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

By: KU, posted by Kinch O'Kelley
By: KU, posted by Kinch O'Kelley

LAWRENCE, Kan. – In their first Big 12 conference contest, the TCU Horned Frogs used their stout defense and 487 yards of total offense to hand the Kansas Jayhawks a 20-6 defeat Saturday afternoon inside Memorial Stadium. TCU outscored the Jayhawks, 10-0, in the second half to claim its first conference victory as member of the Big 12.

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.

The Jayhawks will now hit the road to play visitor for the first time this season when they take on the Northern Illinois Huskies at 2:30 p.m., next Saturday. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m., and will be televised on ESPN3.

POSTGAME NOTES

No. 15 TCU 20, KANSAS 6

SEPT. 15, 2012 - LAWRENCE, KAN.

SERIES INFORMATION

· Kansas trails the overall series with TCU, 8-17-4.

KANSAS CAPTAINS: Dayne Crist (QB), Tanner Hawkinson (OT), Toben Opurum (DE/LB), Josh Ford (FB)

DEBUTS AT KU: Anthony McDonald (LB)

FIRST TIME STARTERS AT KU: Randall Dent (OL), Andrew Turzilli (WR)

GENERAL NOTES

· Kansas coaches wore a patch for the game to assist in the promotion of the Coach to Cure MD program sponsored by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). In its fifth year of the program, Coach to Cure MD seeks to raise awareness and money to fund research for Duchene muscular dystrophy, the most prolific lethal genetic disorder of childhood. For more information, one can go to www.CoachtoCureMD.org. The weekend for AFCA members to wear the patches is Sept. 29, which is KU’s bye week.

· Kansas is 573-571-58 all-time.

· Senior OT Tanner Hawkinson started his 39th consecutive game for Kansas. Senior OG Duane Zlatnik started his 23rd straight and senior WR/S Bradley McDougald and senior DE Toben Opurum their 21st consecutive.

OFFENSIVE NOTES

· Sophomore HB Tony Pierson’s 26-yard reception in the second quarter was his first catch of the season and is also the longest of his career.

· Pierson had four receptions in the first half which already surpassed the most by a KU running back for a game this season. Entering the contest, KU RBs only had three total receptions. Pierson ended the game with six receptions which surpassed the KU mark for most catches against TCU in the 29-game series (previous mark was four receptions by Jim Moore and Isaac Byrd vs. TCU in 1996). Daymond Patterson equaled the effort with six catches against the Horned Frogs.

· Sophomore Andrew Turzilli’s 17-yard second quarter reception was his first reception of the season. His 42-yard catch in the third quarter was the longest of his career and the second longest pass play of the season for Kansas (43 yarder from Dayne Crist to Kale Pick on the first offensive play of the season).

· Turzilli finished with three catches for 100 yards. The last 100-yard receiving performance for Kansas was by JaCorey Shepherd, when he had three catches 107 yards against McNeese State last season. His 100 yards receiving were the most by a KU player in the series history against TCU.

· Junior WR Chris Omigie caught his first pass of the season in the second quarter. Omigie had one catch last season and entered the game with eight career receptions.

· Omigie had three receptions for a career-high 51 yards. His previous game high was three receptions for 41 yards against Oklahoma State in 2010.

· Dayne Crist passed for a season-best 303 yards and became the first Kansas quarterback to pass for more than 300 yards since Jordan Webb threw for 316 yards at Oklahoma State last season.

DEFENSIVE NOTES

· Kansas has 12 turnovers through three games, including four against TCU. Last season the Jayhawks had 18 turnovers all season.

· Senior DL Josh Williams’ fumble recovery on the opening drive was his second of the season and of his career.

· Junior S Bradley McDougald’s forced fumble in the first quarter was his first of the season and third of his career. Senior DE Toben Opurum’s fumble recovery on that fumble was his second of the season and for his career. Opurum also had a fumble recovery against Rice last week.

· McDougald finished the game with two forced fumbles after adding another in the fourth quarter, giving him four on his career. He also recorded a career-high 12 tackles, including nine solo efforts.

· Opurum’s forced fumble of TCU QB Casey Pachall in the fourth quarter his second of the season and third of his career.

· Junior DL John Williams’ tackle-for-loss in the third quarter was the first TFL of his career.

· Junior S Dexter Linton finished with a career-high six tackles. His previous career-high was three against Texas A&M last season.

· Senior LB Anthony McDonald tied for second on the team with six tackles in his Kansas debut.

SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES

· Junior K Ron Doherty’s 37-yard field goal in the first quarter tied for the longest of his career. He also made a 37 yarder against Baylor last season.

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