Frog fans enjoy playing Kansas about as much as they do SMU, but this isn’t one that can be argued - and hopefully the result is different. The Jayhawks come into the game with more promise than we have seen in the past - and with the most recent win in the series. They also have Lew Miles at the helm, who has helped KU look not fully like Kansas twice already this season.
Can KU come into Fort Worth and send TCU into a spiral and consecutive losses? Or will the Frogs right the ship and start conference play 1-0? Let’s take a quick look at the week five opponent.
Current Record & Results
W @ Indiana State 24-17
L vs.Coastal Carolina 7-12
W @ Boston College 48-24 (yeah I can’t explain it either)
L vs WVU 24-29
Carter Stanley is a better quarterback (statistically) than anyone on TCU’s roster. That’s where we are at currently. The much maligned sometime starter seems to have cemented himself as the guy in his final season, completing 72% of his passes for 861 yards, eight touchdowns - and four interceptions. Though he started just nine games in his first three years on campus, he has looked legit in Miles’ offense so far this fall, including a 20-27 day where he threw for 238 yards and three touchdowns.
In addition to more firepower at QB, the Jayhawks have a pretty good running back (who also happens to not be a very good person). In fact, they have two. While Pooka Williams is the bell cow and the big name, Khalil Herbert is putting up eye-popping numbers early, averaging nearly 9.0 ypc to Pooka’s five and doubling up his touchdowns (2) on 16 fewer carries.
Three receivers have at least ten catches on the year, led by Andrew Parchment’s 24. The 6’2” junior transfer has had a solid start to his season, going over the 100 yard mark three times through the first four weeks. Stephen Robinson is the only other wide receiver to surpass that total, doing so in the opener against Indiana State.
Kansas is near the bottom of the conference in scoring, averaging just a shade over 25 points per game (only their week four opponent, WVU, is lower). I would call their passing offense abysmal, but it’s ranked above TCU’s - in both efficiency and general statistics. As far as the ground attack, it’s middle of the pack, with over 186 yards per game.
Consistency has been the key for the Kansas defense - they have kept teams below 30 in every game this season. They surrendered just 12 points in a loss to Coastal Carolina and 29 in their worst performance of the year - the home defeat at the hands of the Mountaineers. The Jayhawks allow nearly 375 yards per game (despite having played two pretty bad opponents), but their pass defense has been near the top of the conference, surrendering less than 200 yards per game and six yards per attempt.
Linebacker Dru Prox leads the defensive attack, and is one of the top stoppers in the Big 12. With 30 tackles through four games and a pair of sacks, Prox is the engine that makes the KU defense go. Unfortunately for KU, Prox is currently questionable for Saturday’s game with an undisclosed injury. A pair of senior defensive ends anchor the pass rush, as both Azur Kamara and Darrius Moragne have 2.5 sacks each.
Kansas has a pair of interceptions, one each from the aptly named Hasan Defense and another from Jeremiah McCollough. McCullough has five passes defended as well.
Much like they did at Purdue, the Frogs should be able to move the ball on the ground against KU behind the duo of Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua. The passing game has a chance to get on track Saturday too - if the receivers can get separation Saturday, there will be opportunities for big plays.
The Horned Frogs are licking their wounds after losing the Iron Skillet, something they hadn’t done since 2011. Normally, they would struggle to get up for Kansas - four of the last five games have ended within one score - but coming off of a loss like last week’s, expect an angry and motived TCU team to take care of business on their home field.
And if they don’t? It’s going to be a long season, Frog fans.
TCU 44, Kansas 20