Mac Engel

TCU humiliates Texas to regain look of playoff team

TCU and freshman wide receiver KaVontae Turpin were clearly way out in front of the Longhorns from Texas on Saturday.
TCU and freshman wide receiver KaVontae Turpin were clearly way out in front of the Longhorns from Texas on Saturday. Special to the Star-Telegram

There was no need to rip down the goal posts, or excessively celebrate for that matter. No TCU fan should be knocked for retreating to the parking lot at halftime of the “big game” against Texas to enjoy some cold Keystone Light.

All TCU did Saturday was do what the No. 4 team in the nation should do — obliterate a terrible opponent. UT is officially the University of Terrible, complete with live, in-game meltdown Tweeting from the locker room, and a new generation of TCU followers expects these outcomes to happen against Texas.

The biggest development for the Frogs is that in the process of making Texas look like Kansas, for the first time this season TCU played like the Top 5 and College Football Playoff team it was projected to be. Despite the numerous injuries, and the road games coming up, TCU has the look of a team that can reach the final four.

Forget that just for a second to enjoy the significance of Saturday’s events in Fort Worth. TCU’s smartphone generation should know this: You weren’t born the last time your team beat UT at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

“I was born in 1993,” fifth-year senior quarterback Trevone Boykin said.

The last time TCU defeated UT in Fort Worth was 1992, after which students tore down the goal posts because such an upset merited celebratory destruction of the home field. Those students are moms and dads now, and surely reveled in Saturday’s beatdown along with every other TCU fan that had ever grown numb to being second to Texas.

By halftime of TCU’s 50-7 win against Texas, at least one-third of the sellout crowd was partying in the parking lot. No shame there.

There was tremendous shame on the Texas side. While TCU fans partied at the half, Texas freshman defensive back Kris Boyd was busy re-Tweeting a Tweet about transferring to Texas A&M. He simply wrote, “Stay motivated,” but why is a kid playing with his phone during a game?

The only thing remaining to watch of interest was when GP pulled Boykin, receiver Josh Doctson and turned the game into a practice. That happened early in the fourth quarter with TCU leading 47-0.

The most interesting “play” in the second half was the head official announcing to the crowd that Texas was penalized for “disconcerting signals.”

The most disconcerting development Saturday is that the flagship school in a football-drunk state absolutely stinks. TCU is so good, and Texas is just that bad, that the current students now bury their faces in Instagram and Snapchat rather than watch the game, never mind tearing down a silly goal post. TCU has now defeated UT in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1958 and ’59.

“I wasn’t born yet. I was born in ’60,” Patterson said. “That’s old enough.”

In Texas coach Charlie Strong’s first two games against TCU, his team has been outscored 98-17.

I was convinced Texas could at least run with TCU to make it close into the fourth quarter. But after Doctson caught his first touchdown pass of the day in the back corner of the end zone with an unfair display of athleticism, it was apparent the ’Horns do not belong on the same field as the Horned Frogs.

That has never happened in the modern era.

Before Saturday’s game, GP was asked by ESPN about trying to win despite the number of injuries. He said, “We’ve beaten better with less.”

Yep.

By the end of the game, he was aware that social media had popped with the “trash talking;” he said those comments had “nothing to do with Texas. I’m getting tired of [the media] telling us we can’t play football.”

Who would be dumb enough to say that? Apparently, GP watches the pregame shows (i.e. ESPN College Game Day) that are sure TCU doesn’t play enough defense to reach the playoffs.

UT might recruit players that have more stars behind their names, but when it comes to player development and preparing a team to play, few are any better in college than GP. He may sound off-the-grid sometimes, but the man is one of the best at his job.

Seven days after requiring a tipped reception for a tippy-toe touchdown to beat Texas Tech in Lubbock, TCU played its most dominant game of the season to date.

“I don’t know about that,” GP said after the game. “Offensively [last week] was. ... We got a little luckier today.”

There was no luck Saturday. It was one-sided embarrassment.

Despite the injuries to wide receivers and an array of defensive players, TCU is improving and should be viewed as a national threat. Maybe the Horned Frogs are not better than Ohio State, but the new playoff format isn’t about that. This is all about just getting in.

For the first few weeks, given the injuries and the “close games” at Minnesota and against SMU and at Texas Tech, TCU did not have the look of a team that would get in.

On Saturday it did, which is worth celebrating more than another blowout win against Texas.

Listen to Mac Engel every Tuesday and Thursday on Shan & RJ from 5:30-10 a.m. on 105.3 The Fan.

Mac Engel: 817-390-7697, @macengelprof

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