Our Defense - I have been critical of our defense thus far this season. I wasn’t sure if they were really as good as they appeared through the first four games of the season. After watching our game on Saturday night against a very good TCU offense, I’m a believer. While the stats may not look great on paper (433 total yards allowed), most of that damage was done early by TCU. TCU finished the third quarter with 1 yard of offense. That is an amazing stat. Even more amazing is how the defense rallied after major injuries to big time players, first Aubrey Burks, and later Trey Lathan. That was some impressive fortitude from our defensive players.
The special teams - TWO BLOCKED KICKS IN ONE QUARTER!!! I feel like we’ve had entire seasons where we haven’t blocked two kicks. This unit has quietly been a major reason we’ve started the season so well.
Garrett Greene - Welcome back to the heart & soul of our team. The team is just different when he’s on the field. His ability to create plays out of nothing keeps our offense on schedule. Special shout out to Garrett for his jawing with multiple TCU defenders at one point Saturday night.
Trusting the climb - Pour me a glass of the Kool-Aid. I’m ready to take the Jim Jones plunge and trust the climb again. While it hasn’t been pretty, our team is finding ways to get the job done so far this season. At the end of the day, football is a pass/fail game. We either win, or we lose. Thus far, we’re passing with flying colors.
CJ Donaldson - I’m not sure if CJ is hurt or what, but he doesn’t look like the same back as he was the first couple games of the season. In the first three games of the season, he averaged 4.3 yards/carry or more. Over the last two games, he’s averaged 3.2 & 2.8 yards/carry. If we’re going to continue to win with the run game, we’re going to need CJ back to his old self.
The receivers - I don’t know what it is about our receivers, but they cannot get separation on anyone. We also don’t do a great job of finding ways to scheme our receivers open (quick slants or the old Tavon Austin pop pass anyone). I’m not expecting us to put up numbers like we did with Dana, but the passing game has to do enough for teams to at least respect it as a potential threat.
Injuries on defense - The defense played a whale of a game, but I hope it doesn’t end up being a Pyrrhic victory. Losing Aubrey Burks (for who knows how long) and Trey Lathan (likely for the rest of the season) is going to put pressure on the rest of the defense. They stepped up admirably against TCU. They’ll need to continue this performance if we’re going to stay on a roll.