Game 4 (W) - Texas 31 vs TCU 16 (Part 2 - Defense)

Published by David Macias

As I mentioned yesterday in my post about the offense, the offense did enough, but man... the defense really pulled it out for us in this one. 4 turnovers! Granted, the INT by B Jones was basically gifted to us, but still, very well done by the D. This team has a lot of speed, and while we did let up some yards, we only allowed 1 touchdown. That's how you win a big game.

While I'm not enjoying the slow starts, I am enjoying how this team makes half time adjustments. TCU only had 3 points in the second half. Overall, this defense performed really well. Yes, their wrs got behind us a couple of times, but those are good players. Good players on well coached teams will get theirs, but you have to limit how much they get, and our D did just that.

(Quick note, I'm running a promo on this post to help spread the word of the blog, so read until the end to see how you could win a $20 Fanatics e-gift card!)

On to the game.

CBs winning 1 on 2 battles. Sure, Davis and Boyd will occasionally get burnt (what corner doesn't?), but these guys are great at taking on and avoiding blocks AND making open field tackles. Davis just shrugs off Turpin and makes a nice open field tackle on a big boy. 

Watch Davis make a similar play on the same drive. It's great how he's the aggressor and pushes the wr back couple yards and makes the solo tackle. That type of play from our corners gives the defensive coordinator more freedom to mix things up and run different types of packages with the D.

Graham punkin' the right guard. #49, Graham doesn't get the tackle here, but he pushes the right guard two yards into the backfield, causing the RB to side step in the backfield and giving G Johnson and B Jones plenty of space to make the stop at the line of scrimmage to force a field goal. Plays like this save 4 points - love it.

3 > 5? Watch this play, and you'll see what I'm talking about. The play is designed for 2 of the TCU o-lineman to immediately go to the next level and try to block a safety/LB. However, when the other 3 o-lineman all get driven back 2 yards on the snap (1 of them gets driven back 4 yards by Hager), the play doesn't have a chance. This is another play where G Johnson cleans it up as a good LB should and essentially gets the credit in the box score, but the push by the d-line should get the assist.

Shark sets the edge part 1. Actually, I don't even know if this is setting the edge or just making a 'splash' play. Shrugs of the LT and gets the QB for a 5 yard loss. Another play that essentially saves 4 points. Bend but don't break worked for us this past Saturday. Also, I've said it before, but the Shark may be more than 'not a drop off' from Roach, but actually better suited for OLB, because it appears he has more speed. Methinks some of those jet sweeps by Maryland could have been halted if the Shark had been on the field.

Caden. F'n. Sterns. This guy is just a flat out baller. Through his first 4 college games (as a true freshman), he has 3 INTs and a blocked FG. Stay with me here through this hypothetical. Sterns scoops and scores the same field goal he blocked against USC, and he doesn't step out at the two yd line in his second INT of the game. He'd have 3 INTs, a blocked FG, AND 2 TDs in 4 games - that's "Heisman watch" material for a true freshman. Sure, it wouldn't last, but it would be pretty sweet.

This appears to be a pretty straightforward INT by Caden Sterns, but it takes discipline to stay in your zone, which is how he gets this pick. Many players young and old will follow the first wr to cross their zone too far, which is what the QB expected here, but not Sterns - he too good. My favorite thing about this play is how he undresses #1 Reagor at the 30 yd line on his run back. I hope Reagor had his ankles double wrapped.

Shark sets the edge part 2. Later in the game, McCullough does it again. It's just good ol' assignment football. He just gets in the way of 3 guys, who all seem to be giving like 50% effort for some odd reason, and then G J comes in yet again to clean it up for a nice loss. I wonder what the coaches will do if/when Roach comes back this year. I'm thinking we need to keep the Shark and OLB and Roach can rotate in at DE. 

B Jones must lift weights. Real quick, how bad of a throw is this? I think his could have been a TD, though Sterns could have made the play on a deeper throw. I just don't know what the QB saw or was thinking, but I'm thankful for it. Best part of the play is how B Jones just throws down the wr with his left hand. Very beast mode of him. Not only do our Safeties get INTs, but they embarrass wrs afterwards. Also, I didn't show many plays of it, but B Jones was all over the field making very good tackles. I think it's "safe" to say our safety play is back up to DBU standards, or at least damn close.

Finally, another crucial 3rd down stop before the comeback. First, Shark takes on 2 blockers, but again, our DBs just don't get blocked on these sideways plays. Locke, who I've said before is better near the line, attacks his blocker and dives to slow down the QB. And Boyd, he just straight up runs around his would-be blocker and ensures the QB isn't even getting back to the line. Love how got off the field on a ton of 3rd and shorts. 

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