TCU loses to Kansas for first time since join­ing Big 12

Star-Telegram (Sunday) - - Front Page - BY DREW DAV­I­SON ddavi­son@star-tele­gram.com

Dar­ius An­der­son made no ex­cuses.

He didn’t blame the hand­off. He didn’t blame the of­fen­sive line­man he hit. In­stead, he took full blame for his costly fum­ble late in TCU’s stun­ning 27-26 loss to Kansas on Satur­day af­ter­noon.

“I saw the hole was open, just a mis­take I made,” An­der­son said. “I can’t get it back now. Just learn from it. Hurts, but we’ll be back.”

As it’s been the case in pre­vi­ous trips to Lawrence since join­ing the Big 12, the Frogs found them­selves in a dog­fight. They’ve been able to es­cape with wins pre­vi­ously and were seem­ingly on track to do it again.

Trail­ing 27-24 late in the game, TCU had marched down the field and had a first-and­goal from the KU 9 with about 1:15 left. An­der­son took the hand­off from quar­ter­back Michael Collins, tried to power his way up the mid­dle and had the ball come loose when he hit his own of­fen­sive line­man.

Kansas de­fen­sive tackle KeyShaun Sim­mons pounced on it.

“Yeah, I hit the O-line­man,” An­der­son said. “That’s still on me. That still has noth­ing to do with me let­ting the ball go.”

An­der­son was vis­i­bly up­set with him­self on the side­lines, be­ing con­soled by mul­ti­ple team­mates and coaches. All of them had a sim­i­lar mes­sage.

“Just en­cour­ag­ing me, let­ting me know that they’re still here for me no mat­ter what,” An­der­son said. “That it’s not my fault. It’s a team sport.”

Yes, it is. And TCU made plenty of mis­takes be­fore and af­ter An­der­son’s fum­ble that con­trib­uted to its first loss to Kansas since 1997.

Af­ter An­der­son’s fum­ble, Kansas had to milk 1:11 off the clock to se­cure the win. The Jay­hawks took a safety but left one sec­ond re­main­ing.

TCU coach Gary Pat­ter­son had a mes­sage to the kick­off re­turn unit: Fall on the ball. That would en­sure TCU would have at least one sec­ond left to at­tempt a long field goal for the win.

But TCU red­shirt fresh­man safety La’Ken­drick Van Zandt re­turned it for a 2-yard gain as time ex­pired. If he had fallen on the ball at the Kansas 33, TCU would have had a 50-yard field goal at­tempt.

Pat­ter­son men­tioned the phrase “fall on the ball” seven times in his postgame news con­fer­ence.

“That’s what they were all told,” Pat­ter­son said. “Ev­ery­body was told ‘fall on the ball.’ Then the clock doesn’t start. And then you have a chance to kick a field goal. Ev­ery­body was

told fall on the ball. That’s what I told them. Ev­ery­body was told ‘fall on the ball.’

“If you fall on the ball you’ve got one sec­ond. On the side­line, ev­ery­body was told fall on the ball. A red­shirt fresh­man caught it … ev­ery­body was told to fall on the ball. Let me re­peat that again: Ev­ery­body was told fall on the ball.”

TCU had blun­ders be­fore the An­der­son fum­ble and fi­nal kick­off, too. The Frogs failed to score when Pat­ter­son went for it on a fourth-and-goal from in­side the 1 on the open­ing of­fen­sive drive of the game.

TCU run­ning back Sewo Olonilua was stopped short of the goal line.

“Not so much we were try­ing to im­press some­one, they scored seven, we were try­ing to score seven. Sim­ple as that,” Pat­ter­son said. “We’re on the 1 yard line, you’d ex­pect with 230, 240 pound back that you could do that.”

Pat­ter­son was pleased with quar­ter­back Michael Collins’ start­ing de­but for the most part. Collins fin­ished 23-for-33 pass­ing for 351 yards with one touch­down and one in­ter­cep­tion.

The in­ter­cep­tion hap­pened deep in TCU ter­ri­tory, as KU took over on the 13. But the de­fense lim­ited the dam­age to a field goal.

Still, noth­ing was enough for the Frogs on Satur­day. An­other game with mul­ti­ple turnovers. A fourth loss af­ter lead­ing at half­time. TCU fell to 3-5 on the sea­son and bowl el­i­gi­bil­ity is in jeop­ardy.

Kansas hadn’t had a Big 12 vic­tory since Nov. 19, 2016, against Texas, a stretch of 14 games go­ing into Satur­day.

“They’ve been strug- gling, their pro­gram has,” TCU se­nior de­fen­sive end Ben Banogu said. “For them to get a win like this … hats off to them.”

For TCU, it’s back to the draw­ing board and try­ing to stay en­er­gized in what is be­com­ing a seem­ingly lost sea­son.

“We’re 3-5. We might be 3-9 be­fore it’s done,” Pat­ter­son said. “But the bot­tom line is we’re go­ing to keep fight­ing, we’re go­ing to keep get­ting bet­ter so we can move for­ward next year, one way or the other, un­less they don’t keep us.

“But the bot­tom line to it is you’ve got to keep peo­ple healthy, peo­ple have got to make plays and peo­ple have got to grow up. If we’ll do that then we’ll have a chance.”

RODGER MALLISON Star-Tele­gram file

TCU Horned Frogs head coach Gary Pat­ter­son lost to Kansas for the first time since join­ing the Big 12.

ORLIN WAG­NER AP

Kansas safety Em­manuel Moore af­ter the Jay­hawks beat TCU 27-26 on Satur­day in Lawrence, Kan.

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