………. but we didn’t so as always it sucks to be Baylor LOL
I can’t complain too much because winning a rivalry game is always a beautiful thing, yet the second half was so bad that the bad taste feels like it will certainly bleed into next week. But before we dive into the disaster that was the second half, let’s talk about what can only be described as the best half of football TCU has played since 2017. The offense was extremely potent. We ran the ball effectively, Duggan was on fire, and we were FINALLY throwing the ball to QJ. The defense was literally so dominant it almost felt like we were playing a paltry high school team rather than a rival division 1 football team. We made Charlie Brewer look like a bum and seemed to be on pace to actually live out the “Frogs by 90” moniker. Then in the typical fashion of TCU teams of the last couple of years, we refused to go for the throat and pile it on when we needed to.
Everything was going our way, the offense was finally on point, we were stretching the field, it honestly felt like 2014 Meach and Cumbie again. We were throwing the ball deep. We had the perfect mix of well-executed runs and trick plays. We looked awesome, and then all of the sudden, it ground to a halt. In what is becoming increasingly characteristic of Gary’s personality, the offense’s imagination fell off a cliff. We went from a high-flying air raid juggernaut to a run it twice and throw a desperate pass on 3rd and long. I have no doubt that Gary and Jerry throttled the offense down. The difference in play calling and pace was significantly different in the second half, which was absolutely the worst decision to be made at the time.
We have struggled on offense all year, so when we finally find a strategy that works, we need to keep to it. We shouldn’t be trying to burn the clock from the start of the 3rd quarter on, which I have personally heard Gary yell through the headset during my time as a manager and GA. Jerry was supposed to be brought in to help improve the offense. I think the reality is Gary just hired a yes man that lacks the technical expertise to execute an offense in the Big 12. Jerry seems to bring out the worst impulses that Gary has as a defensive focused coach. His offense at Minnesota was a defensive coordinator’s dream. It hogs the ball, lacks explosion, and sacrifices scoring points for time management. I get it; as a defensive coach having drives that last under two minutes stinks, your players barely get to catch their breath, and it puts the stress of constantly being on the field onto your side of the ball. But in the end, when we try to run that style of offense, the style that is built to hold the clock and score less than 30 points a game, it’s an utter disaster. We simply aren’t built for it. If we had 5 all-conference linemen and could simply dominate the line of scrimmage, I would be all for that style of play, we could go be like Wisconsin and win games 21-14 or 28-21, but we can’t. We don’t have the size, physical dominance, or even close to one all-conference lineman, and we need to be creative on offense to win ball games. That’s what we had in the 1st half, and somehow that strategy changed dramatically in the 2nd. I think just about everyone knows that Meachum is a GO GO GO guy so it makes it hard, almost impossible to believe that on his own accord he would throttle the offense down, so in my opinion, this decision was made at the top. Lucky for us, Baylor stinks, so it didn’t completely bite us in the ass, but if we continue to stifle our only successes on offense on the whims of Gary, then I don’t see a lot of success in the frogs future as we finish out the season.
This might all sound like a lot of made-up bluster after finally mustering a second win, but I think the second half show bigger problems from the top down that need to be addressed. I think Gary and Jerry actively being involved in the offense is a bad thing for the frogs going forward, and hopefully, they have a change of heart after an abysmal second half. At the end of the day, a win is a win, so can’t complain too much, but man, is it frustrating to going from those first-half highs to the 2nd half lows.
Also, I would have mentioned Zach Evans, and why in the world aren’t we playing him more here, but that needs an entire blog of its own. So tune in later this week to hear my full thoughts on the continued blunder of not playing Zach Evans.
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