In 2018, TCU football saw a downhill season get worse with a 27-26 loss to Kansas in Lawrence to give the Jayhawks their first conference win.
That was not the case for the Frogs on Saturday.
Behind 337 yards rushing as a team and four touchdowns from quarterback Max Duggan, TCU throttled Kansas 59-23 to hand the Jayhawks their 12th-straight loss, dating back to October 2019.
“After two weeks off, you never know how you’re going to act,” head coach Gary Patterson said. “[You] have to go on the road. We didn’t play well on the road last time. [I] wasn’t happy that we gave up 23 points, but it is what it is. [We] had some guys do some really good things.”
TCU had five players with over 30 yards rushing on the day. True freshman Zach Evans led the way, putting together his first-ever 100-yard game on just 12 carries.
Redshirt freshman Darwin Barlow and Duggan came in right behind Evans, combining for 144 yards and putting up one score on the ground each.
Though Duggan completed just three passes on the day, he made each of them count. The young signal caller threw touchdowns of 46, 26, and 24 yards, two of which went to tight end Pro Wells.
“First of all, I want to shout out my o-line, which played phenomenal tonight,” Duggan said. “I think all the success was behind them for everything tonight.”
Wells finished with a career-high 70 yards.
Duggan’s third touchdown pass went to tight end Carter Ware, who scored for the first time in his four-year career at TCU.
After missing the West Virginia game with an injury, receiver Derius Davis made his presence known again in the return game. Late in the first quarter, Kansas shanked a punt and Davis took advantage, taking it 37 yards to the house to put TCU up 24-0.
The junior now has three career punt return touchdowns, two of which have come this year, tying him for second all-time in TCU history.
“You know, don’t let up. Don’t let them try and come back, keep up their hope,” Duggan said of TCU’s early mentality. “So we had to keep focusing, keep working on ourselves and our game plan.”
Late in the first half, Kansas would replace starting quarterback Jalon Daniels with Miles Kendrick, who scored two touchdowns on his first four drives.
Any momentum Kendrick gained for the Jayhawks was brought to a halt at the beginning of the fourth quarter. TCU cornerback C.J. Ceasar took his first-career interception 30 yards for a touchdown to give the Frogs a 32-point lead.
The TCU defense was not done with Kendrick, though. Three drives later, defensive end Ochaun Mathis stripped the junior quarterback deep in Kansas territory, leading to a recovery by linebacker Dee Winters in the end zone to extend the TCU advantage even further.
Led by linebacker Garrett Wallow, the Frogs racked up 12 tackles for a loss and four sacks in a lock down defensive performance.
Wallow was all over the field, posting a game-high 10 tackles, a tackle for a loss, a pass breakup, and a quarterback hit.
“This win was very big for us as a team,” Wallow said. “We came out like, ‘We need this win, and whatever it takes, we’re willing to get it done.'”
The win brings TCU back to .500 at 4-4, likely locking up their spot in a bowl game this winter. They will wrap up their season next week at home against Oklahoma State. Kickoff is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5 at a time TBA.