TCU offensive struggles holding the Frogs back against Arkansas in the first half

0
423

Print Article
The Horned Frogs and Razorbacks met for the first time since 1991, Arkansas’ final year in the Southwest Conference on Saturday night in Fort Worth. TCU head coach Gary Patterson and Arkansas’ Bret Bielema have met once before in the 2011 Rose Bowl where TCU defeated Bielema’s Wisconsin team 21-19.

On the Hogs first possession, Arkansas running back Rawleigh Williams III ripped off a big 37-yard run p put the Razorbacks on TCU’s 22 yard-line.

Razorback quarterback Austin Allen then threw a strike to wide receiver Drew Morgan that put Arkansas on the Horned Frogs’ two-yardline. However, a replay review erased the pass, putting Arkansas back on the TCU 22-yard line.

The Razorbacks followed up that play with a short run and an incompletion, which forced a 38-yard field goal by kicker Cole Hedlund. Arkansas took just 3:20 to march from their own 25-yardline, but their drive stalled once entering TCU’s red zone.

Quarterback Kenny Hill and the rest of the Horned Frog offense began their first possession on their own 25.

TCU’s possession faltered at the Razorbacks’ 37-yard line, but on 4th-and-4, Patterson elected to have his offense attempt to pick up the first down. After a TCU timeout, Hill dropped back to pass and elected to scramble, which allowed him to rip off a 22-yard run for the first down.

But on the very next play, TCU wide receiver Deanté Gray took off for 19 yard run, but fumbled on the Arkansas seven-yard line.  Razorbacks linebacker Dre Greenlaw jumped on the fumble, ending TCU’s march.

Arkansas followed up the TCU turnover with one first down, but then had their possession snuffed out by Josh Carraway sack on third down.

TCU punted on their first series of the next possession.

Toward the end of the first quarter, Arkansas marched back into TCU’s red zone.  After getting as close as TCU’s seven-yardline, TCU once again forced an Arkanas field goal. Hedlund nailed it from 27 yards out.

Arkansas extended their lead over TCU to 6-0.

The Horned Frogs were dominated by the Razorbacks in the first quarter, as Arkansas possessed the ball for 10.5 minutes, and TCU didn’t even register five minutes of possession.

Yet, the game remained a one-score affair, until Hill threw a 45-yard pick-six to linebacker Brooks Ellis  for an Arkansas touchdown with ten minutes left before halftime. The Razorbacks pushed their lead to two possessions, 13-0.

TCU looked destined to punt the ball once again following the interception, until Hill scampered 26 guards to the Arkansas 44 for a critical first-down.

Wide receiver KaVontae Turpin followed up Hill’s run with a 14-yard catch-and-run for another first down.

Penalties continued to hamper the Horned Frog offense, as TCU’s offensive line continued to be flagged for blocking below the waist, which erased another by Hill that would’ve gone for a first down.

After a few punts by both teams, TCU crossed the field over into Arkansas territory with 4:45 left in the first half after a Kyle Hicks catch-and-run.

Kenny Hill’s throwing inaccuracy in the half prevented the Frogs from advancing past the Arkansas 40.

After another Arkansas punt, a couple catches by running back Kyle Hicks and a catch by wide receiver Ty Slanina put TCU right at mid-field for a Hail Mary attempt.

Hill’s heave fell incomplete, and Arkanas headed into the locker room with 13-0 halftime advantage.

If TCU wants to make this game competitive, it will need to stop turning the ball over and committing penalties on offense. TCU will start the second half with the football.