Rain-soaked win over SMU reveals little about TCU's progress, future

Posted Sunday, Sep. 30, 2012  comments  Print Reprints
A
Stock report

Rising: Weak safety Chris Hackett had an interception and a fumble recovery in his first career start Saturday.

Falling: The offensive line too often allowed defenders in the backfield, resulting in two sacks and giving running backs little chance before hitting the line of scrimmage.

Tickets available

Iowa State has returned tickets for Saturday's game so fans wanting to see TCU's first home Big 12 game can visit the TCU ticket office at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum, go online at www.gofrogs.com or call 877-828-3764.

Key stat

107Passing yards for Casey Pachall at SMU, his career-low in 17 starts. His previous low was 117 in 2011 against Colorado State when he completed 13 of 17 passes.

Other Big 12 games

Kansas at Kansas State, 11 a.m. (FX)

Oklahoma at Texas Tech, 2:30 p.m. (WFAA/8)

West Virginia at Texas, 6 p.m. (KDFW/4)

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Trying to figure out what sort of TCU team you're dealing with, Horned Frogs fans? Dry up and forget Saturday's water-logged win at SMU. It likely says little -- good or bad -- about what kind of team the 2012 squad will turn out to be.

There was plenty of bad for the Frogs on Saturday, but the constant rain and the nature of the rivalry with the Mustangs makes analysis nearly impossible in determining exactly where TCU stands as it begins the final two months of Big 12 play.

From a polling perspective, Saturday's sloppy 24-16 win didn't hurt. TCU (4-0) remained No. 15 in the Associated Press poll and moved up a spot to No. 13 in the USA Today coaches' poll.

A pessimist looks at the bobbled snaps and 156 yards of total offense, including 27 in the second half, as a warning sign to run for shelter as Big 12 teams come calling, including Iowa State (3-1) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

But for TCU coach Gary Patterson, the Frogs "surviving" the SMU game means just one thing: 4-0.

"All I've asked them to do is go on the road and find a way to win," Patterson said Sunday. "In conditions that weren't ideal, we had a bunch of young players screw some things up early. You just go down the list."

And Patterson did, beginning with the opening kick going out of bounds, giving SMU the ball at the 35, and ending with a high snap on a failed field-goal attempt with 1:06 left in the game.

"We just didn't handle some things very well," Patterson said. "We just have to play better. We've always struggled against them. They had two weeks to prepare. You've got to give them a little bit of credit. We didn't throw the ball very well; we didn't catch the ball very well. We were probably a little bit too psyched."

Yes, the loss of running back Waymon James remains an issue for the offense. And the offensive line often looked porous against SMU. And penalties continue to mount with record frequency.

Patterson, though, seems uncharacteristically calm, despite all of the apparent problems.

"I don't know if I've ever been part of a game where I had three snaps dropped," he said. "Every year we have a ball game like that. We've got a young football team. [Our defense was] better about what we needed to do than we were a week ago. All I'm asking them to do is, every week, keep getting better. And we're getting closer."

The offense, meanwhile, is still stocked with talented skill players, despite underachieving the last three games. Patterson hopes it reveals its true potential Saturday. "You're not going to win very many ball games in the Big 12 if you're only going to have 156 yards of offense and scoring 24 points," he said.

Tucker update

Running back Matthew Tucker, who hurt an ankle in the second quarter Saturday, did not practice Sunday evening, Gary Patterson said. That's typical for older players nursing minor injuries. "I think he'll be fine," Patterson said.

Tucker had four of his 18 carries in the second half and finished with 56 yards. Aundre Dean rushed 10 times for 26 yards to help supplement Tucker. Freshmen Trevone Boykin and B.J. Catalon combined for seven carries for 24 yards. Will we see more of the freshmen?

"We'll have to see down the road," Patterson said. "I wouldn't say because I don't want anybody else we have to play to know because I want them to find out on Saturday."

Stefan Stevenson

817-390-7760

Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Tuesday, September 23Full Scoreboard
Kansas City 9/23 7:05 PM ET
Cleveland TV: FSN-KC, STO
Baltimore 9/23 7:05 PM ET
NY Yankees TV: MASN, MY9, ESPN
NY Mets 9/23 7:05 PM ET
Washington TV: SNY, MASN 2
Seattle 9/23 7:07 PM ET
Toronto TV: ROOT-NW, SNET
Chicago WSox 9/23 7:08 PM ET
Detroit TV: CSN-CHI, FSN-DET
Pittsburgh 9/23 7:10 PM ET
Atlanta TV: ROOT-PIT, SPSO
Tampa Bay 9/23 7:10 PM ET
Boston TV: Sun Sports, NESN
Milwaukee 9/23 7:10 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: FSN-WI, FSN-OH
Philadelphia 9/23 7:10 PM ET
Miami TV: CSN-PHI, FSN-FL
St. Louis 9/23 8:05 PM ET
Chicago Cubs TV: FSN-MW, WCIU
Houston 9/23 8:05 PM ET
Texas TV: CSN-HOU, FSN-SW
Arizona 9/23 8:10 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FSN-AZ, FSN-N
LA Angels 9/23 10:05 PM ET
Oakland TV: FSN-W, CSN-CA
San Francisco 9/23 10:10 PM ET
Los Angeles TV: CSN-BA, SprtsNet LA, ESPN
Colorado 9/23 10:10 PM ET
San Diego TV: ROOT-RM, FSN-SD
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, September 23Full Scoreboard
No games today
Full Scoreboard
Week 4Full Scoreboard
Thursday
NY Giants 8:25 PM ET
Washington TV: CBS, NFL Network
Sunday
Carolina 1:00 PM ET
Baltimore TV: CBS
Green Bay 1:00 PM ET
Chicago TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
Houston TV: CBS
Tennessee 1:00 PM ET
Indianapolis TV: CBS
Detroit 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: FOX
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Oakland TV: CBS
Tampa Bay 1:00 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: FOX
Jacksonville 4:05 PM ET
San Diego TV: CBS
Atlanta 4:25 PM ET
Minnesota TV: FOX
Philadelphia 4:25 PM ET
San Francisco TV: FOX
New Orleans 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: NBC
Monday
New England 8:30 PM ET
Kansas City TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, September 23Full Scoreboard
Pittsburgh 9/23 7:00 PM ET
Columbus 
Carolina 9/23 7:00 PM ET
Buffalo 
Philadelphia 9/23 7:30 PM ET
Toronto TV: NHL Network
Boston 9/23 7:30 PM ET
Montreal 
Nashville 9/23 7:30 PM ET
Tampa Bay 
Detroit 9/23 8:30 PM ET
Chicago 
San Jose 9/23 9:00 PM ET
Vancouver TV: NHL Network (JIP)
Arizona 9/23 10:00 PM ET
Anaheim 
Vancouver 9/23 10:30 PM ET
San Jose 
Full Scoreboard