TCU Routs Portland State, 55-13

The 20th-ranked Horned Frogs play host to Portland State on Saturday, looking to improve to 3-1 on the season.

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Late First Half Surge Leads TCU Past Portland State, 55-13

The TCU Horned Frogs overcame a slow start this afternoon in Fort Worth to cast away the Portland State Vikings, 55-13, thanks to some big plays on both sides of the ball and a key series of events late in the first half.

There’s no other way to put it: for the first 27 minutes of this game, TCU looked terrible. The defense was making Portland State QB Connor Kavanaugh, who threw for fewer than 50 yards last week against Northern Arizona, look like an All-American. The defensive line was giving up runs of six, seven and eight yards with alarming frequency.

On offense, QB Casey Pachall was in the midst of his worst game as the starting QB. He threw an awful interception that killed a promising drive in the second quarter and was not passing with any sort of consistency or accuracy. The Frogs were staring at a potential halftime score of 3-3 against, essentially, a cupcake opponent.

The Frogs needed a spark, something to get the crowd and sideline back into the game. It’s not a stretch to say the game depended on it. Luckily for TCU, they got one from Josh Boyce, hands down the most electrifying playmaker in the state of Texas not named Robert Griffin III.

With a little over two minutes remaining in the first half, Boyce took a quick slant from Pachall 66 yards to the house, and gave the Frogs their first touchdown of the game, along with their first lead. That play awoke the team and fans from their slumber, and helped propel them to two more touchdowns  in the final two minutes. Tank Carder, the linebacker who broke up the two point conversion in the Rose Bowl, intercepted Kavanaugh’s pass and returned it for the first touchdown, extending the lead to 17-3.

After holding the Vikings to a quick three-and-out following the score, WR Skye Dawson returned a punt deep into Portland State territory, and capped it off with a 10-yard strike from Pachall to Skye Dawson. What had looked like a potential upset in the making become a three score game in a span of minutes, all thanks to Boyce.

The Frogs started off the second half much like they ended the first, with a 65-yard scamper from Waymon James, who also had a nice kick return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter. By the end of the third quarter, the Frogs had put most of their backups in on offense, and it ended up in a blowout like most expected.

The most important thing to come out of this game was the way the Frogs overcame a terrible start and avoided any thoughts of an upset by the end of the first half. Games like this are a reminder that this is very much a different TCU team than the one we’ve seen over the past few years. It’s full of young, inexperienced yet talented players, a team currently in search of an identity.

Even the best programs in the country have to rebuild when players graduate. Building a BCS team takes time. While it can be frustrating to watch at times, the team has the talent to become an elite level squad. My advice: enjoy the ride (even when you want to pull your hair out).

Notes:

  • Waymon James, even though he’s not the starter, is the most talented running back for the Frogs. He’s got the combination of power and speed that offensive coordinators dream of. His 65-yard TD to open up the second half was most impressive. Both Skye Dawson and Waymon James finished the game with two touchdowns each.
  • After a slow start from the TCU defense, the line finally began to put pressure on Kavanaugh and Portland State. While the secondary for TCU has been bad, the defensive line has to do their part and put more consistent pressure on the quarterback. Too many times the line has allowed teams to have ample time to check their third and sometimes fourth receivers. Getting that pressure will make the job of the secondary much easier.
  • Casey Pachall has become the unquestioned leader of the offense after only four games as a starter. When the team was struggling in the first half, he was trying to encourage teammates, and was paying close attention to the game at hand. He’s got the potential to be just as good, maybe even better, than Andy Dalton.
  • TCU can’t afford to have a slow start like this against SMU, a big rival. The Frogs nearly lost to SMU on the road last season, and the Mustangs always bring their "A" game against TCU. Should be a fun one next Saturday.

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Backups In For TCU, Lead 41-3 After Three

After taking a 41-3 lead late in the third quarter, TCU subbed in backup quarterback Matt Brown and running back Aundre Dean. Most of the student section has made their way to the exits. Overall, it was a pretty nice comeback from a terrible opening by the Frogs.

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Dawson Adds To TCU Lead In Third Quarter

Breaking news: Skye Dawson is fast. The football and track star just caught a tipped pass and blew by the two Portland State defenders who had the tackling angle on him. He runs the 100 in a blistering 10.2 seconds. You can’t teach speed. The Frogs now lead 41-3 in the third quarter.

