After dropping a wide open catch in the flat on TCU’s first offensive snap Saturday at No. 17 Baylor, running back Kyle Hicks turned to quarterback Kenny Hill and said, “I got you, the rest of the game.”
Looking back after the dust settled from the Horned Frogs’ 62-22 win at McLane Stadium, that may have been the understatement of the season. Hicks ran a career-high 26 times for a career-high 192 yards and a, yes, career-high five touchdowns in the rivalry game.
Three of those touchdown runs came in the pivotal second quarter, when TCU outscored Baylor 28-7 to take a 38-14 lead into the break. His third touchdown was a 3-yarder that capped an 11-play, 85-yard drive with seven seconds left in the first half. It took just 2:22 of game time after Hill completed a 20-yard pass to KaVontae Turpin to open the series and a 33-yard pass to Jalean Austin to set the Frogs up at Baylor’s 3-yard line.
With everything going TCU’s way, the Horned Frogs got the ball to start the second half, and Hicks picked up right where he left off. He gashed Baylor’s defense for a violent 41-yard gain before cutting back and weaving his way to the front left pylon on an 18-yard touchdown run on which he was originally called out of bounds. After an official review, it was Hicks’ fourth score, not even two minutes into the third quarter, and TCU was in front 45-14.
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“I was pretty confident that I was in,” Hicks said. “I know I stuck the ball out over the pylon, but my body went out of bounds. I was pretty confident it was a touchdown, but if it wasn’t, I was just ready for the next play.”
All this, and one more 3-yard touchdown to put TCU up 55-22 with just under 10 minutes to play, came after missing practice all week with an injured ankle sustained in the Horned Frogs’ 27-24 double-overtime loss to Texas Tech.
“It killed me not practicing all week,” Hicks said. “I just wanted to be in there with my teammates.”
Hicks’ five rushing touchdowns were the second-most in a game in TCU history, equaling Tony Jeffery (5, vs. Tulane, 1986) and trailing only LaDainian Tomlinson (6, vs. UTEP, 1999). The 431 yards rushing the Horned Frogs rolled up were a season-high, as were the 688 yards of total offense.
Hill added 85 yards rushing on 11 carries, as he and Hicks both averaged over 7 yards per carry against Baylor.
“He just had a look in his eye that, I knew he had it today,” Hill said of Hicks’ career day.
Turpin on the mend
After seeing limited playing time last week in his first game back from a knee injury, Turpin was deployed in full force at Baylor after his first full week of practice since sustaining the injury on Sept. 17 in TCU’s 41-20 win over Iowa State. The sophomore caught six passes for 49 yards, rushed four times for 40 more yards and returned three kickoffs for an average of 33 yards, including a 46-yard kick return to set the Frogs up with great field position near midfield on their first offensive series.
Hill and the TCU offense cashed in on that field position with a 37-yard touchdown on the third play of the drive to tie the game 7-7 with 14:04 still left in the first quarter.
“That’s kids unreal,” Hill said of Turpin. “He’s something else. If I made cuts like that, I’m going to tear my ACL. But he has something extra. He has ‘it,’ man.”
Shiny purple defense
On the other side of the ball, the Horned Frogs continued their recent string of improved play against another high-flying offense. After holding Texas Tech to 27 points last week, albeit in an overtime loss, TCU held Baylor to 22 points and 415 total yards of offense. That’s a full 145 yards under the Bears’ season average of 560 yards per game.
Cornerback Ranthony Texada responded after getting beat down the sideline for the 81-yard touchdown from Seth Russell to wide receiver Ishmael Zamora that gave Baylor its only lead, 7-0 just 22 seconds into the game. Russell actually targeted Texada on two consecutive deep balls to open Baylor’s first drive.
Early in the second quarter, after Hicks touchdowns on consecutive TCU drives had the Frogs in front 24-7, Texada got in front of Russell’s pass to Zamora and ran the interception back to the corner of the end zone 28 yards, shocking the Baylor faithful into silence, as TCU went in front 31-7 with 10:37 left in the second quarter.
“It felt really good to make a big play for my team,” Texada said. “And to help get us a much-needed win.”
The TCU defense sacked Russell three times and held him to a manageable 282 yards on 22 of 42 passing. He did run for Baylor’s final two touchdowns, once in the second and again early in the fourth quarter.
“It was great to see [Texada] get a pick,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “You keep building his confidence.”
DE Galeai injured late
TCU sophomore defensive end Tipa Galeai ran off the field late in the fourth quarter after being in on a tackle but collapsed seconds later while on the sideline. He was stabilized and taken from the field directly to a hospital, Patterson said.
As he was being carted off the field he gave the crowd a thumbs up gesture. There was no word from TCU on the specific nature of the injury, though Patterson said right before he collapsed he complained of a tingling sensation after running back to the sideline.
“I just told him we loved him. He was a little bit emotional,” Patterson said of Galeai. “But as far as the injury, you guys know as much as I do. All of a sudden he was laying on the sideline.”
Galeai is a Euless Trinity graduate.
Kicker Brandon Hatfield was 2 for 2 kicking field goals, good from 26 and 39 yards, a week after missing three inside 40 yards against Tech. Punter Adam Nunez pinned Baylor inside its own 5-yard line twice in four punts to help the TCU defense as well.
TCU takes a 53-52-7 lead in the all-time series with Baylor. The 62 points were the most TCU has scored in the 112-year rivalry, and Saturday was the most lopsided TCU win in the series as well.