With winds of 22 mph and gusts up of to 40, it looked like this game would be decided strictly on the ground. Yet receiving the opening kickoff and looking to take K-State by surprise, TCU first drive was 10 plays and featured four pass attempts – all completions. Casey Pachall kept passes short and never threw farther than 10 yards, but TCU moved the ball effectively for nine straight plays. Then on 3rd-and-1 Ryan Mueller came up with his nation-leading 16th tackle for loss, dropping TCU for a one-yard loss and forcing the punt.
K-State’s answer sucked. On first down John Hubert was stopped for a loss and almost fumbled the ball. Jake Waters then threw an interception and was sacked on 3rd down. Three plays, -5 yards. The offensive line appeared to be regressing.
TCU came out firing again, and Pachall didn’t have an incompletion until his sixth attempt when he lobbed the ball deep and Dorrian Roberts probably got away with pass interference. The defense once again struggled to stop TCU, but Blake Slaughter came up with an interception and returned it 39 yards to give K-State the ball on the 41. And that was when K-State does what we’ve seen the Wildcats do so well this year: Jake Waters started the drive with a first down pass to Tyler Lockett on a beautiful inside hitch route, and Daniel Sams immediately came in to replace Waters with a 14 yard rush that was only stopped by a shoestring tackle. Sams kept the next two rushes, picking up carries of six and then 11 yards for the touchdown and a 7-0 lead.
A short TCU drive later, and K-State found itself with the football a mere 74 yards from the end zone. Which is how many yards Tyler Lockett picked up on a stutter move that left All-American cornerback Jason Verrett scratching his head and gave K-State a 14-0 lead. At the end of the first quarter, K-State was up two touchdowns but only held the ball four minutes to 11 minutes for TCU.
Things continued going K-State’s way on TCU’s next drive. While the Horned Frogs proved adept at gradually picking up yards, the defense stiffened up in its own territory. TCU opted to go for it on 4th-and-1, K-State got tremendous penetration up front, and turnover on downs.
A couple back-and-forth possessions left not much to write about; K-State struggled to move the ball and TCU’s Pachall completed almost every pass but they were short targets that never picked up much yardage. K-State used a face mask and lucky completion to Kyle Klein that should have been intercepted to achieve some success, but the excitement happened when Waters was intercepted by Sam Carter for TCU’s 18th interception of the year.
With Pachall struggling to gain larger chunks of yardage and looking to develop some momentum, Trevone Boykin was inserted into quarterback. Yet after a short run and then a penalty and needing the ability to pass, Pachall returned on 2nd and 12. He had two straight incompletions under tremendous pressure, and TCU was forced to punt.
K-State was equally ineffective after being pinned at the five yard line and Jake Waters facing pressure every play as Gary Patterson was looking for a safety to change the game’s momentum. Three pass plays netted -3 yards, and a decent TCU return gave Pachall the ball at K-State’s 38-yard line. A 15 yard run by B.J. Cantalone capped off a short drive to bring TCU with 14-7.
K-State got the ball back with a bit over four minutes, and did not demonstrate great clock management. The team used two time outs and had the ball within 25 yards from the end zone at two minutes to go, but was forced to kick a field goal as time expired. Jack Cantele nailed the 35 yarder on first down and K-State went into the locker room up 17-7. The Wildcats are set to receive the ball after halftime.
- Both teams have one turnover (interceptions).
- K-State outgaining TCU 174 yards to 142.
- The Wildcats have no penalties. TCU has two for 22 yards.
- Jake Waters is just 4/10 for 94 yards (74 on the bomb to Lockett). Sams is 2/3 for 17 yards.
- Sams has 10 rushes for 64 yards. John Hubert has three for just one yard. That has to change.