Here are five things to know about the first half between the Horned Frogs and Red Raiders.
1. Defense starts off strong
TCU defense dominated Tech offense early, forcing turnovers on first two possessions.
Safety Nick Orr intercepted Red Raider quarterback Patrick Mahomes II at the TCU one-yard line for his team-leading fourth pick of the season. The interception was Orr’s sixth of his career, most among active Horned Frogs.
TCU defensive end Matt Boeson forced a fumble on Mahomes and defensive tackle Chris Bradley recovered. TCU kicker Brandon Hatfield missed just his second field goal of the year from 37 yards on the Frogs’ following possession, so the Horned Frogs couldn’t capitalize on the second turnover.
2. TCU offense emphasizes run game early
Running back Derrick Green lined up as the wildcat QB and plunged into the end zone for a two-yard TD that gave the Horned Frogs the first lead of the game, 7-0. Green’s score capped off a 17-play, 99-yard scoring drive. TCU altered their play-calling on the first drive of the game, as they ran the ball 12 times on 17 plays. TCU’s game plan appeared to be to run to keep the clock moving and keep Tech’s high-flying offense off the field.
3. KaVontae Turpin can still make people miss
Wide receiver/returner KaVontae Turpin returned to the starting lineup at wide receiver and didn’t disappoint. Turpin led TCU in receiving in the first with three catches for 31 yards, and he also mixed in some of his patented jukes and cuts.
That’s what they call a jump cut folks pic.twitter.com/VZgVOVQXIG
— Mitchell Stehly (@StehlyMitchell) October 29, 2016
However, he did not return any kicks or punts.
Turpin hadn’t played since injuring his knee Sept. 17 against Iowa State.
4. Patrick Mahomes II held in check
Mahomes and Co. scored 59 points on 854 yards of total offense, 734 of which came from the arm of Mahomes. In the first half in Fort Worth, Mahomes totaled just 139 yards passing, a touchdown and interception on 28 attempts. Keeping him out of rhythm is one the keys to a TCU victory, and the Frogs could very well win the game if they hold Mahomes to similar second half totals.
5. Brandon Hatfield has uneven first half
TCU kicker Brandon Hatfield missed the first field goal attempt from 37 yards, his second missed field goal of the season, but he connected on his second field goal of the day from 23-yards out. For TCU to defeat the Red Raiders, they’ll need Hatfield to be nearly automatic in the second half.
TCU will receive the second half kickoff.