The Horned Frogs will need to flip the switch on offense in the second half in order to move to .500 in Big 12 play.
They return to Amon G. Carter Stadium Saturday evening to take on the Iowa State Cyclones.
“It always feels good to be back in the Carter,” said defensive end Ben Banogu. “We’re surrounded by great fans, great atmosphere, and playing in front of your home fans is always good. Something about the Carter at night is always a bit more lively, so I’m excited about that.”
TCU is “not where [they] want to be” entering Week 5, according to head coach Gary Patterson. Last week, Patterson’s squad suffered a second-half meltdown for the second week in a row, where quarterback Shawn Robinson lost a fumble and threw for two interceptions in the 31-16 loss to Texas.
“We got to figure out what we keep doing at the start of the third quarter,” said Patterson. “We need to hold on to the football game. You don’t need to panic. Both ball games we were ahead. That’s not just on Shawn.”
Robinson’s hiccup from Saturday is one week removed from his two-interception second half against Ohio State.
“I think Shawn is getting better every day,” said Banogu. “One thing that I talked to him about is he’s young and that he’s going to go through situations where things don’t look as bright as they may have in high school. For him, it’s learning from his mistakes and trying to be smarter and more efficient every time he’s out there.”
Iowa State’s defense has not allowed a single point in the fourth quarter in seven of its last 11 games. The Cyclones have averaged 3.7 points per fourth quarter in that span. In the second half overall, the defense has allowed 6.9 points in its last 14 games.
Iowa State defensive end JaQuan Bailey leads the team in tackles for loss this season (5), averaging 1.7 per game, which is good for 21st nationally. He is tied for eighth in career sacks at Iowa State with 12, the 38th-highest total by an active FBS player.
“They’re a well-coached team and they play hard on every snap, and they’re good at what they do,” said Banogu. “They have size on the outside, and they like to utilize their strengths. For us, it’s to come into practice and come into film learning and understanding what they do so that we can take those things away.”
Patterson said Iowa State “does not beat themselves.”
Iowa State’s skill-set is not one-sided, and the Cyclones have shown the ability to beat teams with their offense. Wide receiver Hakeem Butler has averaged 21.2 yards per catch this season with 11 receptions for 262 yards and three touchdowns in their last two games. He ranks 22nd nationally in yards per catch and 15th nationally in receiving yards per game with 99 yards.
Running back David Montgomery is a Doak Walker Award nominee, an honor awarded to the top running back in college football. He leads the Cyclones with 77.7 rushing yards per game.
“When they drop back to pass you have to have a plan for their tailback,” said Patterson. “I think when you look at the stats, he broke more tackles than anyone else last year.”
Patterson said this week’s game will be based on the team’s energy level.
“Well, we had one guy, Trey Moehrig, he was a beast on special teams,” said Patterson. “If we have more people play like he did last week, we’ll be good.”
The Horned Frogs will look to continue their seven-game home winning streak Saturday. Kick-off is scheduled for 6 p.m.