck even had a bad game, unless those 2 tds were in the fourth down 31-10 or something.

     

    Auburn wins a "get out of jail free" card and will probably hold the #1 poll spot until they lose. They can afford a bump and still have a pretty strong argument.

     

    TCU doesn't lose much in the long run. An 11-2 TCU is still playoff worthy. They can't stumble and fumble over a weak game, but they should feel absolutely confident in controlling their own destiny.

     

    This game will certainly impact the season at the very end, but it seems hard to believe it will be more than seeding.

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    I think the main takeaway from this is that Marcus Black and Sean Meade look damn near unstoppable. We knew they were good, but TCU is one of the most talented defenses this year and of recent years. Black is making his case to be a stellar QB prospect.

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    Biggest takeaway from this game: DON'T. FORGET. ABOUT. MEADE. With all the hype surrounding Black, and deservedly so, Sean Meade has kinda taken a spot outside the limelight. If it's not obvious, he's really good and really makes this offense work.

     

    Auburn gets a strong win for their resume, TCU loses nothing outside of what Auburn got in the long run. I'm not sold on this being the game to end the season, but these are two of the best teams in the country by a mile.

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    Auburn was favored by 5.5 and won by 7, so my priors don't move too much--though it does remove a good chunk of TCU's margin for error while bolstering Auburn's significantly. I think TCU saw a lot of good things from its offense, with the main area of concern on that side of the ball being the offensive line. Big XII defenses are a very front-oriented set this year which could cause matchup problems if that's anything other than a blip. That said, TCU's defense won't see much else like Auburn's offense all the rest of the year, and they remain the favorite to win the conference.

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    Most of my thoughts on this game were already stated above - doesn't hurt TCU significantly but removes some cushion and gives it to Auburn, etc. 

    I think what I'm wondering about now is the level of concern for the secondary.  Yes, Black is a special talent.  Yes, Auburn is one of the best offenses in the country.  But that TCU secondary led by Roman Blackmon didn't really slow them down.  And next up for the Horned Frogs?  Eric McLean and Deontray Clay.

     

    I think that an 11-2 TCU team can absolutely make the playoffs.  But how does it look if those losses are to Auburn and Rice?

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    1 minute ago, Jieret said:

    Most of my thoughts on this game were already stated above - doesn't hurt TCU significantly but removes some cushion and gives it to Auburn, etc. 

    I think what I'm wondering about now is the level of concern for the secondary.  Yes, Black is a special talent.  Yes, Auburn is one of the best offenses in the country.  But that TCU secondary led by Roman Blackmon didn't really slow them down.  And next up for the Horned Frogs?  Eric McLean and Deontray Clay.

     

    I think that an 11-2 TCU team can absolutely make the playoffs.  But how does it look if those losses are to Auburn and Rice?

     

    If you’re going to lose, lose early I guess. But, I think Rice has a chance to get in the playoff, especially with a win against TCU. So, if TCU runs the table, assuming 2 losses to start, and still wins the Big XII, they will at the very least be in playoff discussion? 

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    Also, TCU didn’t struggle to run, they just didn’t run much. Maybe a bit more of a balanced attack helps next time they play, potentially. Luck not having to throw 40+ times could prevent the turnover that seemed to decide the game. And maybe after having almost a season under his belt, Ian Worley is comfortable on the field and plays closer to his potential? 

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    39 minutes ago, Jieret said:

    Most of my thoughts on this game were already stated above - doesn't hurt TCU significantly but removes some cushion and gives it to Auburn, etc. 

    I think what I'm wondering about now is the level of concern for the secondary.  Yes, Black is a special talent.  Yes, Auburn is one of the best offenses in the country.  But that TCU secondary led by Roman Blackmon didn't really slow them down.  And next up for the Horned Frogs?  Eric McLean and Deontray Clay.

     

    I think that an 11-2 TCU team can absolutely make the playoffs.  But how does it look if those losses are to Auburn and Rice?

     

    To be fair McLean basically only has Clay as far as I'm aware, whereas Black has a bunch of receivers that all seem to be decent.

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    20 minutes ago, Soluna said:

     

    To be fair McLean basically only has Clay as far as I'm aware, whereas Black has a bunch of receivers that all seem to be decent.

