I just got home from a live-action murder, so I’m doing a lot of processing right now. Shoutout to the folks who hung in until the very end, despite the impending monsoon that was bearing down on the stadium.
Let’s get right to it, shall we?
1. The defense was stellar. Is Kansas bad offensively? Yes. But what TCU’s defense did to them goes beyond a bad offense being bad. The Frogs held Kansas to 21 yards of offense. Twenty one. And that number was in the negative until the second to last Kansas drive. Kansas averaged -0.8 yards per carry. They had two non-penalty first downs all game. They were 2-of-15 on third down. TCU’s defense absolutely dominated a bad team, as they should, but it was even more dominant than we ever could have anticipated. We said before the game that it’d be nice to take away one dimension of Kansas’ lackluster offense, but TCU made them zero-dimensional. The 21 yards allowed was a Big 12 record for a defensive effort.
2. The clock struck Turpin Time. We had been waiting for that dazzling punt return from KaVontae Turpin. I even wrote about it in my midseason special teams report card last week. Well, we got it on Saturday when Turpin zigged and zagged before breaking loose for a 90-yard punt return touchdown. Watch it. It was nuts.
3. TCU was in the Kansas backfield constantly. 11 tackles for loss, and four sacks. Several massive hits on Payton Bender. Travin Howard, Ben Banogu, and Mat Boesen all planted Bender at various times, as the front six for TCU flew around the field all night.
4. Kenny Hill was on point. I’m not sure how many more times I get to say that Hill played his best game of the season, but his performance against Kansas is in the running. He completed 19 of his 26 pass attempts (73% completion percentage), for 278 yards and FIVE touchdowns, and he sat out the entire fourth quarter. His passes were, for the most part, perfect. They were accurate, timely, and he stepped into them with confidence. But, in 2017, that’s “just” Kenny.
5. John Diarse finally had his breakout game. Diarse has been Mr. Steady for this offense all season, as one of Kenny’s go-to guys on third downs. Against Kansas, though, Diarse flashed his patented hands, and a little speed, as he racked up 130 receiving yards and a touchdown on four catches. His long was a 67-yard touchdown reception, where he beat his man and sprinted down the sideline. Hill hit him in stride, right before the safety could help out, and Diarse blew past him.
6. Jalen Reagor is a bad man. Three receptions for 43 yards and two touchdowns. Two carries for 24 yards. Reagor is going to be special for years to come, but his immediate impact on this offense can’t be overstated. He’s the perfect compliment to Diarse and Turpin, and is a legitimate deep threat. Probably the most impressive thing about him, is that he runs beautiful routes. His speed is great, but he’s always where Hill thinks he’ll be, and that makes all the difference.
7. We had a Taj Williams sighting. Every week we get questions about where Taj Williams is, and he was finally spotted tonight. Hill missed him on a deep pass early in the game, when he couldn’t quite get separation from the Jayhawk defender, before catching a touchdown pass in the third quarter. It was another perfect pass from Kenny, and Williams pulled it in.
8. Ridwan Issahaku flew around on Saturday night. He had four tackles, two of the TFL variety, and it seems like every week he and Innis Gaines are vying for the “we’re gonna be everywhere and hit everyone” award.
9. Chris Bradley and Ross Blacklock are a terrifying DT duo. Ten tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks combined for the two DTs tonight. They absolutely obliterated the interior of Kansas’ offensive line, disrupting everything Doug Meacham wanted to do on offense.
10. Kyle Hicks and Darius Anderson split time in the backfield. Anderson finished with more carries and yards (12 carries for 62 yards) but Hicks (10 carries for 57 yards) got the start once again, and both were just shoestrings away from snapping off massive touchdown runs tonight.
11. Joe Dineen deserves better. That guy was everywhere for Kansas, recording 11 tackles on the night. He’s a talented guy, and he just keeps grinding, despite Kansas’ record.
12. What’s up with these missed extra points? Song and Bunce need to cut that out, because that could cost us sometime in the near future.
13. LT was front and center. It was really cool to see highlights of LT’s TCU career, clips of his Hall of Fame Speech, and the man himself as TCU honored LT throughout the night. It was a fun Homecoming experience to see him celebrated, and of course he did the “Give ‘Em Hell” in his HoF jacket, making the crowd go nuts.
14. Ben Banogu got another sack tonight. The following tweet is very accurate.
Ben chasing after QB's: pic.twitter.com/KbJT3h8f6B— Mason Chreene (@Mason_BChreene) October 22, 2017
15. The offensive line was great. Sure, Kansas’ defensive front is bad, but the offensive line did everything they needed to do tonight. Hill had plenty of time in the pocket, and the backs were able to find big holes to run through. It’ll be great to get Patrick Morris back soon, but the line looked solid on Saturday.
16. The Frogs are 7-0. It’s something few Frog fans expected, but TCU’s record is unblemished, and we’re almost through October. It’s a “control your own destiny” situation at this point, so let’s hope TCU continues to do just that.
17. Get ready for Iowa State. The Cyclones have won three straight, and were absolutely dominant in Lubbock on Saturday morning. They’re 5-2, and will probably be ranked heading into the game against TCU next weekend. Ames is going to be rocking, and the Frogs need to come ready to play.