By David Smale, The Sports Xchange
MANHATTAN, Kan.–When you’ve spent all morning and afternoon at the stadium, and even into the evening, you just have to accept the result and move on.
For head coach Gary Patterson and his sixth-ranked TCU Horned Frogs, that was a little easier to do since they slogged through four hours of weather delays to defeat Kansas State 26-6 and keep their perfect season alive.
“I told our players, ‘Congratulations and let’s get on to Kansas,'” Patterson said. “This day started at 5:45 this morning. It went from a 90 percent chance, to 10 percent, back to 100 percent chance of rain. We knew they played on turf, and we knew we would be playing.
“Kansas State has a good defense. I’m telling you now, guys. They are physical.”
The start of the game was delayed for three hours by severe weather. There was another delay of one hour in the fourth quarter.
But TCU (6-0, 3-0 Big 12) was not deterred, using nap time and snacks to pass the time in the delays.
“We let them sing music and we got sandwiches (during the first delay),” Patterson said. “The kids slept for the first hour and 15 minutes and they got the food about 30 minutes before they went out.”
For Kansas State coach Bill Snyder and his Wildcats, the long day was made worse by the fact that they did not perform to their own expectations, basically playing flat for most of the game.
“I appreciate the fact that they wanted to win,” Snyder said. “They gave a good effort. But there are a lot of things that aren’t taking place, and it falls in my lap.
“There were a whole bunch of third and fourth downs that we didn’t convert.”
Despite how poorly they played, the Wildcats went into the half down only 13-3. But TCU scored on its first possession of the second half to open up a 20-3 lead and was never threatened. The Horned Frogs hold sole possession of first place in the Big 12, after Texas’ loss to Oklahoma.
Quarterback Kenny Hill was 27 of 37 passing for 297 yards. He also had a 10-yard touchdown run to open the scoring.
“It’s a good feeling (to be 6-0), but we have to keep pushing and plugging away,” Hill said.
Kansas State (3-3, 1-2) provided little resistance. The Wildcats mustered just 216 yards of total offense and averaged 2.4 yards per carry on the ground. Quarterback Alex Delton, who was making his first career start, was 11 of 29 for 146 yards. He ran for 39 yards on 19 carries.
“That was frustrating,” Delton said. “I felt like we shot ourselves a few times. Down there close to the 10-yard line a few times and (couldn’t) come out with touchdowns. It’s discouraging for an offense. It’s part of the game, but I feel like we beat ourselves tonight. It’s a tough one to lose.”
Snyder acknowledged that the inexperience may have hurt his quarterback.
“Alex really struggled today,” he said. “But he had a lot of help in that respect. It wasn’t all his fault, but he didn’t play nearly as well as he did the previous week.”
TCU opened up a 10-0 lead in the first quarter by stifling the Kansas State offense. The Wildcats finished the first quarter with just 25 yards of total offense. The Horned Frogs scored a touchdown on their second possession, with Hill scampering into the end zone from the 10.
Delton was just 1 of 5 for 14 yards in the first quarter. He also ran the ball four times for minus-5 yards.
K-State appeared ready to answer in the second quarter, having first-and-goal on the TCU 7. But the Wildcats went backward before fumbling the ball away at the 38-yard line. TCU then marched down the field before settling for a 22-yard field goal and a 13-0 lead.
Kansas State’s only points of the half came after it recovered a Darius Anderson fumble at the TCU 21. Matthew McCrane got the Wildcats on the board with a 38-yard field goal. He kicked a 51-yarder in the second half.