‘Accountability is the biggest thing right now.’ How TCU football will get back on track

TCU responded the right way following its first loss of the season.

After a disappointing 41-38 home loss to crosstown rival SMU, TCU opened Big 12 play with a dominant 51-14 victory over Kansas.

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Now the question becomes how the Frogs will rebound from their second loss of the season, a 49-24 whipping at Iowa State last Saturday.

As far as coach Gary Patterson is concerned, the early indications are promising. Sunday’s day-after practice went well and he was hopeful it would carry through the bye week and into preparation for the Oct. 19 game at Kansas State.

“It was a good practice,” Patterson said on the Big 12 football coaches teleconference earlier this week. “It’s just a Sunday, but it was more of a practice like it was two weeks ago [ following the SMU loss]. So we’ll see. We’ve got two weeks to get ready for the Wildcats.”

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That’s a lot of time to reflect on what’s gone right and wrong through the first five games, as well as hopefully get some injured players healthy enough to play.

For the Frogs, there’s plenty to dissect following a 3-2 start to the season.

Offensively, the running game has performed well for the most part but struggled against Iowa State. TCU rushed for 108 yards on 33 carries. The 3.3 average per carry was almost 2 yards less compared to the first four games.

“Honestly, I really don’t know. I can’t really tell you in detail,” senior left guard Cordel Iwuagwu said of the running struggles in Ames.

“I just know as a unit we have to do better. The offense starts with us and I didn’t feel like we did our job.”

The passing game remains a work-in-progress too. True freshman Max Duggan has taken over the starting role, but goes through the expected growing pains of a young, inexperienced quarterback.

Defensively, as Patterson noted, the Frogs have either been “really good” or “really bad.” The key going forward is finding consistency and playing between “really good” or “pretty good.”

For now, though, Patterson seems pleased with the locker room and chemistry that has been built throughout the offseason.

As a senior captain, Iwuagwu understands the frustration that may come after losses but feels the team will get back on track.

“Accountability is the biggest thing right now,” Iwuagwu said. “We have to hold guys accountable. Like I said, it starts with the O-line. If we just do our job, we can be successful.”

Added junior linebacker Garret Wallow: “I feel like this bye week will be a challenge, but it will be good for us to take the next step and find out how we respond for the next seven games.”

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This story was originally published October 9, 2019 5:00 AM.

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