TCU Football: Why the Horned Frogs Really Missed Devonte Fields Against LSU

Sean Frye@Sean_E_FryeFeatured ColumnistSeptember 1, 2013

Devonte Fields
Devonte FieldsJerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The TCU Horned Frogs dropped its season opener in Dallas to the visiting LSU Tigers, 37-27.

While the game was close and both teams played pretty well, the Horned Frogs clearly missed DE Devonte Fields, who last spring was suspended for the first two games after violating unspecified team rules. His presence might have been the difference between a win and a loss.

First off, LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger was sacked only twice the night, and both were by blitzing defensive backs.

Had TCU head coach Gary Patterson lifted the suspension and allowed Fields to play, the pass-rushing end would've surely put more pressure on the quarterback, allowing the secondary to focus more on pass coverage. Because TCU's secondary had to assist in putting pressure in the backfield, that allowed Mettenberger to toss for 251 yards and a score.

Where the Horned Frogs really missed Fields, though, was in run defense. The Tigers tore up the gridiron to the tune of 197 yards and three touchdowns on the ground.

Fields is a great run-stopper; he helped the Horned Frogs defense hold opponents to 1,370 rushing yards last year. In 2012, the TCU allowed over 150 yards on the ground in just three games.

Finally, Fields could've been pivotal in shutting down LSU on its final drive of the game. The Tigers ate up the final 5:15 of the clock and converted two crucial third downs to put the game away. Had Fields been playing, perhaps the Horned Frogs defense stiffens and forces a punt and gets the ball back to the offense for once last comeback effort. 

Patterson surely missed Fields during the game and would've loved to have him on the field. But he stuck by his decision to suspend him. 

Fields will be eligible to play in Week 3 against Texas Tech, the team's Big 12 opener. 

Related

    WSU QB Dies at Age 21 from Apparent Suicide

    College Football logo
    College Football

    WSU QB Dies at Age 21 from Apparent Suicide

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    Pac-12 Refs Receiving Threats for Call in Music City Bowl

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Pac-12 Refs Receiving Threats for Call in Music City Bowl

    Joseph Zucker
    via Bleacher Report

    Best Fits for Top 5 Uncommitted 2018 Recruits

    College Football logo
    College Football

    Best Fits for Top 5 Uncommitted 2018 Recruits

    B/R Video
    via Bleacher Report

    TCU Could Play 12 In-State Games During 2018

    TCU Football logo
    TCU Football

    TCU Could Play 12 In-State Games During 2018

    Diehards
    via Diehards