Five Answers: Kansas State
1. Can TCU put up a second consecutive emotional performance?
Answer: The defense had an inspired performance. For sixty minutes, the players on the defensive side of the ball were fired up and determined to shut down Collin Klein and the stout Wildcat offense. The TCU offense did not show the same motivation when they were on the field. No one on that side of the ball seemed to have the same energy, and the offense was stagnant. A lot of this is a credit to the Kansas State defense, but the offense did not have the fire underneath them that a team needs to take down the no. 2 ranked team in the country.
2. How will Collin Klein perform?
Answer: Klein was kept in check by the Horned Frog defense, as he was held to only 195 total yards. However, Klein scored both Wildcat touchdowns on the ground. His runs of seven and 34 yards each made it to the endzone and put enough on the scoreboard for Kansas State to win a game mostly controlled by the defenses.
3. Can TCU’s run defense contain the Big 12’s leading rushing attack?
Answer: Yes. Kansas State gained only 115 yards on the ground, and that included the aforementioned 34-yard scramble. For a team that averaged 224 rushing yards coming into the game, the Wildcats’ 3.4 yards per rush shows a gritty performance by the TCU defense. The issue came in the field position battle, where Kansas State started several possessions in scoring range after the Frogs stalled on offense.
4. How will TCU’s young roster handle the nerves of a prime-time game?
Answer: The fourth-largest crowd in Amon G. Carter stadium’s history showed up for Saturday’s contest. The Frogs didn’t start well on either side of the ball, trailing 10-0 after the first quarter and not scoring for the first three quarters. On offense, TCU didn’t rely on its freshmen much, outside of Trevone Boykin. Freshman running back B.J. Catalon carried the ball only eight times, and freshmen receivers accounted for just three catches. The defense, which only has one senior starting, played well. The slow start and offensive woes can possibly be attributed to nerves from a big-game atmosphere, but, as mentioned before, performance on the field indicated that Kansas State was simply a better team on Saturday.
5. What message will TCU send to the rest of the Big 12 with its performance Saturday?
Answer: TCU showed that it could compete with the best in the conference – and in Saturday’s case – one of the best in the nation. It showed that defense could be played in the Big 12. The Frogs held K-State to its lowest yardage and point totals of the season and made a game of it until the end. If a couple plays on special teams went differently for TCU, the game could have gone either way going down to the final onside kick. That sends a message to the rest of the conference that, despite adversity, the Horned Frogs are on the cusp of being a contender at the top of one of the best conferences in the country in the Big 12.