In back-to-back weeks, TCU played the two Kansas members of the Big 12.
And zoomed up the defensive rankings.
The Horned Frogs went from 49th in the country in total defense to 11th in that span — an astounding rise this deep in a season — thanks to holding Kansas State to 216 yards and Kansas to a league-record-low 21.
But it’s simple math. Thanks to the near-zero thrown into the average last week, TCU knocked off almost 70 yards from its per-game total, going from allowing 360.4 yards a contest to 291.3 in just 14 days.
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Getting under the 300-yard mark is a tough task. The Frogs haven’t finished a season allowing under 300 yards a game since doing it three consecutive seasons 2008-2010, when they led the nation in total defense each time.
So, a pretty productive two weeks, huh?
“Games like this, it’s good to see the hard work pay off,” safety Ridwan Issahaku said after TCU’s record effort against Kansas.
Even the 2014 defense that finished 18th in the nation in a 12-1 season and the 2012 defense that led the Big 12 in the Frogs’ first season in the league didn’t dip under the 300-yard mark.
The type of defensive season the fourth-ranked Frogs are putting together as they head to No. 25 Iowa State on Saturday is rare, even for a program that has built its reputation on that side of the ball under coach Gary Patterson.
“Oh, we’re well aware of it,” cornerback Ranthony Texada said. “That’s why a lot of us came here, to be honest, to play for Coach P, a defensive-minded guy. That’s why I came here.”
TCU was ranked first in the Big 12 in rushing defense and scoring defense even before the last two games.
Now the Frogs also rank first in the Big 12 in pass defense (after being seventh two weeks ago), red zone defense (after being sixth two weeks ago) and first-down defense (after being second two weeks ago).
Nationally, the Frogs went from 16th to third in rushing defense (104.0 yards per game to 80.7), 31st to ninth in scoring defense (19.6 to 14.9) and 42nd to 10th in third-down defense (33.8 percent to 27.9).
“For 20 years, it’s been passed down,” Patterson said of the TCU defensive legacy.
And the numbers keep showing it.
No. 4 TCU at No. 25 Iowa State
2:30 p.m. Saturday, WFAA/8