TCU remained focused, and took care of business after watching two top-10 teams fall to unranked opponents on Friday night.
“It’s just learning from somebody else’s mistake and realizing that it can be gone just like that,” receiver John Diarse said. “You can go from top five, top six, to 23, to unranked. This team is much more mature than last year, and guys understand that hey, we’re trying to get to December. October on the road? Yeah it’s tough. But we want to be relevant when December comes around.”
Gary Patterson said earlier in the week that he wasn’t going to be cautious on defense in this game, and he wasn’t. Blitzes helped TCU stuff Kansas State’s running game, rattle Alex Delton, and were key on third and fourth downs.
The Horned Frogs brought the house more than they have in any other game this season, trying to overwhelm the young QB. Mat Boesen, Ben Banogu, Travin Howard and Montrel Wilson and even Nick Orr were all sent on the blitz numerous times.
During the weather delay prior to kickoff, TCU players napped, listened to music, and ate a bit more food, unlike when TCU and Texas were delayed for several hours back in 2013.
Patterson said he learned a lesson the last time the Frogs were forced to wait out a long delay. Against Texas in Fort Worth in 2013, Patterson went directly to the dry erase board in the locker room to do some coaching. Players’ eyes were glazing over.
“They all got bored,” he said. Texas beat TCU 30-7 that night. “So I said ‘I’m not doing that again.’ ”
TCU’s defense has been a different animal through the first half of the season, and Kansas State was the perfect situation for them to show out. They did just that.
They held the Wildcats to a season-low 216 total yards, smothering first-time starting quarterback Alex Delton with an effective rush and 26-6 win at Bill Synder Family Stadium.
It’s the fewest yards TCU (6-0, 3-0 in the Big 12) has allowed in conference play and only Jackson State (seven) had fewer first downs than K-State’s 10.
Kyle Hicks was the featured back in this game, and he’s starting to look healthy again.
After being hampered by injuries early on this season, TCU running back Kyle Hicks looked like his old self against the Wildcats. He led TCU with 16 carries for 58 yards, and he also caught 5 passes for 50 yards.
TCU went on the road and came away with another win.
“We played well on the road last year and we have this year because we focus in and don’t focus on the things we don’t need to worry about,” TCU head coach Gary Patterson said.
The defense, unsurprisingly, gets the highest grade.
DEFENSE — A+
Kansas State didn’t top 200 yards until 4:10 remained in the game. The Wildcats’ inexperienced quarterback, Alex Delton, was swallowed whole by TCU coach Gary Patterson’s defense. Steady blitzing and upfront pressure produced 11-for-29 passing. The Wildcats converted only two of 15 third-down chances. Their two biggest plays were a 36-yard quarterback run and a 30-yard catch. Dominating.