TCU opens season with rout of Jackson State
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Coach Gary Patterson wasn’t going to get overexcited about TCU’s 63-0 victory against an FCS team on Saturday night.
Even with that win against Jackson State being the 150th victory of his career, Patterson was keeping everything in perspective after the lopsided victory.
“This next one is a test (against Arkansas),” Patterson said. “I’d be excited if I could get to 160 by the end of this season.”
That’s why Patterson was able to nitpick after a big win on the scoreboard.
He wants the offense to be crisper and avoid turnovers. The defense shouldn’t have been pushed around on the opening drive by the Tigers, a Southwestern Athletic Conference team.
“We’ve got work to do,” Patterson said. “On to the next one.”
But while other Big 12 teams struggled on Saturday, Patterson had to acknowledge that his team took care of business as TCU won its 16th straight home opener, the nation’s fifth-longest streak.
“I was proud of the group. Proud of how they handled themselves,” Patterson said. “They acted more like that was what we were supposed to, which probably excited me more than anything else.”
Quarterback Kenny Hill threw for 206 yards and four touchdowns, two to Desmon White, and helped TCU take a comfortable lead early on.
TCU scored on all three possessions in the first quarter, including a 13-yard touchdown in the first quarter where Kenedy Snell took shovel pass and broke five tackles on a weaving sideline-to-sideline run.
“The whole key to games like this, when you’re playing an FBS opponent, it’s tackling,” Jackson State coach Tony Hughes said. “We missed so many tackles.”
TCU posted its first shutout since 2014 and scored twice on defense as Ridwan Issahaku returned an interception 53 yards for a touchdown in the second quarter and Arico Evans returned a fumble 32 yards in the third.
“A shutout is a shutout (no matter who),” Issahaku said. “We just want to win by one point, but it’s good to see the hard work pay off.”
Hill completed 18 of 23 passes before being replaced by backup quarterback Shawn Robinson midway through the third quarter.
“Been waiting too long for this,” Hill said. “I feel comfortable in the offense, each game trying to get more comfortable, more confident in the offense and the game plan.”
Jackson State was limited to 24 yards rushing and 41 passing as it fell to 0-14 all-time against FBS competition.
Jackson State reached the TCU 7-yard line on the game’s opening drive, but a fumbled snap led to a 28-yard loss and was followed up by a failed fake punt.
“The first drive we looked like we looked like we we’re gonna win the national championship,” Hughes said. “We faked a punt right there hoping that it would inspire us or ignite us. Just trying to do something to get us going.”
Kyle Hicks, TCU’s top returning rusher and receiver, didn’t play because of an undisclosed leg injury.
JACKSON STATE: Despite a strong start the Tigers were overpowered by their Big 12 foe for most of the game and didn’t help themselves with missed tackles and special teams mistakes.
TCU: It’s one thing to convert on explosive plays against an FCS opponent, will the Horned Frogs be able to generate similar results against evenly-matched competition?
Shawn Robinson, a true freshman, completed 5 of 7 passes for 94 yards and two touchdowns in his collegiate debut. He also had three carries for 43 yards. Robinson was an early enrollee at TCU in January after he led DeSoto to a Texas High School state championship in Class 6A, the state’s largest division, in December.
JACKSON STATE: The Tigers return to FCS play against Tennessee State in the Southern Heritage Classic.
TCU: The Horned Frogs travel to Arkansas for a rematch with the Razorbacks, who won the 2016 meeting in 41-38 in double overtime.