Jayhawks Can’t Solve TCU Defense, Fall 20-6

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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September 15, 2012

The loss drops the Jayhawks to 1-2 on the season and 0-1 in conference play, while the visitors from Fort Worth, Texas move to 2-0 in 2012 and open their tenure in the Big 12 with a 1-0 record.

The TCU defense kept Kansas at bay for much of the afternoon, holding KU to just 74 yards on the ground and a combined 3-of-16 clip on third and fourth down attempts.

Kansas kept the Horned Frogs close through the opening period, entering the second half trailing by a score of 10-6. Kansas collected three plays of 25 or more yards in the final 30 minutes but couldn’t get the ball into the end zone, finding themselves scoreless in the final two quarters.

TCU junior quarterback Casey Pachall was able to connect with sophomore wide reciever Brandon Carter twice on the day, but none more important than the 25-yard touchdown pass with five minutes remaining in the third quarter to give the Horned Frogs their first double-digit lead of the contest, 17-6.

Pachall completed all but six of his 30 pass attempts on the day and put up 335 yards against the Kansas defense.

The KU passing attack countered with a big day as senior quarterback Dayne Crist notched his second 300-yard passing contest this season. The Canoga Park, Calif., native completed 19-of-39 passes with his longest a 42-yard completion to sophomore Adam Turzelli, who collected his first 100-yard receiving game of his career. Sophomore running back Tony Pierson also had a big day through the air, hauling in a career-high 99 yards on six catches.

Pierson wasn’t quite as potent on the ground however, rushing to only 35 yards after back-to-back 100-yard rushing performances in the Jayhawks’ first two contests. As a team the Jayhawks notched only 77 rushing yards.

After another TCU field goal and the score at 20-6 with just over 10 minutes remaining, Kansas was given a breath of life when Toben Opurum knocked the ball loose as Pachall appeared to be running in for a game-clinching touchdown. The fumble scooted through the back of the end zone, giving the Jayhawks another opportunity to bring the game within one possession.

In the first half, the KU defense started with a bang when a bad TCU snap snuck through the legs of Pachall, leaving the fumble to be recovered by senior defensive end Josh Williams. The turnover gave the Jayhawks a short field which they took advantage of, a 37-yard field goal from Ron Doherty, who tied a career high and gave KU a 3-0 lead early in the first quarter.

On the ensuing Horned Frog drive Kansas again put up a take-away as senior safety Bradley McDougald stripped Pachall on a pass attempt which was then recovered by senior Toben Opurum. KU forced four turnovers for the second time this season which boosts KU’s takeaways to 12 on the season.

On the next play, however Crist was picked off by TCU’s Sam Carter, which would set up an eventual eight-yard touchdown pass from Pachall to Carter four plays later to give the Horned Frogs a 7-3 lead with 4:20 left in the first quarter.

The Kansas defense hung tough though, keeping TCU off the scoreboard until just four seconds remaining in the half when kicker Jaden Oberkrom connected on a 37-yard field goal to put the Horned Frogs on top 10-6 going into the intermission.

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