1. Can TCU put together back-to-back well-rounded performances?
Answer: Yes and no. The Frogs held the Red Raiders to only 389 total yards to a team that averages over 500 yards per game on the season. Seventy-one of those yards came on the ground. That defensive effort marked the second consecutive game in which the Frogs shut down a high-powered offense. On the offensive side of the ball, TCU gained 516 total yards and kept possession for a majority of the game. However, TCU lost the turnover battle in the game, surrendering possession three times. One Trevone Boykin interception gave Texas Tech possession at TCU’s 33-yard line and set up a touchdown. Texas Tech didn’t turn the ball over to the Frogs in the game.
2. Which team will spread the ball around more effectively on offense?
Answer: Ten Red Raiders touched the ball on offense, compared to nine Horned Frogs. As mentioned before, TCU outgained Tech offensively. The Frogs were able to gain 184 yards on the ground, but the difference came in the passing game. Texas Tech quarterback Seth Doege completed passes to eight different receivers, and his seven passing touchdowns were thrown to four different players. None of Doege’s targets exceeded 100 yards receiving, but four Red Raiders had five or more catches. Skye Dawson had almost half of TCU’s receiving production in the game, catching 10 passes for 154 yards and a score. Josh Boyce had seven catches, but no other Frog had more than two receptions against the Red Raider defense.
3. Which defense will have better success on third down?
Answer: The Frogs were the nation’s leader in third down efficiency entering the week going 5-for-13 on third downs. Texas Tech, however, held the Horned Frog offense to 5-for-17 on third down, and was strongest when TCU was in scoring territory. The Raiders forced six Jaden Oberkrom field goals in the game. TCU head coach Gary Patterson is a firm believer in his team forcing opponents to kick field goals to give themselves chance to win, and Texas Tech executed that gameplan more effectively. The Red Raiders did not settle for a single field goal Saturday. Keeping the Frogs out of the end zone is what helped Tech get back in the game, and ultimately win it. Oberkrom’s sixth field goal came in the third overtime period, and Tech responded with a touchdown to seal it.
4. How will Stansly Maponga’s foot injury affect his play?
Answer: Maponga didn’t play in Saturday’s game. His replacement, Josh Carraway, was pulled from redshirt status to play. Carraway recorded only one tackle in the game. Devonte Fields recorded three tackles and another sack coming from the other side of the line, but Maponga’s presence was missed in the pass rush. The Horned Frog defense seemed to key in on the run, allowing only 2.6 yards per carry, but Seth Doege was not under a lot of pressure very often in the game. Giving a quarterback a lot of time in the pocket will not bode well for any defense in the Big 12 conference. Patterson said after the game that Maponga may not play the rest of the season, but it will be a “week-by-week thing.” With or without Maponga, the Frogs will need to figure out a more consistent pass rush outside of Devonte Fields.
5. What will TCU’s “home-field advantage” be throughout the game?
Answer: The crowd of 47,894 was the second largest in TCU history. Red Raider fans filled a few sections, but Amon Carter stadium was still mostly purple. The environment was loud for the entire game for both sides, and fans exchanged chants for their respective schools. When TCU fell behind by 10 points with just over five minutes in the game, fans started to head for the exits. After the game, Patterson said fans needed to learn to stay for the whole game, but he wasn’t blaming the loss on the departure of some fans. Either way, the entire body of fans was not there during the overtime periods, and chants of “Raider power” echoed throughout the stadium. TCU started the game with a passionate crowd behind them, but “home-field advantage” was negated in part by the enthusiastic Red Raider fan base at the end of the game.