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Sunday, October 21, 2001

Attitude change
Players credit added itensity for 38-20 win over Army
By Brandon Ortiz
Sports Editor

Something was different for the Frogs Saturday.

David Dunai/SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER

For starters, the offense finally had a break out game, rolling up 485 yards and scoring 38 points – both season highs. And junior Sean Stilley started at quarterback for junior Casey Printers, who is out with a bruised shoulder.

But the biggest difference, sophomore tailback Corey Connally said, the intensity the Frogs (4-3, 2-1 Conference USA) played with in their 38-20 win over Army (1-5, 1-4 C-USA).

"It was the attitude," Connally said. "We went out there with the attitude we can’t lose. We had great enthusiasm today."

After the Frogs losses to Northwestern State (La.) Sept. 22 and Tulane Oct. 13, head coach Gary Patterson said the Frogs lacked intensity. Patterson said that was not the case Saturday.

"This team, when it wants to, can come to play," Patterson said. "What we have to do is decide to come every week."

Senior weak safety Charlie Owens and seniors called a player’s only meeting to address the issue. Junior receiver Adrian Madise said the meeting had a big impact on the team’s play.

"In the locker room we had some guys who gave some great speaches," Madise said. "Our whole demeanor was different this game. Our enthusiasm was up."

David Dunai/SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER

Junior quarterback Sean Stilley said the Frogs were not the same team that lost to Tulane 48-22 the week before.

"You could tell, there was something about it in the air," said Stilley, who accounted for 307 yards total offense and four touchdowns in his first career start. "It was totally different."

Players weren’t the only ones trying to motivate. Players said Patterson was more vocal than usual, not hesitating to get into their faces.

"If they aren’t going to fight on the field, then they are going to have to fight me on the sidelines," Patterson said. "If you watch me, I was in everybody’s face."

Players said the team’s attitude was different. The team’s success offensively was different as well.

The Frogs offense, which entered the game averaging 280.8 yards a game, looked more like last season’s methodical offense than this season’s paltry offense.

"We were able to move the football down the field," Patterson said. "That was the most impressive thing. Our offense was able to sustain a drive and punch it in."

Stilley had the best game by a TCU quarterback this season, completing 21-of-29 passes (72.4 percent) for 273 yards and three touchdowns.

"We have been telling the quarterbacks a long time to take what the defense gives you," Patterson said. "The passing game has to be like the running game: it is move the chains. It is not always throw it over their heads."

An option quarterback in high school, Stilley ran for a touchdown and 34 yards. Connally ran for 151 yards and a touchdown. The Frogs used the option more often Saturday, which kept the Army defense off balance, Patterson said.

"You stop people from being able to blitz you (with the option)," Patterson said. "That is why you are watching a lot of teams across the nation – even Army – come back and run the one-back option. Because it causes you problems when you blitz."

Army took the lead in the first quarter when a penalty cost the Frogs’ defense a turnover.

With Army on the 1-yard line and about to score, running back C.J. Young fumbled the hand off from quarterback Chad Jenkins. Owens trounced on the ball to recover the fumble, but the play was nullified because TCU was off sides.

On the next play, Jenkins ran in for a 1-yard touchdown.

When the Frogs got the ball back, Stilley found junior receiver LaTarence Dunbar twice for 32 yards. Connally followed the offensive line into the end zone to score 4-yard touchdown to even the game, 7-7.

In the second quarter, Stilley engineered an 11 play, 92-yard drive scoring drive to put the Frogs ahead 14-7. On second down and 15, Stilley completed a pass to Madise for 23 yards. After finding Madise again for 10 yards, Stilley kept on the option for a 47-yard run down the sideline —- the longest run of the season by a TCU quarterback.

Stilley thought he was headed for a touchdown before he was knocked out of bounds."

"For a second, I did," Stilley said. "The I realized it wasn’t high school anymore. The guys are a lot faster."

Two plays later, Stilley, scrambling to his right, found Madise open in the back of the end zone for an 8-yard touchdown. Madise finished the game with five receptions for 64 yards.

Army scored in the third quarter when Jenkins threw a deep pass to receiver Aris Comeaux for a 41-yard touchdown. TCU caught a break when Army place-kicker Derek Jacobs missed the point after attempt. The Frogs led 14-13.

The Frogs widen its lead to 21-13 with a 14-yard touchdown pass from Stilley to junior receiver Terran Williams. Stilley completed five-of-six passes for 48 yards in the drive. The touchdown pass was set up by a 15-yard run by Connally.

"The ball he threw to Terran Williams, there is not a quarterback in the country that can throw a better ball than that," Patterson said.

Stilley kept on the option to run in for a 4-yard touchdown to extend the Frogs lead to 28-13. Stilley started the drive with a 36-yard pass to junior fullback Reggie Holts in the open field. Connally took a pitch from Stilley to run 8 yards and put Stilley in position for the touchdown run.

Army running back D.J. Stancil fumbled the pitch from Jenkins and sophomore defensive end Robert Pollard recovered to give TCU the ball back.

TCU took advantage of the turnover with a 29-yard field goal by sophomore place-kicker Nick Browne.

Stilley threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Holts in the fourth quarter, giving the Frogs a 38-13.

With less than a minute in the game, quarterback Reggie Nevels threw a 50-yard touchdown pass to Chris Pestel. Junior cornerback Jason Goss fell on the play, leaving Pestel wide open.

Brandon Ortiz
b.p.ortiz@student.tcu.edu

 

   

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