That 13 play drive late could be looked at as a signature moment for this TCU team if they are to reach their goal of playing for a Big 12 title.
When challenged, though, Patterson responded in two critical ways. After West Virginia scored on back-to-back touchdown strikes in the third quarter to tie the game at 17, Patterson let the offense get creative. On a 2nd-and-8, TCU dialed up a double pass from Hill to KaVontae Turpin and back to Hill, who ran 48 yards for a score. It was one of three touchdowns for Hill on the day, coming in each variety possible.
The other was a 13-play, 65-yard touchdown drive in the fourth quarter when the game was again tied to squeeze any last bit of life left in West Virginia's defense. When TCU needed to respond, it did.
TCU doesn't have the signature nonconference win that Oklahoma has. In fact, the September win over Arkansas looks decidedly meh now that the Razorbacks are 2-3 with little relief in sight. Barring a massive turnaround that would start with beating Alabama in Week 7, TCU's win over Arkansas won't mean much in the strength-of-schedule argument. Even in this four spots for five power conferences' deal, going unbeaten is the best route. Historically, the math simply doesn't show that four teams will finish undefeated.
The Frogs have fixed one of the biggest issues from last year.
Last season, they had eight interceptions and recovered eight fumbles. They have seven interceptions and four fumble recoveries this year, one game from the halfway point of the schedule.
Last season, TCU finished minus-four in turnover ratio. This season, the team is plus-four.
“We’ve got a lot of people that have played a lot of football,” said Orr, one of five senior starters on the defense. “People are starting to understand the defense, and the game is starting to slow down for a lot of us.”
It’s just one of the factors that has helped the Frogs race out to 5-0 and assume favorite status in the Big 12.
Patterson’s philosophy stays the same: win by one.
"We found a way to win, and that's what you have to do ... if you are going to a win a championship, three or four are going to be ugly," TCU coach Gary Patterson said.
"It's hard to be 5-0. Now we have to go to Manhattan, Kansas, at 11 in the morning, which is a tough place to play. ... We are going to try to beat Kansas State by one point."
Why does everyone think that CDC and Gary Patterson are constantly looking to move up the ladder? Just because you were a top-tier program in the 90’s doesn’t mean that you’re a better job than TCU, today. Del Conte can name his paycheck in Fort Worth, has a chancellor that trusts him, a coaching staff that is as good as any in the country across the board, and a University constantly looking to upgrade. Plus, the fanbase isn’t calling for his job any time a coach goes 8-4.
The outlet reports that Nebraska has “kicked the tires” on TCU athletic director Chris Del Conte, but that Del Conte is not expected to leave the Horned Frogs for Lincoln.
FootballScoop’s second update was a little more vague. It did not name any athletic directors or schools, but wrote this:
“We have been hearing of multiple sitting athletic directors, including in the SEC, who have signaled their interest in the position.”