Texas Christian University trailed by 18 points just before halftime against Kansas State but overcame the biggest deficit this season to win 38-28 and stay unbeaten. TCU is now in sole control of the No. 1 spot in Big 12 play and is the only remaining undefeated team in the division.
The Horned Frogs got off to a good start, with quarterback Max Duggan connecting with speedster Darius Davis for a 65-yard touchdown on the first drive of the day. The lead would be short-lived as the Wildcats’ defense stiffened, allowing only a field goal with just three-and-a-half minutes remaining in the half. Kansas State forced two punts and a turnover on downs before TCU scored to trim the 28-10 Kansas State lead to seven points at the break.
After halftime, TCU caught fire, scoring 21 unanswered points to put the Wildcats away. Kansas State lost quarterbacks Adrian Martinez — who exited the game after only one completion — and backup Will Howard in the game, forcing third-stringer Jake Rubley into action. Rubley threw an interception, and no catches in relief of Howard, who also threw an interception in the second half.
As was the case against Oklahoma State last week when the Frogs battled back from behind to win after a sluggish start, both offense and defense came together in the second half. TCU allowed only 13 offensive snaps for Kansas State in the second half that included a missed field goal and two interceptions.
The TCU offense has been piling up points and yards on offense under new head coach Sonny Dykes. Duggan completed 17 passes for 280 yards, tossing three touchdowns and no interceptions. On the ground, Kendre Miller continues to stand out, posting a 153-yard day that saw the back find paydirt twice.
In the third quarter, Duggan found Quentin Johnston for a 55-yard touchdown that gave TCU the lead. The catch gave Johnston the lead in yards for the Horned Frogs, totaling 74 yards on only four catches. Jared Wiley also had 74 yards on five catches, including a four-yard reception that started the scoring streak late in the second quarter that would ignite the offense in the second half.
On defense, the Horned Frogs have been hard on opposing quarterbacks in the last several weeks, with four QBs going down with an injury against TCU in the previous four games. Kansas State has yet to provide an injury designation for either Martinez or Howard at the time of writing.
Rubley’s interception in the fourth quarter was the ultimate death knell for what Wildcats. Horned Frogs corner Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson came down with the game-ending pick, his first takeaway of the season.
The Horned Frogs are now in prime position to earn a shot at the Big 12 title with a 7-0 overall record and 4-0 in the division. The Frogs will face West Virginia, Texas, and Texas Tech in the next three weeks, but after beating Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Kansas, and Kansas State, there are plenty of reasons to believe this TCU team will have what it takes to win some of these challenging games down the stretch.