CFB 2011 Week 1: The Heat Was Un'Bear'able for the Horned Frogs in Waco
98 total points, eight lead changes, 10 touchdowns and 1,030 yards were just some of the big numbers in the 107th match-up between the #14 TCU Horned Frogs and Baylor Bears.
Some may have expected the game to be close; few would have believed the scores to be so high.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, "TCU and Baylor combined for 98 points. In the previous 106 meetings between the teams, the schools had never combined for more than 77 points (Baylor won 56-21 in 1983). The 48 points scored by TCU were the most in series history for the Horned Frogs (47 points in 1968)."
Welcome to College Football 2011 and the first Saturday has yet to kickoff!
The temperature was hot in Waco, Texas, where it was reported to have reached 100° F at Floyd Casey stadium. The Baylor Bears were led by veteran quarterback #10 Robert Griffin III, wide-receiver #1 Kendall Wright and running-back #24 Terrance Ganaway to upset the TCU Horned Frogs.
However, the victory did not come as easily as the Bears would have liked going into the fourth quarter.
Fourth Quarter Recap
Up by 24 points—with a score of 47 - 23—the Bears thought that they had the game in the bag. Seven minutes and 49 seconds later, TCU scored three touchdowns, a couple of two-point conversions and were on the verge of tying the game before #82 Josh Boyce dropped the two-point conversion in the end-zone.
With a score of 47 - 45, the Horned Frogs defense was determined to get the ball back. On the first play of Baylor's drive, Griffin III scrambled out of the pocket and was hit from the side to fumble the ball and cough-up the first turnover of the game.
A good defensive stand by the Bears forced TCU to take a field-goal and go up by one with a score of 48 - 47. With only 4:27 left in the game, the Bears had one more shot to get a field goal or score a touchdown.
On the ensuing drive, TCU looked as if they were going to stop the Bears and pull off one of the greatest comebacks in modern CFB history. Fate had something else in mind; a lateral pass to Wright with a pass back to Griffin III 10 yards down field got the Bears their desperately needed first down. Approximately eight plays later, the Bears were fourth and four on their opponents twenty yard line when Aaron Jones successfully kicked a thirty-seven yard field-goal to put the Bears back on top 50 - 48.
TCU valiantly drove down the field to give themselves a chance to win with 12 seconds left. Unfortunately for them, Mike Hicks intercepted Casey Pachall's pass to give TCU their first turnover of the game and that sealed the deal; The Bears won 50 - 48.
The Net Result
Baylor came to play and their Heisman hopeful, Robert Griffin III, lived up to his potential and then some. The Baylor quarterback threw for 359 yards, five touchdowns and he was 77.8% accurate—completing 21 of 27 tosses.
Right on Griffin's heels was Kendall Wright—and right he was. The two connected 12 times for 189 yards and two touchdowns.
Finally, let us not forget Terrance Ganaway. This feisty bruiser ran 24 times for 120 yards and a trip to the end zone.
However, as was pointed out early in the article, Baylor blew a 24-point lead in the fourth quarter in just over seven minutes. The Bear defense did have some positive moments, but the special teams and their limited depth in the secondary contributed to the Bears almost blowing the game.
On the other hand, the youth at quarterback and on defense for TCU hindered them to such a degree that they lost the game. The TCU quarterback, Casey Pachall, has a considerable amount of talent and he looks to have the tools to take his TCU team far in the future. Until then, he needs to hydrate more and learn how to maintain his composure.
The TCU defense needs to regroup and figure out how to dominate the defensive side of the ball for 60 minutes at a time like they did last year. It will be interesting to watch how they bounce back from here.
TCU faces Air Force at Air Force on Saturday, September 10 at 3:30 pm EST.
Baylor gets a bye-week to rest and reflect on their victory, only to return to the field and face Stephen F. Austin on Saturday, September 17 at 7:00 pm EST.
Keep an eye out for TCU to see how well they respond to the upset next week.