Can Hill have a breakout game against a very average Pony D? Will he be asked/need to?
The Horn Frog’s attack will surely be able to spread the ball out amongst their four starting receivers, as well as senior tail back Kyle Hicks. He led the team last season in both rushing and receiving yards.
And when you consider that they’re facing off against a team that ranked 80th against the pass, 111th in points allowed and 103rd in total defense only a season ago, this could equate to a blowout performance by TCU. It could be Kenny Hill’s first 400 yard passing game of the season, his first since TCU’s Week 5 loss to Oklahoma in 2016.
Hill’s mature approach has been a big difference maker in TCU’s start - he just wants to win.
On his third-down keepers against Arkansas: “Whatever it takes. If we need to get that first down and they call my number... I think some of them were read plays and one might have been a designed run. Whatever it takes to get it.”
On whether he believes he is managing the game better: “Yeah, I think so. It’s all just understanding the game plan, understanding what we’re trying to do each week and then just going out there and trying to accomplish that. Yeah, I feel good about the offense and what we’re doing right now.”
The TCU defenders have more than bought in to GP’s system, and this year - so far - the results are overwhelmingly positive.
“I was very proud that we were more physical,” he said.
Another big factor for defensive success under Patterson is having depth with second-teamers able to step in and do the same thing as the starters.
“For us to play in this league as fast as everybody goes, you’re going to have to able to rotate, and we tried to get that done,” he said.
These Frogs have so much depth at linebacker that Ty Summers was moved to defensive end after his 121 tackles last season were second in the Big 12 only to Howard’s 130. Summers is among eight or nine players who have already seen action on the front four.
“We have a lot of guys with a lot of experience, a lot of guys that you can count on,” Howard said. “A lot of guys can play multiple positions. If one goes out, then the next person comes in and does just as well as the first guy.”
That formula has worked well for Patterson, who often converts offensive skill guys into standout defenders, such as former prep quarterback-turned-cornerback Ridwan Issahaku. Howard and Montrel Wilson were high school safeties, but now they are linebackers.
That spread feels far tooooooooooo big.
MGM Resorts in Las Vegas took heavy sharp action on TCU, which went from -17.5 to -19 at home against SMU. TCU has outscored opponents 91-7 in their first two games, while SMU is fresh off a 52-34 shootout win against North Texas.