Well, Josh Boyce is still a superstar and Casey Pachall is pretty dang good.
Any more questions?
Still, you probably didn’t need those answers early Saturday night to know TCU wouldn’t have a problem with Grambling State.
Two minutes into the first quarter, true freshman Deante’ Gray, who just four months ago was probably attending prom at Westside High School in Houston, fielded a punt around the Frogs’ 30-yard-line, retreated backward, juked his way to the sideline then reverted his path toward the southeast corner of the field 70 yards for the touchdown.
Welcome to The Show.
But, of course, not everything came as easy for the Frogs on the same night they debuted their new $164 million stadium; on the same night they played on a field with Big 12 logos on each 25-yard-line; on the same night a man on a jetpack (yes, a jetpack) hovered over the north end zone seats and delivered the game ball to midfield.
No, there were those trying times Saturday night when nothing seemed to go TCU’s way – I mean, the Frogs went five whole minutes after Gray’s score until finding the end zone again.
Then, Waymon James bounced off a GSU defender for a one-yard touchdown, and Elisha Olabode, like rain over West Texas in August, extinguished a 16-second scoring drought with a 28-yard interception return for touchdown. TCU would go on to win 56-0.
My point: Sarcasm aside, TCU dominated every aspect of Saturday night’s game so much so I didn’t even bother writing up a post-game report card, because, really, from the coaches to the fans to the players, who didn’t deserve an A+?
Pachall never threw an incompletion, and his backup, Trevone Boykin, was perfect, too. Between them, they set an FBS record of 17-for-17 passing. Iowa held the l old mark of 12-for-12 set in 2002. That also means no receiver dropped a pass. Brandon Carter went up for a touchdown catch a few minutes after Olabode’s interception, and Boyce, having already scored on a 12-yard catch, took a swing pass from Pachall in the second quarter and turned it into a 66-yard score, starting near the GSU sideline and out-running defenders all the way to opposite corner of the field.
“If you were going to script a first ball game, this is how we would want to do it,” coach Gary Patterson said afterward, the crystal trophy commemorating his record-setting 110th career win shining in the corner of his eye.
So, take the Frogs’ big win for what it’s worth. It might not be much.
Late Saturday night, out in the desert, Arizona beat Oklahoma State 59-38. Like TCU, the Cowboys looked good last week in their season opener – they beat Savannah State 84-0. Their quarterback, Wes Lunt, a true freshman, was a perfect 11-for-11 passing. Their defense hardly gave up anything.
Sound familiar? If TCU wanted to, it surely could have scored 84 points Saturday night, and probably even more than that.
But, like Savannah State, GSU is an FCS program. It’s not as pedestrian as SSU, but it’s not Alabama, either.
TCU’s win Saturday night might mean something. Or it might mean nothing. We really don’t know.
What we do know, though, is that the Frogs did everything they could have done. They were efficient. They were sharp. They avoided turnovers. They avoided injuries. They weren’t complacent. They played with emotion, yet didn’t let the hype of the night distract them from the game itself. Even when a quarterback-center exchange was bobbled in the second quarter, Pachall was heady enough to fall on it immediately without panicking.
Will all of that carry over to Kansas next Saturday? We really don’t know .
Let’s hold off judgment for now, and maybe tamper down some lofty expectations. But let’s also not forget how good TCU looked in every facet of the game for four quarters Saturday night, regardless of the competition.
Maybe we’ll see more of that this season. Maybe we won’t.
We really don’t know.