TCU 20 Kansas 6
we're about 24 hours removed from a loss to the TCU Horned Frogs in our Big 12 opener and it's obvious that there are some good things and some bad things. An opportunity was certainly squandered a bit after forcing four turnovers and only managing 6 points, but those four turnovers, the defensive improvement and the fact that Kansas took this game into the fourth is probably more than many had expected. It's never fun to talk about moral victories, but this hopefully could provide a morale improvement on some level.
Offensive MVP - Kansas Offensive Line
Our yards per carry average took a dip this week but that was to be expected. The running game was still an effective piece to the puzzle and the offensive line really stepped up their game in pass protection. Dayne Crist had all day to throw, which opens up another conversation, but simply speaking this was a very good day for the five guys up front.
Defensive MVP - Bradley McDougald - 12 Tackles, 1 sack, 1 TFL, 2 Force Fumbles
McDougald still hasn't hit his ceiling by any stretch but he has turned into the leader in the defensive backfield. For the first time since Darrell Stuckey, we had a safety that was punishing the opponent. He still needs to tighten things up a bit and bring it on every play, but you can see a growing confidence in McDougald and it's fun to watch.
Three Things To Like Against TCU
- Defensive Line Play - The defensive line was a factor in this one. They may have had a better push earlier in the year against a weaker opponent but this time they were getting a push and shedding blocks allowing them to make plays. Kevin Young, John Williams and Toben Opurum stood out, but the group as a whole definitely started to show something.
- Anthony McDonald - McDonald made his first appearance of the year at linebacker and he's an upgrade over what we've been playing. The unit was at its best with him in the game and while it's far from perfect, it was an obvious upgrade to our team yesterday.
Personnel Changes - Perhaps it's reality, perhaps it's perception, but it seemed like there were players getting an opportunity that didn't see the same opportunity over the last two weeks. It wasn't in the kneejerk way that Mangino did it during his last season, but if you aren't performing someone else is going to get a chance and in some cases players are capitalizing on that opportunity.
Three Causes For Concern
Passing Game - Plenty of blame to go around here. Dayne Crist needs to be more decisive and accurate, but we also have a wideout group that just doesn't seem to have the ability to get open. We really don't have a deep threat, they aren't making catches they should and it's resulting in an offensive element that looks completely out of sync.
Special Teams - Specifically the kicking game. We're leaving points on the table and it can change a game. Not sure if this can be fixed because it's the most obvious talent issue we have on the team, but it's a huge weakness.
Ability to Finish - The offense doesn't have it. Four turnovers forced by the defense and we only convert for 6 points. We aren't punching the ball into the endzone, we're missing field goals and we're just not finishing. Even when we get close at the end, an error takes away an opportunity to make this a game. Weis talked about turning a corner, this is what I'll have to see before I can believe we've turned a corner.