Posts Tagged ‘Utah Utes’

2010 Mountain West Retrospective: Peaks

Posted by    |    February 8th, 2011 at 9:02 pm

Peaks has to be plural, because in the conference, Utah beat ‘em all too, except TCU.  Both teams featured game-changing return men (Smithson and Kerley were first and second in the conference, first and 15th nationally in punt returns) and entered the season favorites to win the conference and challenge for the non-cartel autobid to the BCS.  Both teams expected to rely on multi-pronged rushing attacks to compliment their potent air attacks.  The Utes’ Asiata-Wide thunder-lightning ground game did not disappoint, averaging 25 carries for over 118 yards a game for the first eight games.  TCU’s Tucker-Wesley-James-Dalton rushing game was dominant, averaging 40 carries for over 240 yards a game for the first nine games (James didn’t play in two games, and TCU had no bye before the trip to Utah). (more…)

2010 Mountain West Restrospective: Bottom Feeders

Posted by    |    February 8th, 2011 at 11:44 am

In many ways, 2010 was set up to be the Mountain West’s coming-out year.  Its champion had claimed the non-cartel autobid two years running, and its Big Three were bigger and better than ever (BYU’s rebuild notwithstanding).  And then the other feet (yes, that’s plural) began to fall, and suddenly the Mountain West began acquiring a certain wacishness, a “haven’t we seen this somewhere else” look.  Out went Utah, in came Boise.  BYU tried to upstage its rival, first by trying to blow up the Mountain West, then fleeing it.  Somehow Nevada and Fresno State were suddenly sitting at the MWC table, and the WAC was feverishly trying to douse the fuse.  

So by the time kickoff finally came around, the Mountain West no longer looked at 2010 as its coming-out party.  The cartel had, again, won.  Peeling off Utah and BYU, the cartel outflanked the MWC’s challenge to widen access to lucrative BCS money and bowls by an entire conference.  A couple top teams?  Sure, there’s wiggle room for that change; but an entire conference?  Not a chance.  Boise State and TCU were left dangling in the breeze, their conference still safely outside the cartel.  TCU won ascendence into the cartel later, but only after the threat of a seventh conference claiming a seat at the cartel’s table by right had fizzled.  (more…)

TCU Football Year in Review

Posted by    |    January 10th, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Way back on September 2nd (only in football does three months a few days seem way back) the Wimple offered, as a public service, five reasons to curb our collective enthusiasm for the newborn football season.  Relax, was the message: 2009 rocked, and there’re a lot of good reasons to expect 2010, while good, not to exceed ’09.   Injuries might raise their ugly heads, and this year’s weakest link is backup quarterback.

“So pray for Andy Dalton’s durability, if you want the Frogs to top 2009 this year.  An inexperienced Pachall… isn’t going to best the Utes in Salt Lake City, or manhandle SDSU’s much-improved six-man secondary… in his first year.  So let’s hope he doesn’t have to.”

TCU’s ginger-headed gunslinger was one of the Frogs’ constants in 2010.

And, perhaps remarkably, the redshirt freshmen never had to take a snap with the outcome of the game in doubt.  Neither did the Frogs cave under the pressure to be perfect (another potential landmine noted in September), nor were the Frogs’ efforts in vain because Boise was more perfect than TCU.  In fact, speaking of Boise, perhaps it was a gift that this sentiment was true in September:

“Remember, Boise State put that monkey named You’re Still Not All That right back onto the Horned Frogs’ back in Glendale, and if history, including 2009, proves anything about TCU, it’s that the Frogs never—ever—get the monkey off their collective back.”  

And since 1938, that had been true, with exactly zero exceptions.  Andy Dalton and other Frogs said, over and over, how focused they were on returning to the BCS in 2010 and playing well; on purging the taste of the F-Bowl from their mouths.  It was Boise that, by besting the Frogs in Glendale, gave TCU the necessary motivation for success in Pasadena.

That success was a culmination of factors that were visible in September.  Two days following the article quoted above, your humble Wimple offered these five reasons to expect 2010 to exceed the heights of ’09.  (1) Andy Dalton and his receivers were all back; (2) Jake Kirkpatrick and his brethren in the trenches would dictate, not react; (3) the “ohmygawd backfield;” (4) a favorable schedule in which all the good teams came to Fort Worth (or Arlington), except Utah, and for that game Dalton’s greater experience than Utah’s Wynn’s would be the difference; and (5) with such a high starting ranking, TCU wouldn’t be passed by one-loss cartel teams.  

  Rimington winner Jake Kirkpatrick anchored the Frogs’ offensive line.

The story of TCU’s tremendous 2010 season is no less than the coming-true of every one of those good predictions, and (somehow!) the coming-false of every one of the bad predictions.  It is hard to fathom a more perfect season.  Dalton and his receivers indeed had a stellar year; Jake Kirkpatrick won the Rimington, and led a line that generally paved over opponents; the d-line was nearly as dominant; the backfield was outstanding; only one team registered a threat at Amon Carter Stadium, and the Utes’ poor quarterback was so thunderingly confused by TCU’s defense while Dalton had one of the best games of his career; and to top it off, the one-loss cartel teams in fact did not outrank TCU. (more…)

TCU slobberknocks Utah

Posted by    |    November 7th, 2010 at 1:50 am

And then the “Beat Baylor” Horned Frogs showed up, and the Utes looked every bit as bad against them as the Bears did.  Utah crossed midfield once– fifty minutes into the “game.”  Ute DE Christian Cox summed it up: “My bishop won’t be happy, but we got our ass kicked.”  No, Christian, he won’t be, and not because you cussed.

The quarterback duel was like a continuation of the ’09 meeting between Dalton and Wynn, only better for Dalton, and worse for Wynn.  Andy Dalton threw (arguably) the best game of his career, completing 80.8% of his passes to nine different receivers for 355 yards and 3 touchdowns.  His offensive line allowed zero sacks, and thoroughly thumped Utah’s defense.  The other quarterback on the field, Jordan Wynn, had an abysmal day, overthrowing receivers, throwing to the Horned Frogs, and generally looking out of his depth from the get-go.  Wynn’s line could not keep Frog defenders away from its quarterback.

Speaking of defense, the Frogs’ D was simply ferocious.  While sacking Jordan Wynn only once, TCU defenders were in his face all day, and when he did complete a pass, tackled with authority.  Tanner Brock was everywhere, including toting the rock for 57 yards, just a few steps shy of a score.  Also notable was D.J. Yendrey’s performance in the trenches in his second career start.  The sophomore could not be exploited for ground yards in Kelly Griffin’s absence.

Josh Boyce, Jimmy Young, and Jeremy Kerley were key pieces for the Frogs.  The trio combined for 15 catches, 278 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns and one touchdown pass.  Boyce’s 93-yard catch and scamper was the longest Frog play since early 2003, and the third-longest in TCU history.

And history is smiling on TCU.  When last playing for a Rose Bowl berth, Sam Baugh’s Frogs lost a nail-biter to SMU, in the depths of the Great Depression.  This year, the Frogs met their toughest challenge en route to Pasadena, and couldn’t have played a better game.  If the national championship is not available for the taking, the Grandaddy of Them All will be a splendid consolation.  Bring on the Buckeyes.