Frogs stumble against UT

Frogs stumble against UT

Though it started as a dream for the Frogs and their fans, the game against the Texas Longhorns on Saturday turned into a nightmare: a 34-13 Texas-sized Longhorns rout.After going into halftime with a 10-0 lead highlighted by senior cornerback Torrey Stewart’s 45-yard interception return for a touchdown, the Longhorns would go on to outscore the Frogs 34-3 in the second half with 24 of the 34 points coming in the final quarter.

The game’s momentum might have shifted at the end of the third quarter, when the Frogs recovered what appeared to be a fumble by UT sophomore quarterback Colt McCoy. An official review was made on the play, and it was overturned giving Texas a field goal opportunity instead of a TCU possesion.

Head coach Gary Patterson said he regretted not having the team call another play before the previous play could be reviewed.

“We should have called a play, got it on and ran it,” Patterson said.

Players such as senior linebacker David Hawthorne agreed with Patterson. He said the reversal took a toll on the team’s collective mindset.

“Yeah, it took a little energy out of us,” Hawthorne said. “You’ve got to be prepared for things like that in the game and we weren’t.”

Junior running back Jamaal Charles led the way for UT, going for 140 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. It was the first time since Oct. 1, 2005 that the TCU defense allowed a 100-yard rusher – a span of 21 games. The junior went wild on the vaunted Frogs defense in the fourth quarter, running for 82 of his 140 yards.

The Frogs’ running game, on the other hand, was held to 43 yards on 32 carries – an average of 1.3 yards per carry. Although junior running back Aaron Brown was in uniform, he was held out of the game, still feeling the effects of a knee injury he received against Baylor in the season opener.

Even the return of senior defensive end Tommy Blake was not enough to stop a Texas offense that went for 279 yards in the second half en route to snapping TCU’s nine-game winning streak.

The drop in intensity from the first half to the second half was obvious by TCU’s play on the field, Hawthorne said. He said the volume of mistakes made Saturday against UT cannot be expected if teams hope to triumph in Austin. Blake had three tackles, including a tackle for a loss in what was considered a difficult assignment in going against UT tackle Tony Hills.

“There are some times we gave up a little more than we should,” said Hawthorne, “but Texas is a good team and you can’t really blow assignments and stuff against a program like Texas.”

In his second start under center, quarterback Andy Dalton threw for 208 yards, but struggled to get into a rhythm, and the redshirt freshman found himself throwing an interception and getting sacked three times.

The offense’s inability to do much of anything against a UT defense that created four turnovers was frustrating, junior center Blake Schlueter said.

Even though he said the offense could have done more to help out the defense, Schlueter said he gives credit to a Texas defense that simply put up a better fight on Saturday.

“We came out here wanting and expecting to win,” Schlueter said. “Texas pulled it away. Texas has a great defense.”

The Frogs of the past might have considered playing well for the first half against a program such as UT as a moral victory, but Patterson said he would hear nothing of it with the present-day Frogs.

“I think TCU is past that,” Patterson said. “We came here to win. We didn’t come here to (just) play well.