As TCU quarterback Kenny Hill’s collegiate career draws to a close, Saturday’s matchup against Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship game proved to be a representation of Hill’s time as a Horned Frog, a game that resulted in a 41-17 loss to the Sooners.
Hill, Johnny Manziel’s successor, transferred from Texas A&M after his sophomore season, one highlighted by his first career start against the South Carolina Gamecocks. High expectations swirled around TCU football as Hill was named the starting quarterback. Both he and the Horned Frogs did not live up to them as an overall disappointing first season finished with a 6-7 record. Hill aired the ball out for 3,208 yards as he recorded 17 touchdowns on the year. Interceptions plagued Hill as he threw 15 in 13 total games, the most in the Big 12.
Hill and TCU flipped the switch for his senior season, one in which Hill matched his career-high in completion percentage and featured his second-highest QBR, yards per attempt and total touchdowns per season.
“My career has been up and down,” Hill said. “Last year we didn’t have the season we wanted, but we came back this year and we accomplished a lot of goals that we set out to get.”
Saturday’s game served as a microcosm of Hill’s career as a Horned Frog, a roller-coaster ride of an event. Senior year Hill showed out in the first half and kept TCU in the game, but junior year Kenny made an unannounced and unwelcome appearance in the second half to ensure an Oklahoma victory.
The Horned Frogs as a whole exhibited a respectable offensive showing in the first half with Hill throwing for 159 yards with two touchdowns on 19-24 passing. Hill’s first touchdown of the afternoon came in the second quarter and it was his longest pass of the day, a 29-yard strike to co-offensive Freshman of the Year wide receiver Jalen Reagor.
TCU was within striking distance at halftime, only down a touchdown, 24-17, after 30 minutes of play. The Sooners separated themselves from the Horned Frogs in the second half en route to a 41-17 victory.
Hill’s second half was not as admirable, highlighted by a mind-boggling throw into double-coverage from his own four-yard line. The interception was returned back for 19 yards to TCU’s 12-yard line, and the drive culminated with an Oklahoma field goal.
TCU head coach Gary Patterson compared Hill to Oklahoma’s Heisman Trophy front-runner Baker Mayfield.
“Baker could probably be a linebacker because he plays quarterback like a defensive guy,” Patterson said. “He’s going to challenge you and do the things he needs to do. Kenny plays quarterback like a defensive guy too.”
While erratic and disappointing at times, Hill has enjoyed his time as a Horned Frog.
“It’s been a fun ride and a wild ride, and I thank this guy here [Patterson] for giving me the opportunity to come here and play,” Hill said following his penultimate game of college football as a Horned Frog and his only conference title game appearance.
Following the loss, the Horned Frogs await their bowl fate. TCU’s bowl matchup will be announced Sunday afternoon, following the final College Football Playoff announcement starting at noon.