LUBBOCK, Texas (AP) — Shawn Robinson became the first true freshman quarterback to start a game for No. 11 TCU in coach Gary Patterson’s 17 seasons as head coach.
Even after a 27-3 win over Texas Tech that got the Horned Frogs closer to a spot in the Big 12 championship game, Patterson kept to his policy of not letting freshmen talk to the media after the game.
The victory speaks loud enough for Robinson and the Horned Frogs (9-2, 6-2 Big 12, No. 12 CFP).
“Our goal is for our seniors to have the best season they can have,” Patterson said. “They have a chance to win 10, 11 or 12 ballgames, which is really cool.”
With Oklahoma State and West Virginia both losing Saturday, the Frogs can get in the Big 12 title game with a win in their home finale against Baylor (1-10, 1-7).
Less than a year after winning a Texas Class 6A state high school championship game, Robinson ran for 84 yards and threw a key second-half touchdown in his first career start at TCU. He was filling in for senior Kenny Hill, who didn’t even make the trip to Lubbock because of an unspecified injury.
“The worst thing that could have had happened today was he could have had such a terrible outing that you lose your confidence and lose it for three years,” Patterson said. “For me, that was the one thing that was not going to happen today. Shawn Robinson was not going to lose his confidence for the next three years.”
While Robinson was only 6 of 17 for 85 yards, his 12-yard TD to Jalen Reagor came late in the third quarter as the Frogs took a 17-3 lead.
That score came on the drive after another missed field goal by Texas Tech (5-6, 2-6), which with numerous kickers has made only 8 of 16 attempts this year. Clayton Hayfield badly hooked a 20-yard try , the ball sweeping across the front of the goal posts.
That miss came after the Red Raiders forced a fumble by Robinson and recovered at the TCU 6.
“They put the ball in the end zone here, we’re going to loop back from there,” Texas Tech safety Jah’Shawn Johnson said of the sequence. “I mean TCU’s defense done a great job of doing what they had to do to get off the field and force our kicker to make a field goal, and they put some pressure in his face and he missed it.”
The Red Raiders got their only score on their opening drive of the game, a 21-play, 70-yard effort that ended with Hatfield’s 22-yard field goal with 6:08 left in the first quarter. TCU also scored on its opening drive, on KaVontae Turpin’s 2-yard TD run on the first play of the second quarter.
“I’m always confident in what we can do offensively,” Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “Today was obviously a very poor performance, but love what I’m seeing on the defensive side and how hard we’re playing on that side of the ball.”
Texas Tech: There will be plenty of questions about whether former Red Raiders quarterback Kingsbury has coached his last home game for his alma mater. They won their first seven games after Kingsbury became their coach in 2013 but are 22-32 since. After starting this season 4-1, Tech has to win its finale Friday night at Texas or will miss out on a bowl game for the third time in four seasons.
The Red Raiders haven’t missed bowls in consecutive seasons since 1991-92.
TCU: The Horned Frogs are oh-so-close to a possible rematch with No. 3 Oklahoma in the Big 12 title game. They lost 38-20 at Oklahoma last week. TCU’s defense dominated the Red Raiders, an effort capped by Jeff Gladney’s 93-yard interception return for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
NOT THE NORM
Texas Tech senior quarterback Nic Shimonek had a season-low 137 yards passing. His 17 completions were also a season low. He was 17 of 37 with an interception.
Texas Tech: The Red Raiders play Friday night at Texas.
TCU: The Horned Frogs are home against Baylor on Friday.
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