Rain awakens Frogs from their slumber

Posted Saturday, Sep. 28, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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In recent years, it wouldn’t be the DFW Duel, battling for the Iron Skillet, unless there was rain.

The majority of Saturday’s game, the 93rd meeting between SMU and TCU, was played under overcast skies, with the occasional breakthrough of sunlight spotting through the clouds.

During the first half, both teams played like the weather — dreary, putting up only 45 yards combined in the second quarter. TCU running back B.J. Catalon said that the 11 a.m. kickoff made it hard for players to get the adrenaline pumping.

Last year’s game in Dallas was played in heavy rain. Saturday, the field was baptized with a brief but heavy downpour ithat sent fans scurrying into the concourse for most of the third quarter.

The precipitation took a much different effect on the TCU players. As the rain fell harder, the players started bouncing up and down, pumping up what little crowd remained in their seats.

“When the rain came down, everyone got excited,” Catalon said. “It was like a backyard football game. It was like high school or little league going out there and just playing football. Not worrying about anything else but football.”

The stats back up the claim. TCU scored 38 points after the shower. In the fourth quarter alone, TCU posted 103 yards of its total 335 and quarterback Trevone Boykin threw for 73 of his total 228 passing yards.

“I feel like the rain gave our team more confidence,” Boykin said.

In the doghouse

As the season progresses, it’s been one step forward, two steps back for junior wide receiver Brandon Carter.

The former Euless Trinity star finished second in receiving for the Horned Frogs on Saturday with three catches for 33 yards. But Carter risked costing his team points with a personal foul penalty and a muffed punt return that SMU recovered.

Late in the third quarter tied at 10, TCU should have had a second-and-3 on the SMU 5-yard line, but Carter drew a flag for retaliating with an SMU player that shoved him after the play.

In his next time on the field, Carter fumbled an SMU punt at the TCU 37 that was recovered by SMU.

Carter was bailed out both times, first on a 20-yard touchdown pass from Boykin to true freshman Ty Slanina, then with a 5-yard sack on third down by James McFarland, leading to an SMU punt.

Coach Gary Patterson said what plagues the could-be top scoring threat is his attempts to carry the offense on his back.

“He’s trying to do too much,” Patterson said. “He gets the personal foul because the guy pushes him. The second guy gets caught. Get back in the huddle. How do you get even with them? Score a touchdown. Catch the ball.”

Patterson also was critical of sophomore kicker and Arlington Martin ex Jaden Oberkrom.

Oberkrom missed a 42-yard field goal in the second quarter, which could have tied the game at 10 before halftime. He bounced back to hit from 35 and 26 yards later, but it was the second game in a row he missed a key kick, Patterson said.

“Jaden has to quit missing shots,” Patterson said. “When we get a chance, he’s too good of a field goal kicker to be missing field goals. He could have made the difference in the Tech game and today, at the time, it was a very critical field goal, because then we went in down 10-7 at halftime. He’s too good to not be kicking the way he needs to.”

Hackett’s hot streak

TCU sophomore safety Chris Hackett picked up his third consecutive interception in as many games Saturday, with a diving grab on a pass by SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert in the first quarter.

Hackett is the first TCU player with interceptions in three straight games since Quincy Butler intercepted passes in four consecutive games in 2005. Hackett also forced a fumble, giving him a hand in four takeaways in the past three games. He finished with six tackles and recorded his second sack of the season.

Verrett, Dunbar hurt

Both senior cornerback Jason Verrett and offensive lineman James Dunbar left the game with injuries and did not return. Dunbar remained on the sidelines on crutches with what Gary Patterson said was an ankle injury. Verrett “banged up” an already injured shoulder, and Patterson said he kept him out as a precaution.

Special guest

Carson Huey-You, the 11-year-old TCU student, who made headlines when he enrolled in August, was invited into the Horned Frogs’ locker room after Saturday’s game. TCU fullback Jordan Moore took Huey-You inside to meet the team, which flocked to him like a rock star. Huey-You, who’s from Southlake, posed for pictures and visited with the players.

Stefan Stevenson 817-390-7760 Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

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