Getting to know: TCU football
For the first time in a month, University of Kansas football team returns home.
Kansas (2-5, 0-4 Big 12) is slated to take on TCU (3-4, 1-3) this weekend at David Booth Kansas Memorial Stadium. The Jayhawks are coming off a 48-16 loss to Texas Tech, while the Horned Frogs dropped a 52-27 decision to Oklahoma.
“Coach (Gary) Patterson, can’t say enough about him,” head coach David Beaty said. “He’s going to find a way now. He’s one of them guys that it just seems like things could be going crazy around him and he finds a way to settle it down. So we definitely know we’ve got to get ourselves ready to go this weekend.”
Kansas plays host to TCU at 2 p.m. Saturday.
BREAKING DOWN TCU:
Quarterback — Sophomore Shawn Robinson, who started the previous seven games, is out for the year after a season-ending shoulder injury. As a result, sophomore Michael Collins will make his Big 12 starting debut against the Jayhawks. Collins, a transfer from Penn, originally came to TCU as a walk-on. Collins threw two touchdowns in his three minutes of action against Oklahoma.
Running backs — The Horned Frogs are led by junior Darius Anderson in the run game. Anderson is averaging 6.1 yards per carry in his career, which ranks fourth in TCU history. Earlier this season, Anderson recorded the longest touchdown run in program history with a 93-yard score against Ohio State. Junior Sewo Olonilua and sophomore Emari Demercado provide depth in the backfield.
Receivers — As a sophomore, Jalen Reagor is leading the unit with a team-high 38 catches for 465 yards and four scores through the first seven weeks. Senior Jarrison Stewart has caught 11 of his 12 passes over the previous four weeks. Senior KaVontae Turpin is second on the team with 29 grabs, and ranks eighth in school history with 145 career catches.
Offensive line — On the left side of the offensive line, juniors Anthony McKinney (tackle) and Cordel Iwuagwu are slated to get the start. Sophomore Kellton Hollins, a team captain, is the starting center for TCU. Senior Chris Gaynor and junior Lucas Niang are expected to hold down the right guard and right tackle spot, respectively. TCU has run the ball on 51.9 percent of its snaps behind this unit.
Defensive line — Senior left end Ben Banogu is the focal point of this four-man defensive line. Banogu was named the preseason Big 12 defensive player of the year, and has recorded 4.5 sacks this season. Sophomore Corey Bethley and redshirt freshman Terrell Cooper hold down the defensive tackle spots. Senior Ty Summers, who has 310 career tackles, is the defensive end on the right side.
Linebackers — A pair of quick defensive playmakers make up this unit. Senior Arico Evans is fourth on the team with 31 stops this year, recording a career-best 10 tackles at Texas. Sophomore Garret Wallow, who is a converted safety, is leading the defense with 52 tackles through seven games. TCU tops the Big 12 and is 12th nationally in third-down defense, allowing opponents to convert just 29.9 percent of the time.
Secondary — TCU has a number of contributors in the secondary, including Niko Small at free safety. The senior has made 27 career starts, notching 148 career tackles in his career. Junior Innis Gaines and senior Ridwan Issahaku also operate from the safety position. Juniors Julius Lewis and Jeff Gladney are the starting cornerbacks for TCU. The Horned Frogs allow 186.4 passing yards per game, which is the best mark in the Big 12.
SPECIAL TEAMS — KaVontae Turpin is a game-changing playmaker in the return game. He leads the nation this season in punt return average, and is the only player in the nation with a kickoff return and a punt return for a touchdown. Jonathan Song has made 12 of his 14 career field goal attempts, including a 4-for-6 mark this season.
FUN FACT — In 18 seasons with Gary Patterson as the head coach, TCU is 111-5 when allowing 17 points or less. Kansas has been held to 17 points or fewer in two of its first seven games in 2018.
VEGAS SAYS… According to Bovada, TCU is a 13.5-point favorite over Kansas as of Friday afternoon. TCU has won only one of its previous five meetings with Kansas by at least 14 points, which came during last year’s 43-0 victory. Still, the Jayhawks will not be able to score enough to keep this game within two touchdowns.
Prediction: TCU 35, Kansas 14
Record against spread: 5-2