TCU quarterback Kenny Hill defends Big 12 against ‘soft’ label
TCU is not asking Kenny Hill to throw for big numbers every week, but it may be necessary this time.
“You’re going to have to score some points against Oklahoma State to be able to win the ballgame,” coach Gary Patterson said Monday on the Big 12 coaches conference call with reporters. “We know that.”
Sixth-ranked Oklahoma State enters the Big 12 showdown averaging 54 points per game, tied for fourth-best in the country. Heisman hopeful quarterback Mason Rudolph is tied for second in the country with 11 touchdown passes and is second in yards per attempt, 12.07.
Four Oklahoma State receivers had a 100-yard receiving day last week against Pitt.
Patterson laid out the challenge for his 16th-ranked Horned Frogs on Saturday in Stillwater.
“They’ve got great guys on the outside, they’ve got good guys on the inside that work in the middle, they can run by you vertical, they throw the jump ball, and they’ve got good running backs,” he said.
“Any time you can spread and you’ve got a senior quarterback that makes good decisions and you get good protection, you always cause problems. We’ve got to prepare on all levels. But that’s the Big 12. They’re a very good offense right now. We’ve got several coming down the pipe. They’re the first one.”
Hill ranks seventh in the Big 12 in passing yards, but he’s attempted only 84 passes in three games as the Horned Frogs have unveiled a rushing attack that is tied for the league lead at 230.3 yards per game.
Last season, Hill had the second-most completions in TCU history.
“Sometimes quarterbacks that come into this system, they judge everything by yardage,” Patterson said. “I think what Kenny has learned here is that we’re trying to do whatever game plan we’ve got to do to win ballgames. There’s going to be some games where you’re going to have to take your shots, you’re going to have to throw down the field, that you’re going to have to be wide open, some that you’re not, like the Arkansas game.”
If it’s a battle of scoring points, TCU stacks up. The Frogs rank seventh in the country at 49.0 points per game and lead the nation in third-down conversion percentage.
TCU has lost its last two meetings against Oklahoma State by a combined 44 points.
“Last year’s game, I think, was 10-6 at halftime,” Patterson said. “Basically, it’s a lot of the same returning guys. We understand we can compete with them. We just have to understand they’re a year older. I think we’re a year older doing the things we need to do. The difference is we’re playing in Stillwater instead of in Fort Worth.”
No. 16 TCU at No. 6 Oklahoma State
2:30 p.m. Saturday, ESPN