Five questions: TCU

HornedFrogInsider.com publisher Josh Harvey stops by to answer five questions on TCU.

We checked in with Horned Frog Insider publisher Josh Harvey before the season to examine Oklahoma’s matchup vs. TCU.

Well, time to do it again. Sooners and Frogs with a lot of questions to be answered, and Harvey is back to try to do so regarding Gary Patterson’s bunch.

Has Kenny Hill settled down yet? Or is he still make two great plays, one head-scratching decision and you simply have to learn to live with it?

Hill’s decision making has improved a lot from his Texas A&M days – a real sign of maturity. Hill has played well, hitting on 66 percent of throws and seems to be growing by the game. It doesn’t feel like he’s used his legs that often, but he does have 33 carries – finding the end zone six times. Is he Trevone Boykin – no.  But he doesn’t have to be in this offense. Hill has plenty of weapons and needs to be able to just get the ball in their hands to let them do the rest. He has four interceptions, but already has 180 attempts.

TCU has five guys with more than 13 receptions but nobody with more 20 catches. Is there a true go-to guy? If not, does it matter not having a pure No. 1 target?

There has not been a go-to-guy at this point. Patterson doesn’t know if there will be, often saying it is a different day, different player. With that being said, former LSU transfer John Diarse has 13 catches in the last two games and appears to be building a strong chemistry with Hill. He’s not a speedster like the others, but a bigger receiver who has the ability to break a tackle and make the catch in traffic. Running back Kyle Hicks actually leads the team in receptions with 20 and it hasn’t been just dump downs. They have set up a lot of design passes for the junior.

That was a rough start for the TCU defense but last two games seem to be the Frogs we’re accustomed to seeing under Gary Patterson? Has anything changed last two weeks?

TCU was hit with such a big injury bug last season on defense, quite a few guys received game experience and reps. The problem was the chemistry wasn’t there. Heading into the season everyone thought the defense, with the amount of returners they had on that side of the football, would be world-beaters. It has taken a little longer to build that chemistry than expected. I haven’t seen anything schematically that has changed. I just think the group is growing confident in one another – especially in the secondary.

Who has been the player that has stepped out of the shadows and performed better than what people thought in preseason?

Running back Kyle Hicks has been very consistent, after just 262 yards last season. Even in games where he hasn’t been as effective on the ground, he’s been a solid receiving threat out of the backfield. Right now he’s rushing at 6.0 yards per carry and as we said before leading the team in receptions. In four games he has 535 combined yards on the ground and through the air. We knew he would be the clear No. 1 heading into the season, but probably didn’t expect this amount of production.

OU has caused two turnovers in three games. TCU has caused three in four games. Why haven’t the Frogs been able to get things rolling in that department?

At times they have had a bend but don’t break style of defense, which doesn’t lend itself to creating turnovers. They have also had quite a few missed opportunities in the secondary with interceptions that have been just dropped. They had two on Friday night against SMU and Patterson said after the game he wasn’t sure if they would get one all season. Maybe that will open the floodgates a bit. 

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