• The KillerFrogs

Remembering some GP teams - 2003 version

geefrogs

Active Member
previous thread about 2002 team.

2002 was a success. 2003 gifted us with a preseason #25 ranking. The expectations had now changed around campus.

2003 recap (Madise and Dunbar both drafted in the 2003 NFL draft, 5th and 6th rounders.) The original pair of WRs in GP-Era. Will always have a soft spot for them because their job was more blocking than actually catching the ball.

Controversy. a SPLIT title, the BCS awarded LSU the title after beating OU. And the AP awarded it to USC after beating Michigan. Jason White would win the Heisman this year.

TCU season was spectacular and also heartbreaking.

nov-15-2003-fort-worth-texas-us-tcu-vs-cincinnati-amon-carter-stadium-CAAM94.jpg


TCU accolades included:
1st-team CUSA - OL Anthony Alabi, DL Chad Pugh, DL Bo Schobel, PK Nick Browne
2nd-team CUSA - RB Robert Merrill, OL Chase Johnson, WR Reggie Harrell, DB Mark Walker Jr.
3rd-team CUSA - DB Marvin Godbolt

game recaps next.
 
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geefrogs

Active Member
First four games

38-35 over Tulane on a Monday.
17-3 over Navy.
30-14 over Vandy.
13-10 overtime win against Arizona.

After September games, we were ranked #20th in the country.

Here is a random youtube video of the game at the Superdome. A game we almost gave away in the 4th quarter. Pre-Katrina football.


The Navy game was.......yeesh. losing 3-0 at the half, a couple rushing TDs later and our dominant defense kept Navy out of the endzone.

Thumping Vanderbilt (Jay Cutler) was fun. An SEC school, kind of like when we beat Northwestern. It wasnt a big name but it was a big conference. IT was also a big change in our starters. Brandon Hassell made his first start and Robert Merrill arrived, dethroning Lonta (injured)

This also tells the tale of how your start running can change at ANY MOMENT.

Meet Robert Merrill:

1642987834199.jpeg

The clash in the Arizona desert was a bizarre game. It opened with a 98-YARD TD to Reggie Harrell! That would be the only touchdown of the game and THANK GOD for Nick Browne and his steady leg. Hassell was sacked 5 times but Robert Merrill carried the team with 146 yards.

Martin Patterson, Godbolt, Modkins, Schobel led the defense to stay undefeated.
 

geefrogs

Active Member
Big OOC wins against the SEC and Pac-10 gave us more leverage with the pollsters. Now we turned our eyes on CUSA. Not to be spoiled again like the last 2 years.

27-0 shutout against Army.
13-10 win against USF.
27-24 win against UAB.
62-55 win at UofH.

The defense was on-fire. against Army An interception in every game so far. Our first shutout since 2000 against Rice.
A first CAREER touchdown for freshman and future TCU legend, Cory Rodgers. (His famous game would be coming soon)

ROAD game against USF was televised on ESPN2. A tough 13-10 win again this year. Tye Gunn was back at QB. The defense.....HAD 10 SACKS!!! The national audience saw how salty a TCU defense was this year.

Win against UAB put us at 7-0. Gunn got hurt again in this game. Hobbs scored twice to really give TCU a pair of solid RBs. Nick Browne game again, 4 for 4 on Field Goals. If anyone deserves a statue. It's this guy!

browne.jpg



Then there was the road game against U of H Robertson Stadium, it took over 4 hours to play. I was fortunate enough to be there and I still have a hard time describing what I watched. 62-55 without any overtime? What??? Art Briles was also there.

Where to begin:

Brandon Hassell had 4 TD passes and 375 yards which in modern times would be like Duggan throwing for 475 and 6 TDs.
Robert Merrill had 211 rushing yards.
Lonta Hobbs had 107 rushing yards.
Hassell also had 73 rushing yards.

Kevin Kolb absolutely torched us all night, it was the first time I remember a QB just going off on Patterson. Briles made a name for himself that night too.

The star for me though was freshman Cory Rodgers. a 48 yard TD reception, a 60 yard TD reception, and the famous JET SWEEP which he started at TCU for a 1-yard run.

TCU would be 8-0 and ranked #13 in the country. BCS seemed a possibility.
 
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geefrogs

Active Member
Final leg of the season proved to be heartbreaking again.

Win against Louisville 31-28. (9-0)
Big win against Cincy 43-10 (10-0)
the absolutely painful loss to USM 40-28
win against SMOO 20-13

A Wednesday night game on ESPN2 (gotta love CUSA) and we held them off with a missed field goal at the end. Highlights below.


It felt good to beat Bobby Petrino and the young WRs really played well that game.

the Cincy game was bizarre. 43 points without a passing TD?!! A block punt TD and a fumble recovery TD. Hopes were high going into Hattiesburg.

Then it happened. USM even has this as their 4th greatest game ever.


Watching from Clark Hall was painful. A very helpless feeling. I know some of the KF.c'ers actually drove to Missisippi on a Thursday for the game and drove back for Friday morning classes. A long road trip home.

It was 31-6 at one point. Hassell tried to bring them back 31-28, but it wasnt enough.

Beating SMOO was the least exciting victory I can ever remember the following week.
 

geefrogs

Active Member
The bowl game was disappointing for me because we ended up playing at Amon Carter against a team from the WAC.

Turned out to be a helluva game and the start of a short-term rivalry over the years as "who's the best" non Power-5 school?


TCU finished the season #19. A great team and season. A lot of close games. The 2-QB system. The national TV games. lot of close calls and of course, heartbreak.
 

y2kFrog

Active Member
Final leg of the season proved to be heartbreaking again.

