Will he or won’t he? That’s the question surrounding Kansas State QB Jesse Ertz, who could be a game time decision. That has caused Vegas to take the game off the board.
Series: Tied 5-5. In Big 12 play, Kansas State leads 3-2. TCU is 1-2 at Manhattan in Big 12 games, 2-3 all-time.
Weather: Scattered thunderstorms. High of 77, low of 52. Chance of rain 40 percent, humidity 70 percent. Southwest wind 10 to 20 mph.
Who’s favored: No line set as of Monday, possibly because of the unknown health status of Kansas State quarterback Jesse Ertz.
What’s this about: TCU can keep at least a share of the Big 12 lead with a victory, looking to keep pace with Texas. The Horned Frogs are 2-0 on the road this season, with wins at Arkansas and Oklahoma State.
TCU isn’t going to get to play the under-Frog card much longer.
TCU: Many expected TCU to compete in the Big 12, but what is going in Fort Worth is nothing short of amazing. The defense, which has given up its fair share of big plays, comes up big when needed and the steady hand of Kenny Hill keeps the offense on pace with the rest of the conference’s high-scoring squads.
The entire offensive line was recognized, an unsung unit that battled all day despite missing Patrick Morris.
The offensive line of left tackle Joseph Noteboom, left guard Cordel Iwuagwu, center Austin Schlottman, right guard Matt Pryor and right tackle Lucas Niang were placed on the Joe Moore Award mid-season honor roll, recognizing their performance in all games to date. The Frogs, playing without injured center Patrick Morris, did not allow a sack and averaged 4.7 yards per rush against West Virginia. Last season’s center, Austin Schlottman, moved over from right guard, Pryor moved in from right tackle, and Niang stepped in at right tackle, making his first career start.
The Frogs are the hunted now, and will get everyone’s best shot from here on out. There won’t be anything easy about the next seven weeks, no matter who they line up against.
TCU, meantime, is fast becoming one of the nation's best stories. It has a daunting remaining regular season schedule, which includes road games at Kansas State, suddenly formidable Iowa State, Oklahoma and Texas Tech.
All of that is before a possible matchup with Oklahoma or Oklahoma State in the Big 12 title game.
Asked if he took any comfort in being the league’s lone uneaten team, TCU coach Gary Patterson, seemingly both wired and exasperated, quickly said, “No. I bet every game is going to be like this. If you’re going to win a championship, you win three or four that are ugly. You’ve got to win the ugly ones.”
Saturday’s victory may not have been all that ugly, but it was impressive. Though he was imprecise at times, Hill became the fourth player in Big 12 history to have a passing, rushing and receiving touchdown in the same game.
The road is long and full of peril.
If TCU is the last hope, then it’s important to look at the rest of its regular season schedule.
Outside of the apparent trap game that is Iowa State, only three games look to be a test for the Horned Frogs. The first of those is on the road against K-State this Saturday.
Manhattan is a tough place to play every year. However, the Wildcats are coming off a heartbreaking overtime loss to Texas this past weekend, as well as an ugly loss to Vanderbilt. This game has the potential to be a low-scoring affair. Fully expect TCU to take care of business on the road next weekend, even though no Big 12 road game is a given no matter the circumstances.