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Frogs Start Second Half Like They Ended The First, Now Lead 31-3

Wow. It’s hard to put into words just how much this game has changed since a little over two minutes in the first half. TCU needed only one play, a 65-yard TD run from Waymon James, to get back onto the scoreboard in the second half. Whatever Gary Patterson said in the locker room, it certainly has worked.

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Frogs Rolling, Score Three Touchdowns In Final Three Minutes Of First Half

Following a nice punt return from Skye Dawson late in the first half, Casey Pachall hooked up with Josh Boyce for the second time today, extending their lead to 24-3 to finish the first half. Head coach Gary Patterson did not pleased seem with the team’s effort, despite the strong finish to the second quarter.

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Tank Carder Returns Interception For Touchdown, TCU Leads 17-3

What a crazy turn of events. It looked like TCU was going to go into the locker room after two being tied with FCS opponent Portland State 3-3. But a long TD pass to Josh Boyce and an interception return for a touchdown by Rose Bowl hero Tank Carder has brought the Frogs back to life. This is the team that we saw almost pull off one of the greatest comebacks in college football history.

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Josh Boyce Scores on 66-Yard Touchdown, TCU Leads 10-3

After sputtering most of the first half, the TCU offense finally got things going with a 66-yard touchdown pass from Casey Pachall to WR Josh Boyce. Most of the throws Pachall was making were quick, safe screens or slants, perhaps because of the interception Pachall threw on the previous drive. That touchdown was huge for TCU, who’d looked mostly awful this afternoon.

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Pachall Throws Second INT Of Season, Tied With Portland State In Second

After the TCU defense finally stopped the Portland State Vikings thanks to a nice sack by Stansly Maponga, Frogs QB Casey Pachall threw a careless interception, ending any sort of momentum the team was building. So far, on family weekend, the Frogs have been letting the parents down this afternoon. It’s still 3-3, with 6:10 left in the second quarter.

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TCU Off To Slow Start, Tied With Portland State 3-3

TCU started the second quarter with a 35-yard field goal to even the score at 3-3 with Portland State. Waymon James led the way on the drive, with two carries totaling 36 yards. A blocking in the back penalty stopped momentum on what looked to be a drive that would result in a touchdown. Head coach Gary Patterson thought about going for it on fourth down, but decided to take the points.

TCU’s defense has not really been able to stop either the run or the pass of Portland State. It’s early in the second quarter, and Portland State has already gotten seven first downs.

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Portland State Takes 3-0 Over TCU Early

Portland State got off to a strong start on their opening possession, going on a 14-play, 71-yard drive that resulted in a 22-yard field goal. Portland State QB Connor Kavanaugh, who only threw for 66 yards last week against the vaunted Northern Arizona Lumberjacks, is 4-5 with 46 yards. The Frogs, on their opening drive, sputtered on offense and had to punt after three plays.

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TCU Looks For Better Home Showing Against Portland State

Our new TCU expert, Pat Burns, will be attending today's game against Portland State, and had these thoughts to share before kickoff.

It's probably a good thing the TCU Horned Frogs (2-1, 1-0) are not in the Big 12 conference this season. After coming back strong from their opening loss to Baylor against Air Force two weeks ago, the Frogs came out flat in their home opener against Louisiana-Monroe. They gave up 17 points in the first quarter, something you never expect to see with a defense coached by Gary Patterson.  While TCU was able to make it look like a blowout in the box score, it was anything but easy.

So, the Frogs, who have been rumored this week to replace Texas A&M in the Big 12 this week, are lucky their opponent is Portland State, an FCS school instead of having to face a top-tier squad. The defense will be without linebacker Tanner Brock, who will be out for the remainder of the season, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

By far, the most impressive player this year for TCU has been QB Casey Pachall. The redshirt sophomore has completed 69 percent of his passes, with 7 TDs to only 1 INT. He's also led the offense to an average of 40.3 points per contest in their first three games. Look for the Frogs today though to control the ball via their rushing attack with Waymon James, Matthew Tucker and Aundre Dean (Ed Wesley is still out after hurting his shoulder against Baylor).


Portland State's offense currently is tops among FCS schools in rushing, which should be a good thing for TCU, whose inexperienced secondary has been picked apart this season. While PSU is off to their best start since 2006, this should be a game TCU handles with ease.    

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TCU Vs. Portland State: Horned Frogs Aim For Third Straight Win

The 20th-ranked Horned Frogs play host to Portland State on Saturday, looking to improve to 3-1 on the season.

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