Where do you even begin with a game like the TCU Horned Frogs' demolition of the Texas Longhorns on Saturday in Fort Worth? I feel like I have a thousand thoughts, questions, and comments rolling around in my head right now. I'm going to post in two installments this week. Let's start with the defense right now.
- From the very beginning of the game, I instantly knew Texas would be in trouble if they were not able to get to TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin. The back end of this defense just isn't good enough to be able to cover for extended periods of time. And that weakness was exposed, highlighted, and broadcasted for all to see.
- I instantly look to defensive coordinator Vance Bedford and his inability to have this defense ready to compete Saturday. Yes, I know he is working with more youth than normal. I know TCU has a fantastic offense. But his players were consistently out of position and just looked lost. That's on Bedford.
- One example of poor coaching is lining up a slower sophomore Fox end Naashon Hughes on the TCU speedster (arguably the fastest player on the entire field Saturday) KaVontae Turpin. It's a match up the Horned Frogs freshman will win 99 out of 100 times in that matchup. Again, that is Bedford.
- The defensive line struggled yet again. But I honestly don't know where Texas turns to for a pass rush. Thinking from the perspective of a Texas opponent, I can't think of one defensive lineman I'd be scared of besides maybe junior defensive tackle Hasaan Ridgeway. But Ridgeway has been so up and down, that I wouldn't really worry more about him than anyone else until he began to prove otherwise in the game.
- Junior Dylan Haines is a handicap at safety. He's just not athletic enough to keep up with the faster receivers Texas is playing against. Time and time again, we see Dylan Haines running to the play late well after the ball has already sailed over the Texas defense into the hands of a receiver running a deep route. And I'm not trying to knock Haines. But the reality is he's not making good decisions and he just isn't athletic enough to be the effective safety Texas desperately needs while they are suffering through the growing pains of playing a youthful secondary.
- I'd be surprised if Texas' other safety, sophomore Jason Hall, continues to play as much as he has the first few games. He seems like a non-factor as well. I actually can't remember a single big play he's made all season besides ones he's been flagged on.
- While we're on the subject, where is the Duke Thomas that was supposed to be a senior leader in the secondary? Before each game, I feel like I'm talking myself into believing Thomas should still be on the field. Each game, he doesn't really do much while on defense, including abandoning his responsibility in zone coverage to give up a wheel route touchdown to Turpin.
- I'd continue to play freshmen cornerbacks Holton Hill and Devante Davis. You know what growing pains you're signing up for when you play freshmen corners. But given time to learn from their mistakes and experiences, these two can blossom into quality defensive backs.
- I'd say continue to play cornerback Kris Boyd, but his halftime retweet has me thinking otherwise. At least for the near future. You just can't have that type of garbage happen. Yes, he's an emotional young player in his first season at Texas. But I imagine (I have not heard of any official word) we won't see Boyd against Oklahoma. And who knows after that. But I don't expect that will go without punishment from Coach Strong.
- You hope that linebacker Breckyn Hager can come back healthy. He has a mentality that needs to be out on the field much, much more.
- Back to Bedford... We all expect there to be growing pains with this defense. But what we saw Saturday was a disaster after the first defensive series. The defense was simply was not prepared. And yes Strong is also responsible as the head coach. But Bedford did not have his players in positions to make plays.
I'll be posting Part 2 (offense and special teams) either later today or tomorrow.