TCU linebacker Johnny Hodges said Tuesday that his team’s defensive performance in a 45-42 loss to Colorado was unacceptable, calling the Horned Frogs “the laughingstock of college football.”
Hodges, last year’s Big 12 Defensive Newcomer of the Year during TCU’s 13-2 season that ended in a 65-7 loss to Georgia in the College Football Playoff National Championship, was asked if Saturday’s loss was a wake-up call.
“I guess you can say it’s a wake-up call,” Hodges said. “I don’t know how losing in the national championship by 60 isn’t a wake-up call. Right now we’re definitely the laughingstock of college football. Having 22 missed tackles, having who knows how many missed assignments, making our defensive coordinator look awful, just making his defense look like it’s a childhood kids’ defense and him getting all this slack … So if it’s not a wake-up call, then I don’t know what it is.”
Hodges defended defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie after the Frogs’ defense gave up 45 points and 565 yards and allowed 510 passing yards and four touchdowns to Shedeur Sanders, saying that he had prepared the players specifically for what Colorado did.
“It’s very, very upsetting that our defensive coordinator has to take all this slack when he did nothing but tell us exactly what was going to happen and put us in situations in practice that mocked the game and we weren’t able to take what he told us and bring it on the field on Saturday,” Hodges said.
TCU coach Sonny Dykes said that the game represented a missed opportunity to play well on a national stage, noting Saturday that the team just didn’t seem as excited as Colorado was to play the game, something that wasn’t an issue last season when the Horned Frogs were coming off a 5-win campaign.
“I think some games you play in where you look back at the game and you go, ‘There’s not much we could’ve done,'” Dykes said Tuesday. “That’s really not the case in this game. There’s a ton of mistakes and a ton of things to learn from. That’s the goal. I think our guys were disappointed and frustrated and pissed off, honestly.”
Count Hodges, who transferred to TCU from the Naval Academy, among them. He vowed that he would hold his team accountable for the performance.
“I don’t think it’s too hard to go find videos on social media of people just not willing to put their bodies on the line,” he said. “That’s something that we will not let happen again at the school as long as I’m here.”