The after effects of the Baylor game linger for TCU, which is embracing the lessons of the 40-point victory.
“It’s just a reminder of who we are,” receiver John Diarse said.
The Horned Frogs’ 62-22 victory Nov. 5 against the rival Bears ranks as their best of the season. The Frogs recorded season highs in points, rushing yards and total yards and stopped cold the Big 12’s best rushing attack.
It’s a potential source of momentum for TCU (5-4, 3-3), which comes off a bye week to finish the regular season with three games in three weeks, starting at 11 a.m. Saturday at home against No. 13 Oklahoma State (8-2, 6-1).
“You could see that in practice on Sunday,” Diarse said. “A lot of guys were energetic from beginning to the end. ... Everybody was just energetic and excited to make plays. When you come off a win like that, it’s torturous to go into a bye week. Guys are channeling that energy into this game this week. I’m excited.”
TCU has a chance to gain bowl eligibility this week, lending an extra spring in the step of the players as the schedule resumes.
“Oh, yeah, the mood of the team, fans,” coach Gary Patterson said, asked if the Baylor victory had lifted spirits in what had been a .500 season. “Nothing worse than going into an off week with a loss and having to think about it all the time. If we play where we don’t have penalties, we don’t turn the ball over on offense and we move fast, they’re going to play well. We have some players.”
And those players are healthy.
The Horned Frogs go into the final three games as healthy or healthier than they’ve been all season.
Receiver/returner KaVontae Turpin, receiver Ty Slanina, guard Patrick Morris and center Austin Schlottman are expected back in the offensive lineup at the same time on Saturday for the first time this year. Running back Kyle Hicks has been 100 percent in practice since being a game-time decision against Baylor, when he scored a career-high five touchdowns.
And on defense, safety Denzel Johnson, linebacker Travin Howard and cornerback Ranthony Texada are the closest to full speed they have been since missing time in fall camp.
“Just staying healthy is a key,” Diarse said. “Offensively, defensively and special teams, we need every soul we have on our team to make us better, whether it’s a walk-on or a scholarship guy. We need everybody to be healthy and to play their role.”
Patterson said it shouldn’t be a surprise TCU played so well two weeks ago, just because of that improved health.
“We had a lot more of our weapons,” he said. “It makes it a lot different.”
After a long week off, the Frogs finally get a chance to see if the momentum they brought home from Waco has staying power.
“I believe this bye week, it gave some guys some spark, it gave some guys some rest, some recovery, some energy,” Diarse said. “And I think this week, we’ll come out and be firing on all cylinders.”
TCU vs. No. 13 Oklahoma State
11 a.m. Saturday, FS1