Dallas, TEX – Whatever TCU head coach Gary Patterson said at halftime it worked.
After being held out of the end zone in the first half, the Frog’s first play in the second was a 75-yard pass and catch from quarterback Kenny Hill to senior wide receiver John Diarse, helping TCU (3-1, 1-0) cruise to a 33-3 win over rival SMU (2-2). The game was the 96th meeting between the two, which boasts an “Iron Skillet” to the winner.
“We learned a valuable lesson on offense, it’s not easy to score points and it’s not easy to win ball games,” said Patterson. “Defensively I felt we rose to the occasion…we didn’t allow a touchdown. We played better against the run.
“We still gotta defend the third down better. We knew they were gonna throw cut backs and verticles. We told the corner to play outside and they just didn’t believe us. I thought they communicated better and we made plays when we needed to.”
Diarse, who is in his first year with the program after transferring from LSU, recorded six receptions for 139 yards and the touchdown. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound receiver had seven catches for 97 yards in last week’s win over Iowa State.
“Diarse has been in some big ballgames,” said Patterson. “Transferred here and wanted to catch more balls. The bottom line is, he’s done a great job…he gives you a big body.”
SMU was held to 320 yards in the game, but struggled to get near the red zone after crossing the 50-yard line.
“It has taken us a while, and we are still not where we need to be,” said Patterson, who saw his group record two interceptions and hold SMU’s passing offense to 244 yards. “We have to keep defending the pass. We are going to see good receivers each week. That is what this league has.”
The Horned Frogs have defeated SMU five straight seasons and nine of the last 10. TCU is now 13-2 versus the Mustangs under Patterson.
“I have a lot of respect for Chad Morris. They have come a long way from a year ago,” said Patterson. “They have a football team and we are fortunate to come here and get a victory.”
The Frogs will have a rare Saturday off, which will allow them to reset before a matchup with Oklahoma (1-2) next week in Fort Worth. The Sooners started the season ranked No. 3 in the country, before falling to Houston and Ohio State.
* Patterson said he felt his team tackled better than it has all season on Saturday night. SMU’s squad has a lot of team speed and the Frogs did a great job in the open field.
* Quarterback Kenny Hill throws for 452 and ends up in the donuts section – is that fair? His performance ranked sixth in school history in passing yards. He completed 31-of-45 attempts, including 19-of-26 for 302 yards in the second half. It was his second 400-yard passing game this season. The junior took care of the football, except for a first quarter interception in the red zone.
* Kyle Hicks had a team-high 89 yards rushing on 14 carries for the second-best game of his career, behind only his 117 yards last week against Iowa State.
* Desmon White had a career-high six receptions for 49 yards. He also had a career-long 31-yard punt return. He totaled three punt returns for 74 yards for 123 all-purpose yards.
* Ty Summers had a team-best 13 tackles, including 1 1/2 for loss with a 1/2 sack. He has had double-digit tackles in each of the last three games.
* Ryan Graf had a career-long 46-yard field goal. He has made at least one field goal in each game this season and is 5-of-6 on the year.
*** Parts of the TCU media relations’ notes were used in this report ***