FORT WORTH, Texas — TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin said following TCU’s 27-17 victory over Kansas Saturday he might need to apologize to the defense for the five turnovers the Frogs committed.
There’s no need because in head coach Gary Patterson’s mind, the Frogs accomplished their goal by winning their first Big 12 game of the season.
How they got there doesn’t matter. What does is that the Frogs are 3-3 and 1-2 in the Big 12 after notching their first ever Big 12 win at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
The Frogs did that by getting contributions on offense and defense for two unexpected sources.
Junior receiver David Porter, who is Boykin’s roommate, matched his season total with four catches and gave TCU the lead for good in the third quarter with a 75-yard scoring catch. Defensively junior linebacker Paul Dawson made the most of his first start, having a hand in 17 tackles and adding three tackles for losses to spark a dominant showing against the lowly Jayhawks (2-3, 0-2).
“I’m a lot happier at 3-3 right now,” Patterson said. “At some point if we want to win more games than we lose, we’ve got to have guys that make plays.”
The Frogs got to 3-3 despite the five turnovers, which led to all 17 of the Kansas points. The game got off to an ominous start offensively for TCU when Boykin was intercepted on the Frogs first offensive play.
But the TCU defense held Kansas to a field goal and Boykin engineered a 63-yard scoring drive on the next TCU trip to put the Frogs in front 7-3.
If it weren’t for the turnovers, that would have been enough points. The only other Kansas scores came on a 32-yard interception return in the second quarter and a touchdown late in the third quarter that followed a B.J. Catalon fumble at the TCU 37.
When the TCU offense stayed out of the defense’s way, there were no issues. Kansas had just seven first downs, converted on 2 of 16 third-down tries and totaled just 198 yards offensively.
“We just wanted to make sure those guys didn’t score and we win by one,” said TCU safety Sam Carter, who had one of the four TCU sacks. “We needed a win. We had lost last week (to Oklahoma) and we needed a win. We knew we couldn’t make any mistakes out there.”
Despite the strong defensive play, the game was tied at 10 at halftime because of the turnovers. But Boykin’s TD pass to Porter on the first play from scrimmage in the second half gave the Frogs the spark they needed. Porter, who had four catches for 118 yards, became the first 100-yard receiver for the Frogs this season.
After Chris Hackett forced and recovered a fumble on the ensuing drive, the Frogs capitalized with a 53-yard drive that was capped by a 2-yard run from Catalon.
That put TCU up by 14, which was plenty of breathing room for a defense that forced seven three-and-outs from Kansas.
TCU’s offense also did its part when it held onto the ball, as the Frogs totaled 380 yards and got 207 on the ground.
“We came out with a W but we’ve got to start out way faster,” said Boykin, who was 14 of 22 for 173 yards to go along with a touchdown and two interceptions. “The first play of the game was an interception. That’s not the way you want to start the game. I told them after that to calm down. It’s the first play and it’s over with and we’ve got to get past that.”
The Frogs did just that Saturday, but their Big 12 road won’t get any easier. TCU travels to Stillwater next week to face Oklahoma State, which will be coming off a bye week. After that, TCU hosts a Texas team that upset Texas Saturday.
Patterson know the Frogs have work to do, but it’s easier to get it done when you’re coming off a victory.
“We’ve just got to keep playing,” Patterson said. “Who knows how good this group can play and the yardage if we move the football and do what we’ve got to get done. We’ve just got to go play.”