TCU coach Gary Patterson took some of the blame for the Iowa State loss off quarterback Kenny Hill’s shoulders, saying the Horned Frogs should have run the ball more in the red zone.
Hill was intercepted in the third quarter and fumbled on a sack in the fourth quarter, each time with TCU trying to score a tying touchdown from inside the 20-yard line. Hill’s third turnover, an interception, ended the Frogs’ final chance with just over a minute left.
It was his first multiple-interception game this season.
“Well, No. 1, everybody’s struggled throwing the football against Iowa State,” Patterson said Monday during the Big 12 coaches conference call with reporters. “Bottom line to it, we need to put him in better situations. You can’t get inside the 5-yard line and — we probably needed to run the football. We turned the ball (over) down there. We didn’t find ways to win. It wasn’t so much Kenny’s deal as everybody’s. I think you can put the load on everybody.”
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Iowa State has given up the second-fewest passing yards in the league, trailing only TCU’s league-leading defense. The Cyclones’ 10 interceptions are second-most in the league, tied with Texas and Texas Tech.
Hill entered the game not having thrown an interception in 100 pass attempts covering three games, his best stretch at TCU.
“Kenny’s fine,” Patterson said. “He probably took it as hard as anybody with the loss. It was a very quiet bus ride and plane ride home.”
Patterson said the Horned Frogs, who dipped to No. 10 in the AP Top 25 poll, had a good practice Sunday after losing their seven-game winning streak.
“Not their first rodeo,” Patterson said. “A lot of these kids, especially the older kids, have been through 2013, which was 4-8, and understand what it’s like to be 12-1 in 2014 and 11-2 in 2015.”
The Frogs, now part of a four-way tie at the top of the Big 12, host Texas at 6:15 p.m. Saturday, still with a strong shot at the league title and to pump more life into their College Football Playoff aspirations.
“We’ve gotten our breaks,” Patterson said. “If you asked me going into November that if we could be 7-1 would you take it? I’d probably tell you yes.”
No. 10 TCU vs. Texas
6:15 p.m. Saturday, ESPN