Photo from GoFrogs.com.
No. 9 and doing just fine.
TCU is heading into a bye week after a big 44-31 win over Oklahoma State last Saturday. As is our weekly tradition, here are six takeaways from the game.
1. Longer drives, bigger payoff.
Gone is the fast-paced offense of TCU's recent past. Instead, offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie, now running solo after co-offensive coordinator Doug Meacham left in January, seems to be playing off the strenghts of his current team — namely, dynamic running backs, a solid offensive line, and a quarterback who can run. With that, TCU's offense is not only carrying the ball more often but also taking advantage of its time of possesion which, consequently, wears out the opposing defense and runs down the clock. And that's exactly what happened against Oklahoma State. TCU had the ball for more than 39 minutes, while Oklahoma State had it for about 20. It's not exactly "Big 12 football," but for TCU, it's what works.
2. Turnover mania.
Turnovers are what separate a good defense from a great one. TCU's defense is one that wants the ball. Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph, who at one point had a streak of 216 passes without a pick, was intercepted twice. Oklahoma State also tried a double-pass in the fourth quarter — foiled by TCU safety Nick Orr, who came up with the interception. In the end, the Frogs' efforts paid off to the tune of 14 points off turnovers.
3. Watch out for this guy: Ben Banogu.
Not much has been said about TCU defensive end Ben Banogu, but he's a name you'll be hearing more often. Banogu, who transferred to TCU from the University of Louisiana at Monroe, has been coming up big for the Frogs lately. Against Oklahoma State, he recorded a forced fumble, a sack and two tackles for loss. So keep your finger on him. This guy is good.
4. We just can't quit talking about Darius Anderson.
Three touchdowns and 160 yards — against the No. 6 team in the country. Running back Darius Anderson had quite a day in Stillwater, picking up the slack with Kyle Hicks out due to injury. Anderson is showing himself consistent game after game and could very well lead the team in rushing this season.
5. And also, these linemen.
But of course, TCU's running backs wouldn't be anywhere without a strong offensive line. But the defensive line is equally dangerous, with Banogu, defensive end Mat Boesen and Ty Summers, who moved from linebacker to defensive end for the first time against Oklahoma State. Defensive tackle L.J. Collier also had a good day with a sack and an interception. It was enough to get former Frog Tyler Luttrell talking on Twitter.
6. Does this mean TCU is legitimately good?
Even though TCU held the lead most of the game, Oklahoma State kept firing until the fourth quarter — a comeback scare ultimately thwarted by TCU's defense. Overall, the Frogs' performance against the Cowboys was all-around solid. The offense has a system. The defense is aggressive. And hey, special teams is consistent as well. But it would be ill-advised to sit pretty in the Top 10. You never can tell with football.