TCU coach Patterson says Razorbacks early surge crucial
A winnable game for No. 15 TCU got away from the Horned Frogs because of a long list of missed opportunities Saturday night against Arkansas at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
The Razorbacks prevailed 41-38 in double overtime on a 5-yard touchdown run from quarterback Austin Allen that trumped TCU’s field goal on its second possession.
But this one got away from the Horned Frogs (1-1) in spurts, most notably with Ryan Graf’s potential game-winning field-goal being blocked with 10 seconds remaining in regulation to trump a 64-yard kickoff return by KaVonte Turpin.
Shortly before the field goal attempt, an apparent touchdown strike from quarterback Kenny Hill to Emanuel Porter was called back because Porter was penalized for stepping out of bounds during his route.
TCU put itself in position to allow Arkansas (2-0) to rally from a 28-20 deficit in the final two minutes because quarterback Kenny Hill followed a 5-yard touchdown run at the 2:05 mark with a throat slash gesture that drew an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.
As a result, TCU kicked off from its 20-yard line and Arkansas needed to drive only 58 yards for a tying touchdown and 2-point conversion that eventually sent the game into overtime.
Hill also had an interception returned for a touchdown in the first half. The Frogs lost two turnovers and forced none of their own.
“You want to beat good teams, you can’t make little mistakes. We made too many tonight,” Patterson said.
Patterson said he was unaware of Hill’s throat-slash gesture until he was told of it by reporters after the game.
“I didn’t know why he did it. I didn’t even know he did that. Now, I’m even more unhappy,” Patterson said.
The Frogs missed a huge opportunity on their opening drive when receiver Deante Gray took a reverse inside the Arkansas 10-yard line. But the ball was knocked loose by Jeremiah Ledbetter at the 7-yard line and Arkansas’ Dre Greenlaw recovered at the Razorbacks’ 4-yard line.
A second-quarter drive went awry after a personal foul penalty on TCU offensive lineman Patrick Morris put the Frogs in a long-yardage situation after crossing the Arkansas 40-yard line. On a second-and-23 play, QB Hill’s pass for Kyle Hicks was short and hung in the air too long. Arkansas linebacker Brooks Ellis undercut the route and returned it 47 yards for a TD to put the Hogs up 13-0 at the half.
It was the first scoreless opening half for the Frogs in the regular season since a 2013 game at Oklahoma State.
For the night, TCU wound up losing despite a 572-403 edge in total offense.
“You’re at home. You had a chance to win it twice and you don’t,” Patterson said.