Mac Engel

There’s nothing good about TCU’s loss to Ohio State. So don’t spin this defeat as a ‘quality loss’

The game should have been at Amon G. Carter Stadium, and maybe if it had the result would have been different.

Doubtful, but ... maybe.

If TCU, and its fans, want to be a top 10 team, they both have to be out of the “good loss” business. TCU is a Power 5 team with a real resume, a real coach with real players, and a real quarterback.

TCU is a small school but if it wants to be a Big Boy program, no more of the celebrating, or spinning losses against the bigger schools.

TCU is a school with a small enrollment but a big football team. The end.

Please end the notion that covering the spread against the state university of Ohio was a “good loss.”

So, there is nothing to celebrate about TCU’s 40-28 loss against Ohio State. It just lost, and there is nothing good about losing any more to anybody if you are TCU.

“If this team can stay healthy we’re going to be a really good football team by the end of the year,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “You can’t beat yourself, plain and simple.”

No. 4 Ohio State didn’t make mistakes, and No. 15 TCU made a few.

Ohio State scored two defensive touchdowns off said mistakes. Ohio State forced three turnovers.

TCU had none of the above.

End of game. Not the end of the season.

TCU overcame some of its early mistakes on Saturday night and could have defeated Ohio State. What it could not do was the continuation of said mistakes.

TCU had a terrible call go against it, but was defeating the Buckeyes at the half.

By the middle of the third quarter, the Frogs demonstrated they could block Ohio State. They could cover Ohio State. They were better than Ohio State.

By the end of the third quarter, it all came apart in a hellish sequence for the Horned Frogs that ruined their game. Their young quarterback Shawn Robinson, who is going to be so good, is too young.

For a while, it looked as if TCU might actually be undefeated going into its Big 12 opener next Saturday at Texas.

With 10:38 remaining in the third quarter, TCU led Ohio State 21-13 after Darius Anderson’s second touchdown run of the night. This one was only 16 yards.

His first touchdown of the night, in the first half, was a 93-yarder. That’s the longest play from scrimmage ever against Ohio State. Ohio State started playing football in 1904.

Through most of three quarters, TCU played up to Ohio State. The only real blemish was the strip-sack of Robinson caused by OSU defensive end Nick Bosa in first quarter in the end zone that resulted in a Buckeyes’ touchdown.

Replays showed, conclusively, that the officials blew the call. The play should have ended in a safety. You can’t blame the replay officials; the refs never even asked the booth to review the play. And the refs are so scared these days they are known to review a coin toss.

Robinson made a pair of inexperienced mistakes midway through the third quarter that led to a TCU punt on a possession it could have extended.

On 2nd-and-10, with a little more than eight minutes remaining in the third quarter, Robinson threw a pass to KaVontae Turpin when he could have run for miles. Turpin dropped the pass.

On the next play, Robinson tried a dangerous option pitch that easily could have burned him.

Then it got worse; Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins completed a 63 yard touchdown pass with 6:58 remaining in the third quarter.

A bit more than a minute later, Robinson faced a third down he needed, if for no other reason than to keep Ohio State’s offense waiting.

By this point, TCU was converting third downs, and Robinson was completing the types of throws necessary to win this game.

But his third-down shovel pass attempt should never have been shoveled; the play was blown apart by Ohio State’s defensive line, and intercepted and returned 28 yards for a touchdown.

And about three minutes later, Ohio State had one more touchdown. TCU’s eight-point lead was now a 33-21 deficit.

Robinson would go onto to complete one more impressive long touchdown throw, but the mistakes both he and TCU could not commit had been committed.

Robinson and TCU can get away with a few boneheaded, young plays against Texas Tech or Baylor or Kansas State. It had no chance to beat Ohio State with those types of errors.

TCU’s entire season is still ahead of it. It can still gain virtually everything it wants.

TCU proved it can play against the No. 4 team in the nation.

It just could not beat them. And there is nothing to celebrate about that.

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