“We had an unbelievable start,” said Gallant. “Everything has gone our way. But we have to battle every night to not be the worst team in our conference.”
Like his players, Gallant has something to prove. He was unceremoniously fired 22 games into the 2016-17 season by the Florida Panthers after leading that moribund franchise to the postseason in the previous year. The front office was at war with itself, and Gallant took the fall for not being a favorite of the regime that held the power.
Not much soothes an angry football team quite like flattening a league rival — as the Huskies did to UCLA two weeks after a loss to Arizona State. But because of its weak out-of-league schedule, U-Dub would likely need help, even as the one-loss Pac-12 champ, to make the top four.
Now the Horned Frogs know how Oklahoma feels. Iowa State is systematically leveling the Big 12’s playoff chances. Opportunity remains for TCU to win the league, but it must rebound quickly with Texas and Oklahoma up next.
“We’re not on the edge of destruction,” the owner said. “It’s an opportunity. It creates real energy, and it creates a great opportunity to get our leadership right going forward. You watch. We will come out of this as a stronger league, and our popularity will come back and increase.”
Bryant booted field goals of 45 and 37 yards to cut the deficit to one at 17-16 in the third quarter. The Falcons wide receiver had been held to just two catches for 21 yards by Morris Claiborne, who left with a foot injury.
On one play, Ball did what he does best, grabbing a defensive rebound, pushing up the pace as the Pistons (5-3) were getting back and taking it to the rim for a score. The rookie shot 6-for-13 from the field — his best shooting night since he shot 12-for-27 against Phoenix.