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October 16, 2013The Frogs are midway through the season and sit at 3-3. The season hasn't gone as planned for TCU but there are still six games remaining and a lot of work to be done. It's that time of the year where we hand out our PurpleMenace.com mid-season report card.
Offensive Line: C-
The offensive line has been average to say the least. They haven't opened up holes in the running game which is evident by being ranked 92nd in rushing yards per game. They o-line hasn't been much better in passing opportunities either. Boykin has been sacked 10 times this season and if he isn't being sacked he is running around for his life.
Running Backs: B-
I haven't seen as much production from Waymon James and Aaron Green as I hoped to see this season, but there is a bright spot with B.J. Catalon. Catalon has rushed for 313 yards and 5 touchdowns and that doesn't include his contributions in the return game. Catalon is a certified baller and I love what he is able to do with the football in his hands. I think this grouping would be having a better season if the offensive line and play calling were improved.
Wide Receivers: D
I am so disappointed in the WR's it's hard for me to put it into words. I thought Brandon Carter would step up and fill the void left by Josh Boyce. I thought LaDarius Brown would have a breakout season. I thought Cam White would become more of a go-to target. I have been completely wrong about all of it! The only reason I didn't give this group an F is because of the newcomers. Slanina, Echols-Luper, Doctson, and Story have all made impacts in some way or another.
Trevone Boykin hasn't progressed and played as well as a lot of TCU fans thought he would this season, but it is hard for me to blame Boykin for all the problems on the offense. The offensive line has problems holding their blocks, the WR's drop too many balls, and the offensive play calling is atrocious. When you factor in those issues, I think a lot of QB's would struggle. I am very curious to see how Pachall plays once he is cleared to return.
Defensive Line: B
Considering the d-line has been without Fields for most the season, I would say this group has played pretty well. The defense has forced 22 sacks already this season and a lot of those came from defensive linemen. The emergence of Lathan and Tuaua has been a welcoming site as well.
Coming into the season one of the biggest question marks for the defense was the LB's. I think all the questions have been answered. This group is solid. Dawson, Anderson, Mallet, and Douglas have all contributed in one way or another. Last week against Kansas was the coming out party for Paul Dawson. Hopefully that was a sign of things to come.
The Frogs have picked off 10 passes this season thanks to great play by the guys in the secondary. Carter, Hackett, Verrett, and White have all played great up to this point in the season. Jason Verrett is one of the best to ever put on a TCU uniform. TCU is only allowing a little over 200 yards per game through the air which is pretty good when you consider the teams that they have played.
Special Teams: A-
I am giving the special teams an A- because I am not including Brandon Carter into this conversation. The special teams unit as a whole shouldn't suffer because coaches keep putting an inept punt returner back deep to return punts. Oberkrom has been reliable making 9/11 FG attempts and 20/20 on extra points. He is one of the most reliable kickers TCU has had in a while. Ethan Perry is doing a good job punting averaging 40.4 yards per punt. Both Catalon and Echols-Luper have done a great job returning kicks.
If you average out an A and an F together it gives you a C. The defensive coaching staff receives an A for the first half of the season. The offensive coaching staff gets an F and if I could give them something worse than an F I would. The defense has been outstanding and I think it's one of the best Gary Patterson has ever put on the field. I feel the complete opposite about the offense. It's boring, it's repetitive, and it doesn't work.
Basically this season has been a tale of two teams because it seems like two different teams when the offense and defense are on the field. The defense makes plays and gets stops while the offense can barely move the ball. It is kind of crazy to me that the defense is light years ahead of the offense. Hopefully the second half of the season will bring about success for both sides of the ball.