FORT WORTH, Texas — There was no question about the outcome of the TCU-Kansas game at Amon G. Carter Stadium — unlike previous meetings — when halftime rolled around Saturday, as the No. 4 Horned Frogs recorded a dominant 43-0 win over the Jayhawks.
The unlikely primetime showdown between the two Big 12 foes pushed TCU to 7-0 on the season, furthering the Horned Frogs’ quest of capturing the Big 12 title and more. Here are some of the biggest takeaways from TCU’s triumph in its 2017 homecoming game:
TCU can, in fact, dominate Kansas
TCU has been known to struggle against Kansas since joining the Big 12 despite being a heavy favorite year after year — winning the first five Big 12 meetings between the two by an average of seven points. But this time, the 36-point favorite Horned Frogs dominated the Jayhawks from start to end, keeping them out off the board and holding them to less than 25 yards of offense.
After being unable to muster more than 24 points against Kansas in the last two meetings, TCU exploded for more than 450 yards of offense in the 43-point victory. Quarterback Kenny Hill threw for 278-yards and 5 touchdowns. And the TCU defense — in a historic performance — held Kansas to negative yards on offense beyond the second half.
The Frogs took care of business in every facet of the game, and that — after a 5-year delay, if you will — was pleasing for TCU fans to see against Kansas.
Kenny Hill sure trusts John Diarse
TCU quarterback Kenny Hill found multiple receivers — including Taj Williams and freshman Jalen Reagor — for touchdown passes on Saturday night, but John Diarse stood out above all others.
Hill went to Diarse on two passes of more than 40-yards in the win, including a spectacular 67-yard touchdown pass in double coverage on third and long. Diarse finished the night with a game-high four catches, tallying 130 yards and an average of 32 yards per catch. All came in the first half.
Hill voiced praise for Diarse earlier in the month — describing the LSU transfer as going “above and beyond” in his game. It’s no surprise that the trust the two demonstrated off the field has translated onto the playing field.
The TCU defense is still as good as ever
Is 21 yards bad? That’s how few yards TCU held the Kansas offense to on Saturday – setting a new Big 12 record for fewest yards allowed in a game. The previous record was 44 yards of total offense for a single team.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, Kansas finished the night with -25 rushing yards
The win marked the second consecutive game that the Horned Frogs held their opponent without a touchdown, defeating Kansas State 26-6 one week earlier. It was also the fourth time that TCU held its opponent to single digits this season, and the second shutout of the year.
TCU has been trademarked for owning one of the best defenses in college football since Gary Patterson took over the reins as head coach in 2000. After a down year in 2016, the Horned Frogs have reasserted their dominance once again in 2017. Though Kansas isn’t exactly a formidable opponent — the record-setting outing doesn’t take away from just how elite the unit is.
With four straight tests coming up for TCU — including a road game against No. 9 Oklahoma on Nov. 11 — it will be intriguing to see if the TCU defense can continue to hold its opponents below their season scoring averages, as they have done in every game.
For now, TCU appears certain to be a top-4 team once again headed into the final week of October.
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