Win against Louisville 31-28. (9-0)
Big win against Cincy 43-10 (10-0)
the absolutely painful loss to USM 40-28
win against SMOO 20-13

A Wednesday night game on ESPN2 (gotta love CUSA) and we held them off with a missed field goal at the end. Highlights below.


It felt good to beat Bobby Petrino and the young WRs really played well that game.

I remember the Louisville game well. It was a precursor to some of the bigger nights later in the Patterson era. I still remember the missed field goal at the end. It got so quiet in ACS that you could literally here the ball hit the crossbar.
 

LVH

Active Member
I don't think the 2003 team was that good. Too many close wins against bad teams. That Arizona team was horrific and lost by 60 to Purdue the week before we played them and needed OT to win.
 

geefrogs

Active Member
We actually faced a few future NFL QBers this year. granted, some played more than others but, still saw snaps in the NFL.

J.P. Loshman
Jay Cutler
Kevin Kolb
Stefan Lefors

I think Dinwiddie from Boise went to Canada to play, IIRC.
 

geefrogs

Active Member
I don't think the 2003 team was that good. Too many close wins against bad teams. That Arizona team was horrific and lost by 60 to Purdue the week before we played them and needed OT to win.

Thats fair. Arizona was by no means very good. But you have to remember the narrative at the time. A small C-USA school that nobody really thought much of going on the road against the "big boy" conferences was still something. Even if it was an ugly win.

The narrative was always and is still true today that those "smaller conference schools" cant be physical or last 4 quarters against an SEC, or Pac-12 or etc. which 2003 started to change the narrative that TCU isnt your typical "small conference" school.
 

geefrogs

Active Member
I remember the Louisville game well. It was a precursor to some of the bigger nights later in the Patterson era. I still remember the missed field goal at the end. It got so quiet in ACS that you could literally here the ball hit the crossbar.

pandemonium for sure. And from what I know of Bobby Petrino now, it couldnt have happened to a more deserving coach :)
 

geefrogs

Active Member
1214hawkins-1.jpg


its fascinating how some hires turn out great, and some dont. I think Hawkins spent one more successful year at Boise before jumping to Colorado which was such a bad experience his next job was broadcasting.
 

BrewingFrog

Was I supposed to type something here?
pandemonium for sure. And from what I know of Bobby Petrino now, it couldnt have happened to a more deserving coach :)
I traveled up for the game, which was a Wednesday Night Showcase. I was surprised how packed ACS was, given the mid-week scheduling. Poor Mrs. Brewingfrog stayed home, as she had her own career and work the next morning. Her method of dealing with stress is to clean. I don't think I had ever seen the place that spotless after I got home. She told me, "I had gotten to cleaning the baseboards with a little brush by the time the last kick happened. I couldn't watch!"

The Southern Miss loss broke our enviable streak of TCU winning Big Games when we traveled south of the Tropic of Cancer. Our trip to a beautiful island nation well within the tropics that weekend was to no avail...
 

Froginbedford

Full Member
pandemonium for sure. And from what I know of Bobby Petrino now, it couldnt have happened to a more deserving coach :)
I remember the Louisville newspaper leading its game story (UL had already accepted an invitation to the Big East) with the idea that the advantage of moving conferences was that UL wouldn't have to play TCU anymore....That Wednesday night game was the 3rd win in a row TCU over UL....To be fair, the next year (the last meeting between the two) UL waxed the Frogs up there....
 

Froginbedford

Full Member
I traveled up for the game, which was a Wednesday Night Showcase. I was surprised how packed ACS was, given the mid-week scheduling. Poor Mrs. Brewingfrog stayed home, as she had her own career and work the next morning. Her method of dealing with stress is to clean. I don't think I had ever seen the place that spotless after I got home. She told me, "I had gotten to cleaning the baseboards with a little brush by the time the last kick happened. I couldn't watch!"

The Southern Miss loss broke our enviable streak of TCU winning Big Games when we traveled south of the Tropic of Cancer. Our trip to a beautiful island nation well within the tropics that weekend was to no avail...
And the loss to Southern Miss was just one of a few late-season losses which kept the Frogs from reaching the next level for a while....2000 San Jose State; 2001 Alabama-Birmingham; 2002 East Carolina; 2004 Tulane; 2008 Utah....
 

DubaiFrog

Active Member
Final leg of the season proved to be heartbreaking again.

Win against Louisville 31-28. (9-0)
Big win against Cincy 43-10 (10-0)
the absolutely painful loss to USM 40-28
win against SMOO 20-13

A Wednesday night game on ESPN2 (gotta love CUSA) and we held them off with a missed field goal at the end. Highlights below.


It felt good to beat Bobby Petrino and the young WRs really played well that game.

the Cincy game was bizarre. 43 points without a passing TD?!! A block punt TD and a fumble recovery TD. Hopes were high going into Hattiesburg.

Then it happened. USM even has this as their 4th greatest game ever.


Watching from Clark Hall was painful. A very helpless feeling. I know some of the KF.c'ers actually drove to Missisippi on a Thursday for the game and drove back for Friday morning classes. A long road trip home.

It was 31-6 at one point. Hassell tried to bring them back 31-28, but it wasnt enough.

Beating SMOO was the least exciting victory I can ever remember the following week.

That Southern Miss game was my 1st experience watching TCU football. I was a senior in high school and had just applied to TCU because I had a friend that had already been accepted and received some scholarship money. Had no connection to the school before, and like most of my friends at the time was dead set on going to UT Austin. Growing up in Dallas pre-internet/social media days it was pretty much non-stop Big 12 coverage. Remember thinking after the game that sucks they lost, but was cool seeing them on TV and could definitely get into rooting for the local underdog for 4 years. Ended up driving over to see campus during Christmas break, and the rest is history.

Almost 20 years later I'm reminiscing about random football games on anonymous message boards...life comes at you fast.
 
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