FORT WORTH, Texas — TCU’s 43-0 shutout of Kansas Saturday was significant for many reasons, but none more than how the TCU defense performed in the annual homecoming game for the Horned Frogs.
TCU only allowed 21 yards of total offense to the Jayhawks in the win — setting a record for the fewest yards ever allowed in a Big 12 contest and the fewest in an FBS game in 20 years.
If that wasn’t absurd enough, Kansas finished the night with a dismal negative 25 rushing yards in the primetime showdown.
And even TCU players — celebrating their latest triumph — couldn’t quite believe what they had witnessed firsthand from their teammates.
“They gave up negative yards going into that last drive into the fourth quarter,” TCU quarterback Kenny Hill said. “I had never seen that before in my life.”
Hill joked that he only needed to “put up a couple of yards” with the stunning performance from the unit.
He wasn’t the only one blown away by the 43-0 stomping of the Jayhawks, in which five players rushed for negative yards.
“It was pure joy and motivation,” wide receiver John Diarse said. “When the defense can hold a team to negative 3 yards of offense by the half, that’s just green lights on offense. Just go, just go, just go.”
Diarse led all TCU receivers with 130 yards on the evening, including an impressive 67-yard touchdown catch in the second quarter.
In total, TCU outgained Kansas by 454 yards of offense — 457-21. Travin Howard, Ross Blacklock and Chris Bradley all tied for a team-high five tackles on the night, each with at least one sack as well.
Howard, a senior linebacker, said the performance was all about having the right mentality at the start.
“Being defensive minded, it’s what you want — the offense not getting any yards,” Howard said. “We want to suffocate our opponents, and that’s what we did out there.”
TCU has made a habit of suffocating its opponents through seven games this season. TCU opened 2017 with a 63-0 shutout of Jackson State before holding Arkansas to just 7 points one week later. Saturday was the fourth time this season that TCU has held its opponent to less than 10 points, and the third time keeping them out of the end zone entirely.
And Saturday was even more meaningful, given TCU’s struggles to put away Kansas in recent meetings. TCU had only defeated the Jayhawks by an average of seven points in five Big 12 meetings prior to the 43-0 win.
“We just had to prove everyone right…go out there and execute and play to the best of my abilities,” Howard said. “We just had to go out and execute….it’s Kansas.”
With the results in Fort Worth final, Kansas has now been shutout in back-to-back games by a combined score of 88-0. Iowa State defeated Kansas 45-0 at home on Oct. 14.
The Kansas woes have now been put to rest by TCU. The next task on hand is taking care of a surging Iowa State team, who could very well enter the AP Top 25 on Sunday. Such circumstances would pit TCU against its third ranked opponent of the season in Ames, Iowa on Oct. 28.
But for the meantime, TCU is 7-0, the No. 4 team in the nation, and just recorded the best defensive outing in Big 12 history. Look out, everyone else.
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