    WR Deontray Clay 6-0 226 So Cooper (Cooper TX) 4.0 of 5.0 [Target]

    WR Darius Watkins 5-11 168 (So) Denison (Denison TX) 3.5 of 4.5 [Speed]

    WR Curtis Crump 5-11 195 (So) Floydada (Floydada TX) 3.0 of 3.5 [Speed]

    TE Jordan Cunningham 6-5 198 Fr Henrietta (Henrietta TX) 3.0 of 5.0 [Receiving]

     

    so McLean will have some young playmakers and a brand new TE for him to throw to who looks really good.

     

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    4 minutes ago, acewulf said:

    WR Deontray Clay 6-0 226 So Cooper (Cooper TX) 4.0 of 5.0 [Target]

    WR Darius Watkins 5-11 168 (So) Denison (Denison TX) 3.5 of 4.5 [Speed]

    WR Curtis Crump 5-11 195 (So) Floydada (Floydada TX) 3.0 of 3.5 [Speed]

    TE Jordan Cunningham 6-5 198 Fr Henrietta (Henrietta TX) 3.0 of 5.0 [Receiving]

     

    so McLean will have some young playmakers and a brand new TE for him to throw to who looks really good.

     

     

    The Tight End will probably be good, Watkins is a question and Crump will likely be average. So it's better than I thought but not sure it's anywhere near what Auburn has.

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    3 minutes ago, Soluna said:

     

    The Tight End will probably be good, Watkins is a question and Crump will likely be average. So it's better than I thought but not sure it's anywhere near what Auburn has.

    I think that Tight End is a game changer.  With him in a most likely verts system, that will open up the lower potential guys.  Having a great TE is so important to a system like what Rice runs

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    If Auburn has an advantage this year besides Black, it's the balance they can have on offense. Idk if any team can match them for it. 

    Teams that play them might have to make a choice in who they try to take out, and that may not even be enough.

    It's probably too early to say that Black has an insurmountable lead for the Heisman, but with this win and their schedule it's definitely his to lose. I'll definitely hype up Bryce Thompson, but honestly we don't face a schedule that can match up to Auburn's potential schedule. Solomon has the potential for a couple bust games (by his standards) just because of the defenses he'll face, in at least Kansas and TCU, and a QB has an inherent advantage in the Heisman race. Maybe a guy like AW3 could carry the hype train from recruiting, and the cult personality of Emperor will help him if he does well, but again it's hard to imagine him doing better than Black anyways. 

    The last 2 years, I've felt the Heisman hasn't gone to the best QB (Bowman and Jones being the best QBs) while the best 2 QBs have still been the top QBs drafted. This year feels different for sure. 

    Maybe this will be the best game that Black plays, but even if it is, idk if it will matter. The momentum from this game (which may be one of the most talked about season openers in site history) and transcendent games late in the season against SEC opponents will drive him to a Heisman. 

    On the TCU side, hard to criticize losing to Marcus Black. He was almost preordained to win the Heisman before the year. If this is the worst game that TCU plays this year, they'll still make a run at the championship. They still are the overwhelming favorite imo to win the Big 12, and while this could open up the playoff race to a lesser team, if they can be a 1 or 2 loss team, they still have a simple path to the playoffs imo. Still one of the 5 best teams in the country.

    Also I feel like we need to anoint Black with a nickname soon 

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    49 minutes ago, acewulf said:

    RT

    ATH Hayden Breaux 6-4 245 Fr Elsik (Houston TX) 2.0 of 4.5 [Run Blocking]

     

     

     

    This guy also seems a little light to be playing tackle and may be out of position.

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    4 minutes ago, joedchi said:

     

    This guy also seems a little light to be playing tackle and may be out of position.

    Listed with the Offensive Linemen on the team roster. 

     

    Edit: But that doesn't mean that he is a RT.  I see what you are saying now.

     

    Edit2: He's right in-between the OT and the OG so that's a tough call.

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    2 minutes ago, acewulf said:

    Listed with the Offensive Linemen on the team roster. 

     

    Edit: But that doesn't mean that he is a RT.  I see what you are saying now.

     

    Yeah, looking at size, he may be better suited at C long term.

