It's hard to sum up as stupendous a performance as TCU's thrashing of BYU in Provo on Saturday. But perhaps this stat will do some of the job: Max Hall was sacked five times, by four different Horned Frog defensive linemen. That kind of domination in the trenches bodes very well for TCU's hopes to win out and spend Christmas and New Year's Eve preparing for their last game.
Superlatives: Andy Dalton was clearly the better quarterback on the field Saturday. Found receivers in tight spaces, sometimes while scrambling (the long conversion to Bart Johnson while running from a blitzer was a thing of beauty). The line gave him room, and time, too. New starter Blaise Foltz gelled well with the other big men up front. Johnson, Kerley, Young, and Hicks were superb catching the ball-- Young somehow got a toe in while turned around to haul in a long bomb from Dalton, with a safety breathing down his jersey; Hicks pulled in the highlight 75-yarder from Dalton in the third quarter; and Kerley... was Kerley. He caught what came his way, and dished it out, too (see below).
Also noteworthy: the playcalling.
Once again, it's clear the Frogs held back during the first half of the season, waiting to pounce on BYU with new and devastating plays. This time it didn't almost cost the Frogs a loss early on (CSU last season being the almost-loss in '08), but it paid off just as handsomely. The OCs snuck a double-reverse pass in on a first down in the second quarter that blew the top off the game. Jeremy Kerley, dropping further and further back, threw off his back foot 40 yards to Bart Johnson. The Frogs went up 14-0 a few plays later.
Now comes the significantly less glamorous task of not biffing one, namely in tougher-than-advertized trips to San Diego and Laramie. Home games against UNLV and New Mexico really shouldn't challenge the Frogs much.
(Note the conspicuous absence of the Utah game above: that'll be the highest-intensity night in Fort Worth this season.)
Meanwhile, TCU needs to get to work and discover how Harvey Unga, and last week Leonard Mason, were able to run all over the Frogs. There's not an all-conference back on the Frogs' remaining schedule, but TCU is certain to meet a good one in a bowl game, if they continue their winning ways.
And what else for the Cougars, who're spending this off-week watching what credibility they'd preserved from their big win on opening day swish down the proverbial toilet? Number 25 said it best, on his eye-black during the game: R.I.P. May you rest in peace, reputation as the MWC boss, echoes of a national championship, Heisman buzz for Max Hall, and resolve to redeem yourselves for last year's football sins. BYU must reinvent itself, and in the meantime, TCU skates further ahead.
Via con dios, Cougars. You'll need all the help you can get: TCU, Utah, Wyoming, SDSU, AFA, and CSU ain't waiting up for you. (UNM and UNLV might, though...)
Here're the highlights: