TCU won a weather-delayed matchup against Kansas State. From the original kickoff time to the end of the game was a little over 7 hours, which meant a long day for everyone involved. It ended how Frog fans wanted, though, with TCU on top.
So, the Frogs are 6-0 at the midway point of the season, and quite a few had outstanding games against the Wildcats. Here are some takeaways from TCU’s 26-6 victory.
- Innis Gaines was everywhere. He had two pass breakups, a sack, and three tackles as he flew all over the field. He was incredibly disruptive, and you could tell he was one of many reasons that Kansas State backup QB Alex Delton was rattled most of the day.
- Patterson didn’t let up. Oftentimes we see teams that are close to a win, with a big lead, let up a bit defensively. That wasn’t the case on Saturday, as Patterson sent blitz after blitz at Kansas State until the very last KSU drive.
- The defense, overall, was fantastic. They gave up just 216 yards to Kansas State and kept them out of the endzone, which is exactly what should happen when a team is throwing its second-string quarterback at you. The run defense held the Wildcats to 70 yards on 29 carries (2.4 ypc), and 36 of those yards came on one run by Delton. Take away the one long run, and you have 28 carries for 34 yards (1.2 ypc). Through the air, TCU broke up seven passes, and held Delton to just 11 completions on 29 attempts.
- Ross Blacklock was a force, again. Blacklock is typically one of those defensive tackles who does a lot of stuff that doesn’t show up on the stat sheet. He clogs the middle of the line, demanding double and triple-teams, which frees other guys up to make big plays. Saturday, though, Blacklock made some impressive plays early, including a tackle for loss as Delton started to scramble. He was constantly in the backfield throughout the game.
- Kyle Hicks looks close to 100%. He snapped off some good runs on Saturday, including a 14-yarder that flashed his quickness and strength. He finished with 16 carries for 58 yards. He also had five receptions for 50 yards. I understand that people want Darius Anderson, but when healthy, I still think Hicks is the better back. Also, there’s nothing wrong with keeping guys fresh as TCU moves into an eight week stretch with no bye. Of course, the next takeaway played a big role in why Hicks got most of the work.
- Darius Anderson put the ball on the ground again. Darius has had fumble issues this season. He put the ball on the ground against SMU and Oklahoma State, and today against KSU he lost a fumble, giving the Wildcats life and great field position. It was the last time we saw Anderson, as Hicks took on most of the workload.
- Kenny Hill completed more than 70% of his passes, again. Hill completed 27 of his 37 pass attempts, good for a 72.9% completion percentage on the day. He didn’t throw a touchdown pass, but really he should have. KaVontae Turpin dropped a perfect pass on a slant, that would have absolutely resulted in a TD for the Frogs. It wasn’t the only receiver drop of the day, as Jalen Reagor and Ty Slanina also had passes hit them in the hands. Hill had some back-footed throws that he’s known to slip into from time to time, but once again we saw, for the most part, good Kenny Hill.
- TCU went back to the Wildcat well multiple times. The coaches really, really like the big wildcat formation with Sewo Olonilua lined up behind center. They ran out of that formation six or seven times on Saturday, and it resulted in two rushing touchdowns for the big sophomore. As long as it keeps working, there’s really no reason to go away from it near the goal line, but I’m sure there are a handful of variations we’ve yet to see out of that formation.
- TCU’s defense was fantastic on third downs. The defense held Kansas State to a paltry 2-15 on third downs, forcing eight punts, two field goal attempts, and two unsuccessful fourth down attempts. The great third down defense was largely in part to some of the creative blitzes Patterson cut loose on this down. Once, Travin Howard came free and absolutely planted Delton as he let a pass go, and that seemed to set the tone for the remainder of the game.
- Jonathan Song is still perfect on Field Goal Attempts, but not on extra points. Song made two more field goals on Saturday, from 39 and 22 yards, and he converted on two of his three extra points. On his final attempt of the day, Song blasted his kick off the left upright, and looked furious with himself afterward. On the season Song is 6-6 on field goals, and 31-32 on extra points.
- TCU’s secondary played very well, and still could have been better. Five of TCU’s seven pass breakups came from members of the secondary, but two of them should have been interceptions. Niko Small and Ranthony Texada both had good chances to pick the ball off, but didn’t. TCU also gave up a few long pass plays, including a 33 yard pass to Byron Pringle, giving KSU a first and goal midway through the second quarter. TCU’s defense forced a fumble on that drive, but it seems like big plays are still going to be a thing for this defense.
- Kenny Hill looks really comfortable with Jalen Reagor and John Diarse. Reagor and Diarse seem to be Hill’s go-to guys, especially on third down. Overall, Hill looks far more comfortable with all of his receivers, but Reagor and Diarse seem to be his guys when he needs to make a play. On the season, they’ve combined for 32 receptions, 467 yards, and three touchdowns.
- Drops are still a problem. Slanina and Turpin had back-to-back drops that absolutely killed a TCU drive. Turpin’s was really tough to take, as it was definitely going to be a touchdown.
- Eyes Up Keep Climbing. TCU is 6-0, and they’ve got Kansas and Iowa State next up on the schedule. Keep taking care of business, and November is going to matter a whole lot more than we thought at the beginning of the season.