Horned Frogs Pull Away from Jayhawks, 27-17
FORT WORTH, Texas – The Kansas defense forced five turnovers and set up every Jayhawk scoring drive, but TCU used a pair of back-to-back scoring drives to open the second half to break open a tie game en route to a 27-17 win by the Horned Frogs at Amon Carter Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Kansas (2-3, 0-2 Big 12) intercepted two passes – one returned for a touchdown – and recovered three fumbles leading to all 17 points, but the TCU (3-3, 1-2 Big 12) defense posted an equally impressive effort and the Horned Frogs broke open a 10-10 contest with consecutive touchdowns to open the second half, including a single play, 75-yard drive, 13 seconds into the third quarter.
KU’s offense was limited to 198 total yards in the game and was stymied on four total drives in the fourth quarter, achieving just one first down while trying to find a game-tying tally.
Both teams dueled to a first half tie, but TCU scored on the opening play from scrimmage in the second half as David Porter broke a tackle in the right flat and scurried down the sideline. After a promising KU drive ended on a forced fumble by the Horned Frogs near midfield, TCU added another score to go up 24-10 with 9:31 left in the third.
Kansas answered by taking advantage of a muffed punt on the next drive, with Jake Heaps connecting with Jimmay Mundine on a 27-yard pitch-and-catch to pull the Jayhawks within a single touchdown. From there, both teams struggled to sustain any sort of momentum and were collectively held scoreless until TCU tacked on a late field goal to make it a two-score game with 2:34 to play.
KU’s James Sims rushed for 81 yards on 23 attempts and Heaps finished 13-of-26 for 152 yards with the touchdown pass to Mundine and another tipped-ball interception. Sims was also the top receiving target for the Jayhawks with five catches for 40 yards. KU’s longest play of the day was a 50-yard, jump-ball that Andrew Turzilli muscled away from the defender.
BJ Catalon rushed for a game-high 91 yards and scored the Horned Frogs’ second touchdown of the second half. TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin was 14-of-22 for 173 yards and added 71 yards on the ground, including a 10-yard scamper for a touchdown off a read option play in the first half.
Kansas safety Isaiah Johnson picked off his second interception as a Jayhawk and JaCorey Shepherd jumped in front of a pass and ran it down the KU sideline for a touchdown to even the score near the midpoint of the second quarter. It was Shepherd’s first career interception and on the next drive, he forced a fumble, which the Jayhawks recovered.
The Jayhawks, who dropped to 0-2 in Big 12 Conference play, will continue league play at home next Saturday against Oklahoma at 2:30 p.m.
TCU improved to 18-8-4 against Kansas all-time, including an 8-2-2 mark in games played in Fort Worth.
KANSAS CAPTAINS: Jake Heaps (QB), Ben Heeney (LB), James Sims (HB), Keon Stowers (DL)TEAM NOTES*TCU won the toss and elected to defer. Kansas took the ball from the west end zone. *Kansas has stopped every 2013 opponent on the opening drive, limiting opposing teams to three first downs on opening drives through five games.*KU’s 17 points marked it highest scoring output since scoring 31 points in its season-opening win over South Dakota.*The Jayhawks’ forced a season-high five turnovers, scoring 17 points off of them. KU forced a season-high three fumbles amongst its five turnovers forced. *Kansas fell to 575-583-58 all-time.OFFENSIVE NOTES*Senior OL Gavin Howard made his first career start at center. Howard started six games at right tackle in 2012. He is the third Jayhawk to start at center in 2013. *Junior QB Jake Heaps’ 50-yard pass to junior WR Andrew Turzilli marked KU’s longest completion since a 77-yard pass Heaps to junior H/F Tony Pierson at Rice. It also marked the longest reception of Turzilli’s career. *Senior HB James Sims hauled in a 30-yard reception in the third quarter, marking his longest reception of the 2013 season. He finished the game with a team-best five catches for 40 yards. *Sims also recorded 81 yards rushing in the game on a season-high 23 carries. *Junior TE Jimmay Mundine’s 27-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter was his longest reception of the 2013 season and gave him a touchdown reception for the third-straight game. *Senior TE Nick Sizemore recorded his first career rush, going for three yards in the first quarter. DEFENSIVE NOTES*Sophomore S Isaiah Johnson recorded his second career interception on the first play from scrimmage for TCU. Johnson returned the pick two yards, setting up Kansas’ first points of the game. *Junior CB JaCorey Shepherd recorded his first career interception and returned it 32 yards for a touchdown. Shepherd’s pick six marked KU’s first interception return for a touchdown since Tyler Patmon returned one 54 yards for a score at Northern Illinois in 2012. *Shepherd followed his interception with his first career forced fumble on TCU’s next offensive play. The fumble was recovered by junior NB Victor Simmons, his first fumble recovery of the season and third of his career. *Senior DL Jordan Tavai recovered a fumble forced by junior DL Keon Stowers in the third quarter marking the first career recovery for Tavai and the first career force for Stowers. *KU’s 34 interception return yards are the most for the Jayhawk defense in a game this season. SPECIAL TEAMS NOTES*Junior P/K Trevor Pardula recorded a season-high four punts of 50 yards or more in the game, including a game-long punt of 55 yards. Pardula now has 12 punts of 50 yards or longer on the season. *Pardula’s 10 punts set a new season high for punts in a game. *Pardula also handled the kickoff duties for KU, recording touchbacks on 3 of 4 kickoffs. *Freshman long snapper John Wirtel recoverd a muffed punt by TCU in the third quarter. It marked his first career fumble recovery. *Redshirt freshman K Matthew Wyman opened the scoring for KU with a 37-yard field goal, giving him one or more field goals in 4-of-5 games this season.