The Cowboys are headed to Texas this weekend to take on the TCU Horned Frogs at Amon G. Carter Stadium. In order to help prepare you guys for the game I reached out to site manager Melissa Triebwasser over at Frogs’o’War, our TCU sister site to see what all she could tell me about the Horned Frogs.
Micah Allen: So... Gary Patterson the country music star? Thoughts on Coach P’s music career?
Melissa Triebwasser: Gary the football coach’s career is definitely winding down, so it’s great to see him pursuing some other passions. For a person who lives/sleeps/breathes football, one of the good things about being forced away is he got to explore other outlets and mark some things off the bucket list.
And hey, Take a Step Back is a banger. We won’t talk about Game On though.
I don’t think the music took away from his preparation at all, by the way, which is something a handful of fans have questioned.
MA: Okay, I should probably ask football questions. What would you say is the Horned Frogs’ kryptonite?
MT: Right now it feels like TCU Football’s biggest enemy is itself. Especially on offense. Patterson was as open as he has ever been in his Tuesday press conference this week, really pulling back the curtain on what the pandemic cost his team in terms of development. Max Duggan is just a true sophomore, and someone that had all the talent but was going to be a bit of a project coming out of high school based on where he played. he missed so much time due to COVID and his heart issue — really, probably a solid six months of development. That’s hindered the passing game a ton.
That doesn’t really answer your question — if you want to beat the Frogs, the formula is simple: get to Duggan with your pass rush (not overly challenging against an offensive line that has really struggled) and hit the deep ball over our very injured and very young secondary. Tylan Wallace is going to EAT Saturday.
MA: What’s the strength of this TCU team?
MT: Right now, it’s the running game. The four-headed monster of senior Emari Demercado, redshirt freshman Darwin Barlow, and true freshmen Zach Evans and Kendre Miller have been outstanding most of this season. The run blocking has been much improved as well, and against Kansas (I know it’s Kansas), TCU was super effective on the ground. I have also been really impressed with the pass rush the last few weeks — not against the best offensive lines, but Ochaun Mathis, Khari Coleman, and Earl Barquet have looked impressive. I also need to mention Garret Wallow and Dee Winters, who are really making life tough in the middle of the field for opposing offenses at linebacker.
MA: How do you feel TCU has handled the pandemic from an athletics standpoint?
MT: I have been so impressed, honestly. The spread within the program was significant in August and September, but I don’t know how much blame falls on the program for that. They seem to be following protocols to the letter, and I have been really happy with policies and procedures at the stadium. Sure, people are taking their masks off in the stands, but it’s clear they’re making an effort. As someone who has been horrified for the last ten months and taken as few risks as possible (at least as far as someone who is teaching in person during a pandemic can), I have felt incredibly safe covering TCU events for the last few months. And that one sense of normalcy has meant so much to me.
Now, all that being said, the Frogs were down to around 50 scholarship players each of the last two weeks due to injuries, transfers, COVID, and contact tracing... but again, how do you blame the program for college kids acting like college kids? Can’t bubble them.
MA: Whats a stat Oklahoma State fans should be on the lookout for Saturday?
MT: Max Duggan’s completion percentage and TCU CB PBUs. Duggan had the crazy 3-11 for three touchdown line last week — fine against Kansas, not going to work against Oklahoma State. And when Trevon Moehrig, Ar’Darius Washington, and Trevius Hodges Tomlinson are active and around the ball, that generally means good things are happening for the TCU defense.
MA: What matchup are you most interested in?
MT: Interested or horrified? Because I want to watch Trevius Hodges Tomlinson battle with Tylan Saturday — Wallace is going to get his, but THT is an absolute gamer and won’t make anything easy. You’re going to see him give up like a 60 yard touchdown where he gets totally lost and also have like 4 PBUs and a ridiculous interception. I also really want to see what Mathis and Coleman can do against Sanders, who has had the habit of holding the ball and taking some unnecessary hits this fall.
MA:I mentioned it in my answers but Oklahoma State seems to be having some issues with the big play, is that something TCU can exploit and how?
Big plays. What are these things you speak of?
No. No chance. I mean, maybe. If they can shake Pro Wells loose like they did against Kansas, or if Quentin Johnston returns and can create separation, maybe. The Frogs have the speed at wide receiver, but they don’t seem to be able to take advantage of it often. Now, in the running game? Zach Evans and Kendre Miller are always a threat to score — from anywhere.
MA: Sort of playing off question no.4, if someone is planning on attending the game, what can they expect as far as rules, regulations, or just how things operate in the stadium?
MT: Well, masks are required when not actively eating or drinking, and stadium employees are doing their best to enforce that and physical distancing. TCU has had a clear bag policy for a few years now as well, but otherwise, it’s pretty much business as usual. Capacity is capped at around 12,000, so that’s a little less than normal (haha). If you do make the trip down, please stop by an support a local restaurant. Cane Rosso, Zoli’s, Heim BBQ... I can give recs for days if you need ‘em!
MT:TCU is favored to win this game for some reason and it’s hilarious. Can they win? Sure. Do I have confidence based on what I have seen over the last month? Not really. Oklahoma State 34, TCU 20.