TCU vs. Minnesota: Highlights, Recap, Reactions

    TCU vs. Minnesota highlights, recap and reactions from the season-opening game between the Horned Frogs and Golden Gophers.

    September 4, 2015

    TCU vs. Minnesota Recap

    Final Score: TCU 23, Minnesota 17

    Sept. 3 – It might not have been the high-flying fun show everyone was used to out of TCU, but it was an effective, tough win with Trevone Boykin finding Josh Doctson for an 11-yard score and taking off for a 19-yard touchdown on the way to a 17-3 lead. But Minnesota kept handing around, with Rodney Smith scoring on a one-yard play in the third, and Mitch Leidner finding KJ Maye for a 22-yard touchdown with just over a minute to play to pull within six. The Gophers had one last chance, but stalled.

    Quick Reaction: TCU

    – If you were told before the game that TCU was going to outrush Minnesota 203 yards to 144, you would’ve assumed an ugly blowout. But even though the offense worked overall against a tough D, the real key going forward was the ability to run just well enough. It didn’t get the job done late, but it was solid throughout.

    – TCU QB Trevone Boykin completed 26-of-42 passes for 246 yards and a score with a pick, and led the team with 92 rushing yards and a score.

    Quick Reaction: Minnesota

    – Minnesota had to own the time of possession, but TCU had the ball for almost 35 minutes. Minnesota had to win the field position battle and didn’t. It also needed to win the turnover fight, and it was 2-2. The Gophers hung around and were right in the game until the end, but they played an unMinnesota-like game. The ended up having to throw to win, and couldn’t.

    – Do the Gophers miss David Cobb? Rodney Smith led the team with 88 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries. The team ran for just 144 yards and a score averaging 3.7 yards per pop.

    TCU vs. Minnesota Game Rating: B

    TCU vs. Minnesota Highlights

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    The TCU Killer Instinct

    Follow and/or Contact @PeteFiutak

    Every season is new and every team is different, even the ones that return a ton of starters. But it still would’ve been nice to have seen the TCU that finished last season so angry and with such a massive chip on its shoulder.

    It also would’ve been nice to have seen the team close out the Minnesota game with a statement.

    Had the Horned Frogs been able to convert one more key play – one fourth down – they would’ve beaten Baylor and would’ve gone 12-0 on the way to the playoff. Against Minnesota, they had a shot to run the clock out, failed to convert, and the Gophers had one last drive with a chance for the win.

    This was going to be a tough matchup for TCU no matter what – going to a night game in Minneapolis against a physical team with a good runner game and a better secondary – and they survived. They didn’t dominate. They didn’t look like the No. 2 team in the country. They got in, won, and moved on.

    There was something more business-like in the approach considering the high-flying passing pyrotechnics weren’t there. The defense did a terrific job of holding up, and Trevone Boykin was Trevone Boykin when he has to be, but it would’ve been nice to have seen the TCU O line step up and put it to bed at end.

    And soon, it’ll be necessary to see that killer team again.

    TCU Unimpressive In Defeat Of Minnesota

    Follow and/or Contact @RichCirminiello

    As tempting as it may be, don’t make the mistake of reading too much into the final score.

    Did TCU play like the No. 2 team in the country tonight? No. Is it time to downgrade the Horned Frogs as a serious playoff contender? Heck no. Nothing has changed. In fact, an effort like tonight will compel head coach Gary Patterson to double down on his Frogs’ preparation and work habits.

    Okay, so TCU didn’t pick up the style points it wanted, letting an unranked Minnesota team hang around for the entire game. And the Frogs won’t get a lot of chances before November to transform skeptics into converts. But this remains one of the 10 or so most talented teams in college football, which also makes it a threat to win a title in 2015.

    TCU was rusty against the Gophers. Nah, actually the Horned Frogs were downright ordinary and sloppy for much of the game. It happens at this time of year. Most important, though, they survived … on the road … versus a team that’s always well coached. TCU’s playoff hopes are intact, even if the weekend’s narrative insists that the program is overrated and ripe for the picking.

    TCU Grinds Out Win Over Minnesota

    Follow and/or Contact @PhilHarrisonCFB

    It wasn’t pretty, it certainly didn’t result in style points, but it was a win on the road nonetheless.

    When Minnesota is at its best, it’s like a mosquito that just continues to hang around, buzzing the face of opponents, frustrating them until opportunity presents itself. Coach Jerry Kill has drilled fundamentals into his kids by preaching solid, assignment defense, field position, and a ball-control offense that puts a premium on taking care of the ball.

    That didn’t quite happen tonight. The Gophers were able to play relatively sound defense, and kept the point-a-minute Horned Frog offense in check for the majority of the game, but there were too many key turnovers, and too many penalty yards to shake-down the second ranked team in the country.

    Let’s all remember that it’s extremely early in the season, and TCU might still show its dynamic self, but you have to wonder if a team with better personnel could employ the same game-plan with better success. There’s not too many teams in the Big 12 that have the right scheme and ball-control, but if the Horned Frogs get a chance to play for bigger things, who will be waiting for them?

    Off to Fort Worth to shake off some of the rust.


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