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    Just now, joedchi said:

     

    Yeah, looking at size, he may be better suited at C long term.

    Not quite sure, but that could easily happen with TCU having a OG and OT on the RS this year.  Could easily move him inside after their current Center graduates.

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    1 hour ago, acewulf said:

    So I've been thinking about this game ever since I saw the game result.  And I have been looking both rosters trying to figure out what could TCU have done to try and get a better result on the field.  I don't want this to be taken the wrong way or anything by anyone, but I enjoy the roster building and scheme planning side of the game and honestly want to evaluate the whole thing.

     

    There are a few things.  

     

    ATH Griffin McHanna 5-10 184 (Jr) Central (Independence, OR) 4.0 of 5.0 [Speed]


    Currently playing WR2.  He is a small, shifty guy who caught 50 passes for 660 yards and 7 TDs.  He is in front of WR F.T. Grady 6-3 211 (Fr) Brackett (Brackettville TX) 3.0 of 4.5 [Target] and WR Rodrigo Marroquin 5-11 153 (Fr) St. Joseph (Brownsville TX) 2.0 of 4.5 [Speed].  Both of these guys are young and unproven, but FT caught 2 TDs in this game and made the most of his opportunity.  My question here is if he is an athlete, could he fit better in the slot and allow for the larger FT Grady to be that larger WR2 on the outside opposite Finn Nielsen?

     

    RB Martin Gifford 5-10 216 (Jr) Fort Stockton (Stockton, TX) 4.0 of 4.0 [Power]

    RB Matteo Cates 5-9 179 (Fr) Robert E. Lee (Baytown TX) 2.0 of 5.0 [Speed]

     

    Cates looks like he could be a dynamic player in this offense.  It seems out of character for a TCU team to not try and include a young, high potential player in as a starter or at least involve him in some way.  With the departure of Shamar Buroughs, I know that TCU needed to find something that would fill his role on offense.  But with a young guy like that and an older vet like Gifford, why not attempt to catch Auburn off guard and run Cates as a 3rd down back?  He's small and a speed guy that might work well as an outlet or dump off if Auburn blitzes heavily.  But on a day when the TCU running game only got 12 carries, Cates might not have helped all that much honestly.  

     

    PR Byron Whitley 5-9 196 Fr Shiner (Shiner TX) 2.0 of 4.5 [Hybrid]
     

    Is not redshirting and is listed on the depth chart once.  At WR6.  Now, Auburn didn't punt too much today, but if you are going to have a specialist like this on the depth chart use him in the role that he is good at doing.  By all means, have him on the WR depth chart, but for Griffin McHanna to be over him when he finished 5th in the conference in Punt Return yards and 8th in Kick Return yards last year...

     

    Offensive Line

    LT

    OT Tyson Chadwick 6-7 291 (Sr) Brackett (Brackettville, TX) 5.0 of 5.0 [Pass Blocking]

    OT Richard Messina 6-2 311 Sr Ketchum (Ketchum, OK) 2.5 of 2.5 [Run Blocking]

    OT Marshal Anderson 6-3 265 (Fr) Shelton (Dallas TX) 2.0 of 3.5 [Pass Blocking]

    LG

    OG Antonio Logan 6-1 277 (Fr) Goliad (Goliad TX) 2.0 of 4.5 [Run Blocking]

    C

    C James Kaplan 6-2 302 So Floydada (Floydada TX) 4.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking]

    RG

    OG Josh Carlisle 6-3 323 (Jr) Cooper (Cooper, TX) 4.0 of 4.0 [Pass Blocking]

    OG Vic Purvis 6-6 318 So Crowell (Crowell TX) 1.5 of 3.0 [Run Blocking]

    OG Kaili Malielegaoi 6-6 326 Fr Apple Springs (Apple Springs TX) 2.0 of 2.5 [Pass Blocking]

    RT

    ATH Hayden Breaux 6-4 245 Fr Elsik (Houston TX) 2.0 of 4.5 [Run Blocking]

    OT Maxwell Sosa 6-4 307 Sr Kashmere (Houston, TX) 2.5 of 2.5 [Pass Blocking]

    OT Solomon De La Puente 6-7 283 Fr Robert E. Lee (Baytown TX) 1.0 of 2.0 [Pass Blocking]

     

    Why are there no backups listed for Center and LG?  I understand that you're thin at those positions, but they need backups.

