Another week, another showstopping performance for the TCU defense.
Good thing, because it will be needed next week.
For a fourth consecutive week, the No. 8 Horned Frogs held an opponent to 14 points or fewer, taking a 24-7 victory over Texas on Saturday night at Amon G. Carter Stadium, rebounding from their first loss of the season.
“We’ve been playing good,” coach Gary Patterson said. “You had the SMU game. Outside of that, they’ve played well the whole year.”
The win kept TCU (8-1, 5-1) in line for a chance at the Big 12 title and to move up in the next College Football Playoff rankings. A big test will come Saturday when the Frogs travel to Norman to take on No. 5 Oklahoma, which defeated No. 11 Oklahoma State on Saturday in a 62-52 shootout.
Next week will be a showdown of the Big 12’s two first-place teams.
“This is a four-game season,” Patterson said. “So we’re 1-0 right now. It’s a tough four games. You’ve got to be in Norman, then you’ve got to be in Lubbock, then we’ve got Baylor at home last. I’m excited about it. I think our kids will be excited about it.”
TCU will have on its side the league’s best defense, a unit that has allowed 27 points in the past four games combined. The Frogs ranked 49th in the country in defense after defeating West Virginia 31-24 on Oct. 7. They entered Saturday’s game against Texas at No. 10.
“It was good really just to get another win and get rolling in the right direction for Oklahoma,” quarterback Kenny Hill said. “Coach P talked about it all week. This is a four-game season right here. We got the first one. We’ve just got to keep going.”
Ben Banogu had two of seven sacks by TCU, which won its fourth straight against Texas for the first time since 1935-38.
“The biggest thing is we’re out there playing hard,” said linebacker Ty Summers, who also had a sack.
TCU held Texas to nine yards rushing, counting 50 yards in losses on sacks, and 4-for-18 on third down.
“Rotating eight guys in the front has really helped us,” Patterson said. “That’s important. A couple of the sacks happened tonight with the 2s in. It’s really important in a game where you’re not going to huddle and you’re going to have to go fast, which is going to be the case next week also.”
Darius Anderson’s 31-yard touchdown run on fourth-and-1 with 4:23 left sealed the game for the Frogs. He finished with 99 yards on 18 carries, his biggest total since rushing for 160 against Oklahoma State.
“You don’t have to throw it all that much if we can run it like that,” said Hill, who threw for only 26 yards in the second half but also played a clean game after committing three turnovers in the loss at Iowa State.
TCU scored on three of its first four possessions, getting a pair of touchdown runs by Kyle Hicks, to lead 17-0.
Hicks scored on a 1-yard run to finish a sharp nine-play opening drive for the Frogs and again on a 14-yard run in the second quarter.
Texas scored two plays later, after long catches by Lil’Jordan Humphrey and Collin Johnson.
“I wasn’t happy about the one touchdown,” Patterson said. “They just threw a couple of balls up the field to move on that drive. Got to play the ball in the air.”
TCU stopped two Texas drives late in the second quarter, including one on back-to-back sacks by Banogu.
“Like I told them last Sunday, ‘Two weeks in a row, we’re going to have to be the best defense on the field,’ ” Patterson said. “ ‘If you want to win, you’re going to have to be the best defense on the field.’ I thought tonight, even though they played well, I thought we were the best defense on the field.”
Saturday night can’t be the last time.
TCU—Hicks 1 run (Song kick), 11:29
TCU—FG Song 18, 14:16
TCU—Hicks 14 run (Song kick), 9:19
TEX—C.Johnson 33 pass from Buechele (Rowland kick), 8:32
TCU—D.Anderson 31 run (Song kick), 4:23
Time of Possession
RUSHING—Texas, Young 12-31, Warren 1-3, Heard 1-(minus 2), Buechele 12-(minus 23). TCU, D.Anderson 18-99, K.Hill 12-43, Hicks 11-41, Olonilua 1-0, Turpin 1-(minus 2), (Team) 3-(minus 4).
PASSING—Texas, Buechele 21-44-0-254. TCU, Turpin 1-1-0-20, K.Hill 18-26-0-146.
RECEIVING—Texas, Humphrey 6-109, C.Johnson 3-49, Young 2-42, Foreman 2-9, Leonard 2-6, Warren 1-12, De.Duvernay 1-11, Burt 1-5, Hemphill-Mapps 1-5, Joe 1-3, Brewer 1-3. TCU, D.White 5-32, Turpin 4-28, Diarse 2-37, Olonilua 2-26, Slanina 2-8, D.Anderson 2-8, Hunt 1-22, Hicks 1-5.
MISSED FIELD GOALS—Texas, Rowland 47.