Tim’s Take: Clutch plays deliver season turnaround

As I was following Saturday’s game on the live update feature on my cell phone, I began to feel sick.It couldn’t have been from the Kincaid’s burger I had enjoyed hours before, could it? No, of course not – such a thought is blasphemous.

Instead, it was the score that was the cause of my stomach’s discomfort: 31-17 Stanford in the third quarter.

Oh, no. Not again.

It was not too long after the Cardinal took the two-touchdown lead that I began to receive text messages from friends looking to dump their sorrows on me.

“Can you believe this?” one friend texted me.

“This is 2004 all over again,” another friend said.

I was starting to concede that maybe my friend was right – just like I conceded that I enjoy country music in moderation and that Britney Spears might not have much hope after all. Not even one minute after that last message was received, something was beginning to happen.

In a season that could have the Frogs just fighting for a bowl bid, something happened.

In a season marred by offensive inconsistencies, defensive collapses and injuries to key contributors, it was happening.

In a season that has made some fans want to hit the “restart” button as if it were a Playstation 2 game, it happened.

The Frogs, on the big arm of Andy Dalton and a defense that made pivotal second-half stops, came back against the media darlings from Palo Alto, Calif., and found themselves on the winning end of a close game.

Was it all a dream, or did the Frogs remember that they were capable of being the team we thought they were? It was like watching “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” – except without all the awkward, sappy, island romance.

Whatever it was, it was special. And now, here comes the hard part: can the Frogs stretch Saturday’s performance into a renaissance for the second half of the season or will the unit’s stretch of dominance be a “one and done” performance like that of a bad Fox sitcom?

The Stanford game could have acted as the turning point in the season just as the back-to-back games against BYU and Utah were in 2005 and the Army game was last season. Following those wins, the Frogs would rip off winning streaks of 13 and nine games en route to back-to-back 11-win seasons. In other words, TCU was feeling it.

But before we announce Saturday as the night sanity was returned to the 2007 season, the Frogs must exact revenge on a Utah team that effectively ended any remaining hope TCU had of repeating as conference champions.

If memories and bad feelings still resonate from last year’s 20-7 loss, we may be heading for at least a two-week renaissance.

And if this college football season has taught us anything, it’s to not concede anything just yet. This might not be 2004 after all.