October wasn’t the best of months for the TCU football team.
November is off to a better start.
The football gods shined on TCU a little bit Saturday with Kansas State missing a potential game-tying point-after attempt and fumbled the snap on another 26-yard field goal attempt.
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In the end, TCU had no issues walking out of Amon G. Carter Stadium with a 14-13 victory to end a three-game losing streak and keep its bowl aspirations alive.
“It feels really good to get a win,” said quarterback Mike Collins, who finished 17-of-33 for 218 yards with one touchdown in his second career start.
“That was a tough month [in October]. It wasn’t the best win, but a win’s a win. We’ll take it.”
Added receiver Jalen Reagor: “It feels great to win. Just that sigh of relief … all right, here we go. We’re back on track.”
Collins and Reagor are the ones who helped TCU get back on track after signs pointed to another snakebit day.
With the game tied 7-7 midway through the third quarter, the Frogs brought Jeff Gladney on a corner blitz and he knocked the ball loose from K-State quarterback Alex Delton.
“When I went, I noticed the running back, he didn’t see me at all, the quarterback had no clue I was coming,” Gladney said. “I was like, ‘Oh, it’s a kill shot.’ I’m going to get my first [sack] finally.”
Gladney did just that and the ball bounced into the hands of defensive end Ben Banogu. Instead of falling on the ball at the TCU 43, Banogu tried to scoop-and-score.
But Banogu re-fumbled the ball and K-State maintained possession. At that point, it seemed like nothing would go right for TCU this season.
“At first I was just like, ‘Man, the football gods are getting us right now,’” Gladney said. “But we still forced a fumble. I told Ben it was OK, keep playing hard and we’ll be all right.”
That proved to be true with the defense forcing a punt and the offense taking over on the TCU 20.
Four plays later, Collins found Reagor for a 67-yard touchdown. Even that play, though, had a nerve-wracking moment with Collins fumbling the snap.
“I knew it was going to be a good play pre-snap, then fumbled the snap but picked it up and knew he was going to be open,” Collins said. “Gave him a chance and he made a great play.”
Yes, he did. Reagor won a battle for the ball over K-State defensive back AJ Parker and then raced to the end zone for the score.
Reagor described winning the battle for the ball as a moment he had to “son ‘em” and then found his inner Tyreek Hill by throwing up the peace sign on his way into the end zone.
“Oh, yeah, I like Tyreek Hill,” Reagor said. “I’m taller than him, but as far as speed, it’s a good comparison so I had to do it.”
That score, coupled with the PAT, proved to be enough.
K-State scored a touchdown early in the fourth quarter on a fourth-and-goal from inside the 1 – punching it in on its third attempt from that distance.
But the PAT went awry for the Wildcats. The snap-to-hold exchange wasn’t clean and the laces were in as Blake Lynch hooked the attempt.
“Finally we got a little luck,” coach Gary Patterson said. “There’s no such thing as a bad loss. There’s no such thing as a bad win. They’re all the same.
“A loss is a loss and a win is a win.”