Some day, some way, some how, the TCU secondary is going to have to stop someone — anyone — from throwing balls over its head for touchdowns.
Burned them at Baylor. Burned them Saturday, too.
Bears’ quarterback Robert Griffin III lit up the Waco sky a month ago, torching TCU for 359 yards passing and four touchdowns.
The Frogs dropped that one 50-48, and though Baylor lost to Kansas State Saturday, Griffin and the Bears are proving their offense is one of the best in the Big 12, if not the country.
So, write that one off. Chalk it up to inexperience and the bright-light nerves that come with it.
Problem is, SMU isn’t Baylor, and J.J. McDermott isn’t Robert Griffin III.
Griffin is a Heisman Trophy candidate; McDermott did not even have the starting job a month ago. That belonged to now-backup Kyle Padron, who was pulled two drives into the Mustangs’ opener at Texas A&M. Since then, McDermott has kept the job and played well, albeit against lower-tier teams.
But the general consensus in the press box after the third quarter was that if McDermott had been a better quarterback, SMU’s 17-point lead would have grew larger. McDermott made plenty of good throws against the Frogs, but he also made some bad ones, overthrowing wide-open receivers and giving up an easy interception. Had McDermott capitalized on more of TCU’s secondary mistakes, the Frogs wouldn’t have had a chance for overtime.
McDermott’s errors highlighted TCU’s woes just as much as his successes.
But the bottom line is this: The three teams TCU has faced this season who had the intention of consistently throwing the ball and who had the athletes to successfully do so have been Baylor, Louisiana-Monroe and SMU.
What happened in those games? Two losses and a win.
And don’t think the Frogs’ defense shut down the passing game against ULM. The Warhawks managed to toss two touchdown passes and lead 17-14 after the first quarter.
So, where does the TCU defense go from here, knowing it is essentially 0-for-3 this season stopping the passing game?
Forward, that’s where.
The Frogs have San Diego State, BYU and Boise State left on their schedule. All three of those teams are prolific in the passing game, and all three are well-aware of TCU’s early-season coverage woes.
Translation: They’ll get after the Frogs. And they’ll keep getting after them until something clicks. Which it will because, at this point, it is naive to think the TCU secondary can hold up an entire game against one of those three teams.
Eventually, though, something on the Frogs’ side will click. They’ll break up a big pass, get a timely interception or do something to give them the one thing they need but can’t get from their coaches or practice or game film: Confidence.