     

     

    And now for the thing that I think is the biggest concern that I have with TCU going forward.  Defensive scheme.  

     

    A team that has the following:  (#) is how many 4.0 or higher potential players they have on the roster.

    Blitz OLB - Will ILB (2) - Mike ILB - Blitz OLB
    Contain DE - 2 Gap DT (3) - Contain DE

    Should be running what?

     

    If you answered 4-3, you guessed what TCU ran against Auburn and ran last year as well.  I have concerns for this scheme fit as it appears that TCU has the perfect build to run a fantastic 3-4 defense with both OLB Chance Herring 5-11 231 (Sr) Bryan (Bryan, TX) 5.0 of 5.0 [Blitz] and OLB Richard Farrell 6-2 236 (So) Bonham (Bonham TX) 3.0 of 5.0 [Blitz] coming off the edge to terrorize the QB or running back.  And if they don't get to him, TCU has DE Aidan McAlister 6-0 264 (Sr) Lone Grove (Lone Grove, OK) 4.5 of 4.5 [Contain] and DE Aidan Morrell 6-2 266 Sr Goliad (Goliad, TX) 4.5 of 4.5 [Contain] to back that up.  The edge of this defense is no joke.  And with DT Kwon Shaw 6-4 284 So Port Neches-Groves (Port Neches TX) 4.0 of 5.0 [2-Gap] or DT Jasiah Pickens 6-1 334 (Sr) Rising Star (Rising Star, TX) 4.5 of 4.5 [2-Gap] staring at you up the middle, this defense should be the scariest front 7 in the country.  

     

    Then why did Aiden Morrell lead the defense with 5 sacks last year with a team total of 16 which was good for 8th in the conference last year beating out Iowa State and West Virginia?

     

    I understand that there is a plethora of talent here, but it just seems like it is all mismatched.  And this team seems like it is the poster child for experimenting with the new player positions.  There are plenty of ways that TCU can use the talent that is on the Front 7 here to minimize opposing teams offenses.  One of the DTs could be a designated Nose Tackle if you want to keep the guys fresh.  Sam, Jack and Bandit are available to be used in a 3-4 and with a 2/4.5 Mike sitting at ILB3 behind 2 Wills, TCU has the depth to utilize their Linebackers in such a way so that they can get most of those quality guys on the field as possible in any situation.

     

     

    Conclusion:

     

    And this isn't to say that TCU is bad or anything.  On offense, they are young, but they have a QB who played great against an equally great team in Auburn, a stable of WRs that are all great talents in and of themselves.  A great TE that can work wonders with Luck.  And 2 RBs that could be a great fit for spreading the ball around and picking up those rushing numbers you need to set all of the above up.  Imagine having those WRs out on the field and having the defense guessing on a play action pass.  With Luck and those WRs/TE, that could be deadly.

     

    They finished among the top in country last year on defense.  On 3rd downs last season, they were 1st in the conference and the only team below 30% opposing 3rd down conversion rate which is insane and has only been done 3 other times in conference history.  They are chock-full of players on that defense to shut down anyone in the country.  

     

    They have the talent to do great things and can be a force to be reckoned with.  But if TCU wants to run the table and possibly even win a rematch, there are definitely some things that they need to think about.  

     

    All of this being said, TCU can and should easily be a favorite to win the Big 12.  They have the talent and that is a credit to Danger for bringing in that talent.  He is a great coach and worthy conference rival.  Am I nitpicking?  Probably.  Hell, they only lost by 7 to a Marcus Black led Auburn team.  But they have room for improvement and can be in the conversation of the best team in the country.  

     

    If they assume they can out-talent teams, I wouldn't be surprised if they drop another one or two.

     

    This is an excellent breakdown.

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    2 minutes ago, acewulf said:

    Not quite sure, but that could easily happen with TCU having a OG and OT on the RS this year.  Could easily move him inside after their current Center graduates.

     

    Yeah, looks like they have the best 5 active guys out there but if they play a team with a stud left defensive end, it could cause issues this year.

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