It's a shame to be right sometimes.
For some reason, a lot of Frog fans lived the off-season with the belief that TCU doesn't rebuilt; it reloads. Some of us have been a little more circumspect about TCU's status in the world, and tonight we saw which outlook was more accurate.
To be fair, Baylor played very well tonight, especially in the first half. Its defense was ferocious, and its offensive line was outstanding.
And the Frogs played like a team full of younger players. But there is a lot of silver in the lining, and it begins with the remarkable performance Casey Pachall gave in the second half, with both calves cramping and the world seeming to crash down around him.
The sophomore gunslinger, who only had eyes for Josh Boyce in the first half, began to see the whole field. Pachall completed one pass to a Horned Frog not named Boyce in the first 25 minutes of the game, but in the Frogs' last drive before halftime Pachall found Skye Dawson and Waymon Jamesfor a couple of completions.
A little help from the defense (and I do mean a little), one field goal, one missed field goal, three touchdowns, 157 passing yards, and two two-point conversions later, Pachall threw his first career interception, icing the comeback bid, but completing a very colorful first chapter in his book of starts. Clearly the Frogs have a good one on their hands, and when they get around to giving him some defense to work with, he's going to rack up a lot of wins in purple and white.
About that defense...
... it's young, and the Robert Griffin III to Kendall Wright connection is about as big-time as it gets. But Kellen Moore isn't the only quarterback on TCU's remaining schedule that is going to be able to pick on Jason Verrett. Kyle Padron, Jake Heaps, Pete Thomas and Ryan Lindley are smiling tonight. Whatever nightmares they've had about last season's punishment from the Frogs (and they've had to have some) are looking less like recurring nightmares. It will be the mark of good progress for TCU's secondary if those four do not have good days when the Frogs come calling.
The one troubling aspect of the game that seems to lack a silver lining is Terrance Gannaway's success on the ground against TCU. He had a banner night, both finding open space, and making TCU's tackling look very sloppy. His yards after first contact were inexcusable for a Gary Patterson defense. Youth is no excuse for poor tackling.
Ezra Hood blogs about all things TCU football at SBNation's Frogs O' War.