One week, Kenny Hill will go without a touchdown pass. The next, he’ll throw five.
That’s the TCU offense.
Nope, it’s not driving him crazy.
“That’s just what happened this game,” the senior quarterback said after matching his career high with five touchdown passes in Saturday’s 43-0 victory over Kansas. Last week at Kansas State, he had zero.
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“We’ve had games in the past where I just had to get the ball to playmakers and we run it in or whatever,” he said. “It’s whatever’s working. [Saturday night], the pass was working. It was nice to have it going. But whatever it takes to win, that’s what we’re going to do.”
Hill began his career throwing a ton of touchdown passes. He had 23 in his first seven starts at Texas A&M.
He transferred to TCU and had 13 in his first seven games with the Horned Frogs, including five against Oklahoma.
He began this season with four against Jackson State and four against SMU.
But in between, he had none against Arkansas. Then the Big 12 schedule began, and he threw one apiece against Oklahoma State and West Virginia.
Hill is managing games — he’s gone three straight games without an interception, his longest such stretch at TCU, and he’s in charge of the nation’s best third-down offense.
But every once in a while, he’ll be rewarded with a bunch of TD passes. Saturday against Kansas, given the chance, he hung in the pocket, threw downfield and attacked the end zone.
Doesn’t he miss those days?
“Every quarterback, you want to do that,” he said. “But you understand. We’re just trying to get the win, whatever it takes. If we have to run the ball 80 times or we have to throw it 80 times, as long as we get the win at the end of the day.”
For the season, Hill’s touchdown-to-interception ratio is 15-to-3. Last year, it was 17-to-13.
More observations from TCU 43, Kansas 0:
1. Frogs coach Gary Patterson wants his offense to be careful, but he likes big plays as much as the next guy. He points to plays such as Hill’s 67-yard touchdown throw to John Diarse for their value in the second half of the season. “To beat some of the people we’re going to have to beat down the road, we’re going to have to make plays in the passing game,” Patterson said. “And they’re not going to have to be 5 or 10 yards, they’re going to have to be down the field.”
2. KaVontae Turpin’s going to make a difference in one of these must-win games. And not necessarily with a punt return for a touchdown, like he delivered Saturday night. The Frogs twice came close to busting him loose on tunnel screens. He had a triple-cutback effort on one play that ended with a somersault as he nearly hurdled a defender. “Whenever we give it to him, I sit back because I know something amazing’s about to happen,” Hil said. “That punt return for a touchdown was unbelievable. I have never seen anything like it. I was like, ‘Dang, Turp.’ ”
3. The missed PAT count is up to three for the season after Jonathan Song and kickoff specialist Cole Bunce each misfired in the second half Saturday. Song also missed last week. Three misses is a lot for one year, and the season is barely halfway through. In the previous five seasons, TCU kickers missed only four PATs total. The last time there were as many as three in a season was 2011, when Ross Evans went 61-for-64. Whatever is affecting extra points lately, it hasn’t extended to field goals. Song knocked in a shorty on Saturday to move to 7-for-7 for the year.
4. The Frogs, who continue to lead the nation in third-down offense, are now top-10 in third-down defense. After back-to-back games allowing 2-for-15 on third-down conversions, TCU ranks 10th in the country in third-down defense with a 27.9 percent conversion rate against. Only one team has been as high as 50 percent against the Frogs this year — Oklahoma State was 7-for-14.
5. John Diarse is a classy player, not just on the field. Asked to survey the wreckage of Kansas left by the Frogs’ 43-0 rout, the TCU senior receiver offered praise for the Jayhawks. “Those guys played hard, offensively and defensively,” he said. “At the end of the day, I think we made more plays and put ourselves in better position to score as much as we did and for our defense to hold them to as many yards as they did. Hats off to those guys for playing hard and making us earn this win.”