After ‘eye-opening’ loss, TCU opens running game for Kenny Hill

TCU coach Gary Patterson called the offensive performance in the loss to Texas Tech three weeks ago an “eye-opening experience” for quarterback Kenny Hill, which led to changes in the way plays are called for him.

“He does a lot better when he gets involved in the game, not just be a true dropback guy, be able to run around, do some things,” Patterson said Monday during the Big 12 coaches conference call with reporters. “Because he can beat you with his feet. He’s a very athletic guy. So when you get him into the ballgame like that, have plays for him, I think it helps with everything else he does.”

Hill ran for 85 yards while throwing for 244 with a touchdown and no interceptions in TCU’s 62-22 victory against Baylor two weeks ago.

It was his second-highest rushing total of the season. He had a career-high 93 yards rushing in Week 2 against Arkansas, when he threw for 377 yards. TCU is 3-1 when Hill runs 11 or more times.

“It was the first time we really had a big quarterback run game,” Patterson said of the Baylor game. “We’ve always had it in our offense. That was where I think we really put a lot of that quarterback run game in, to where we could get him running around and doing some stuff. That helps him. I think it helps our offense because it makes the defense be a little more versatile in what they do and be a little more aware instead of just rushing the passer. That’s one of the things we’ve had conversations about, really, over the last three or four weeks.”

Hill ranks ninth in the Big 12 with seven rushing touchdowns. He is second on the team in rushing yards with 330.

He was pulled in the game against Texas Tech, the second of two losses in two weeks for him and the Horned Frogs.

“I think Kenny lost a little bit of confidence,” Patterson said. “It’s one thing to come in and you’re so close, you lose two or three ballgames. You go to West Virginia and you play against a good football team and then you come back and get a Texas Tech that has not played great defense at certain points and then to only score 17 in regulation, that was an eye-opening experience. I think we just got him back to understanding he needed to go be what he needed to be.”

Carlos Mendez: 817-390-7760, @calexmendez

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