The TCU defense held No. 2 Kansas State to a season-low 260 yards of total offense and 23 points.
The Frogs’ offense put up 274 total yards and gained three more first downs than the Wildcats.
But it wasn’t enough.
The No. 2 team in the country made more plays to grab a 23-10 win at Amon G. Carter stadium. Kansas State improved to 10-0 on the season while the Frogs dropped to 6-4.
“I’m not disappointed in our kids at all,” head coach Gary Patterson said. “To be honest with you, we thought we could win this ballgame.
Kansas State’s first drive ended with an interception by defensive end Devonte Fields. It was quarterback Collin Klein’s third interception of the season.
Klein went 12-for-21 for 145 yards and he rushed for a team-high 50 yards and two touchdowns.
TCU’s defense allowed a 62-yard pass from Klein to wide receiver Chris Harper on the Wildcats’ next drive. This set up KSU at the 27-yard line and Klein ran it in from the seven-yard line.
A fumbled punt by Deante’ Gray at the TCU 10-yard line gave the Wildcats the ball back with 2:33 left in the first half. The defense stopped running back John Hubert for losses of two and four yards on first and second down. Klein’s eight-yard pass to Hubert came up short of the goal line, forcing the Wildcats to settle for a 20-yard field goal.
“We didn’t play good enough,” safety Sam Carter said. “They scored 23 points and we made a few mistakes and it cost us.”
The defense held Kansas State to 5-of-13 on third down conversions and forced four Anthony Cantele field goals.
The Frogs have been playing good defense all season, especially on third downs, Patterson said.
There’s a “fine line” when you play teams like Kansas State because they could play for the national title, Patterson said.
"We need to understand that when you walk out on the field against teams like that you gotta have presence, you gotta have swagger," Patterson said. "You gotta turn the knob up from the very beginning.
The defense sacked Klein three times on the night, including two by defensive end Stansly Maponga. He also recovered a fumble with 1:11 left in the game.
Maponga gave the Frogs a “fresh body” and an “explosive” player, Patterson said.
The Frogs converted Maponga’s interception into a 19-yard touchdown from quarterback Trevone Boykin to wide receiver Brandon Carter. Boykin finished 17-of-30 for 164 yards and a touchdown.
Carter said the defensive line did its job by getting to Klein, but the secondary didn’t do enough to stop the Wildcats.
Klein rushed for a 34-yard touchdown on Kansas State’s first drive of the second half. The Wildcats added a 27-yard field goal on their next drive to extend the lead to 23-0. The Frogs held Kansas State scoreless in the fourth quarter.
“We hit each other in the mouth all night,” offensive guard Blaize Foltz said. “If it wasn’t us doing it them, it was them doing it us.”
After the game, Patterson said, he told his team that they played a “hell of a ballgame.” The team will continue to get stronger and faster and develop the younger players, he said.
“I’m excited about what our future is, what we’re doing,” Patterson said.
Kansas State connection
Patterson said he told Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder to win out and get to the national title game.
“The man deserves it,” Patterson said. “He has done a lot for, not only Kansas State, but he’s done a lot for the state of Kansas period.”
Patterson played safety and linebacker at Kansas State in 1980 and 1981.