FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) – TCU still has an 11-game home winning streak, and the Horned Frogs are looking to make it 12 at Amon G. Carter Stadium on Saturday after falling from the undefeated ranks and seeing their national playoff hopes all but evaporate last week.
A week after their school-record 16-game winning streak ended in a road loss to undefeated Oklahoma State, the Horned Frogs (8-1, 5-1 Big 12) play winless Kansas at home, where they haven’t lost in almost two years.
This season is far from over for TCU. The Horned Frogs still could share another Big 12 title and possibly get into another New Year’s Six bowl game despite their No. 15 position in the latest College Football Playoff rankings.
“In our program, it’s business as usual,” said coach Gary Patterson, in his 15th season. “When we were 4-8, it was business as usual, and we’re 8-1, it’s business as usual. … I haven’t really talked about playoffs, or anything, since the very beginning.”
Kansas (0-9, 0-6) has three more chances to avoid being the first Power Five conference team since Washington in 2008 to go winless. This is the Jayhawks’ final road game in coach David Beaty’s first season, and they then host West Virginia and Kansas State.
“The truth of the matter is we have a long way to go. We started a long ways away, and it’s a long journey,” Beaty said. “But we thank God every day we’re not still where we were. Where we are today, we’re going to get better today, and we’ll continue to work to close the gap.”
On a chilly day at home last year, the Jayhawks led TCU by 10 points after halftime before the Frogs won 34-30.
Last week in Stillwater, Heisman Trophy hopeful Trevone Boykin threw for 445 yards but also had four interceptions, nearly doubling his season total. The Frogs trailed by three touchdowns at halftime and lost 49-29.
Boykin leads FBS with 441 total yards per game, with a TD pass in 24 consecutive games to match the nation’s longest active streak.
“You can’t let one (loss) become two,” Patterson said. “Heisman aspirations, and all those kinds of things when you think about them, and that wasn’t necessarily the game that you want to have to do that. … Look at the numbers, he’s been phenomenal compared to a lot of the quarterbacks that have won over the last 15 years.”
A few things to watch when TCU plays Kansas:
DOCTSON NOT DONE: Patterson took to Twitter on Thursday to say “Josh Doctson will play!” He made it abundantly clear about the star receiver’s status after some of the coach’s comments in a radio interview were misinterpreted. Doctson didn’t return after halftime last week at Oklahoma State after players fell on his left arm and wrist when he made a catch. Doctson is second in the nation in receiving yards per game (146.1), third in receptions per game (8.7) and has 14 touchdowns. The receiver could still be limited in how much he plays as a precaution.
FRESH QUARTERBACK: Kansas true freshman Ryan Willis has thrown a touchdown in five consecutive games. Willis is the Jayhawks’ third different starting quarterback this season and is expected to play despite a groin issue. He replaced injured junior Montell Cozart, who opted this week for shoulder surgery. “It just isn’t responding like we thought it would,” Beaty said. “So we’re going to go ahead and get it fixed which will get him healthy for next season and be able to kind of move forward instead of that thing continuing to linger.”
LOT OF YOUNGSTERS: Kansas has used 39 first-time players this season, and the only FBS team that has used more is TCU with 37. The Jayhawks have used 33 first-time starters, matching Central Florida for the most. The Horned Frogs are next with 24 first-time starters, most of theirs on defense.
SENIOR SALUTE: Even though it’s not the last home game, TCU will recognize its senior players during a pregame ceremony Saturday. The home finale is the Friday night after Thanksgiving against archrival Baylor. Players will have more time to spend with their families after the early game Saturday.