The Frogs (8-1, 5-1 Big 12 Conference) will look to bounce back after suffering their first loss of the year against No. 8 Oklahoma State last weekend in Stillwater. The match up will be the perfect chance for the Frogs to do exactly that, as the winless Jayhawks enter the game sitting in last place in the conference.
After throwing four interceptions against Oklahoma State, Frogs’ quarterback Trevone Boykin will be looking to get back to normal form and keep his Heisman Trophy campaign alive.
Boykin could be short on receivers once again, however. Josh Doctson left the game against Oklahoma State with an apparent wrist injury, but TCU head coach Gary Patterson tweeted Thursday, saying the wide receiver will play.
Josh Doctson will play!
— Gary Patterson (@TCUCoachP) November 12, 2015
Other receivers who are currently sidelined are Ty Slanina, Deante Gray and Ja’Juan Story. Boykin will have to get used to a receiver core almost completely different from week one. The good news is the Frogs were outscored by one point in the second half against Oklahoma State without Doctson, while they were outscored 28-9 when Doctson was present in the first half.
On defense, TCU will need to regroup after the secondary was shredded by the Cowboys last week. The unit allowed multiple touchdown receptions of more than 50 yards.
Patterson said he took the blame for the defensive woes.
“I have to do a better job of calling defense,” Patterson said. “When it’s not going, it’s my fault.”
The unit will get some relief as it attempts to fix that problem on Saturday, as Kansas quarterback Ryan Willis has a 55.2 completion percentage and has thrown for only six touchdowns all season. The offense has scored just 152 points this season compared to the Frogs’ 420.
The Jayhawks’ defense is last in the Big 12 conference with 436 points allowed on the season. The struggles on both sides of the ball have led to an abysmal -284 point differential for the Jayhawks.
The Frogs know, however, that no team can be taken lightly, even if a record indicates a troubled team. Last year the Frogs barely squeezed by the Jayhawks in Lawrence, Kansas, winning by a score of 34-30 after trailing for most of the game. The Frogs entered the contest as a four touchdown favorite.
“They still are a team with division one athletes,” TCU safety Travin Howard said. “We respect them and expect them to put up a good fight.”
“I wouldn’t say they [Kansas] have as good of a skill set as everyone else in the conference, but they still have some good ones,” Patterson said.
TCU needs a chance to get its confidence back before facing Oklahoma and Baylor to end the year, and this is the best opportunity for it to do just that.
A blowout win for the Frogs is the natural expectation for this match-up, as Kansas has shown little to no strength this season, and the Frogs learned their lesson against the Jayhawks last November. The response the week after a loss, though, can make or break a team.
I expect the Frogs to win soundly, but given how banged up they are on both sides of the ball, the game might not be a 63-0 massacre like many would expect.
TCU 56, Kansas 17