Anderson, No. 23 TCU defense stifle Arkansas in 28-7 victory
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (AP) — Kenny Hill was everywhere for TCU a year ago against Arkansas, accounting for nearly 500 total yards of offense in a crushing double-overtime loss to Arkansas.
This time around, the Horned Frogs quarterback happily took a back seat to his teammates on the other side of the ball.
Led by a defense that stifled its opponent for a second straight week, No. 23 TCU (2-0) made amends for its loss a year ago by earning a 28-7 win over the Razorbacks (1-1) on Saturday.
The Horned Frogs held Arkansas to 267 yards of total offense, a week after allowing only 65 yards in a 63-0 victory over Jackson State . They also controlled the time of possession with 195 yards rushing as a team, led by a career-high 106 on the ground from sophomore Darius Anderson.
All in all, it was a grinding Southeastern Conference-like win for TCU — which served notice to its Big 12 Conference counterparts in the process.
“It’s only two ballgames, but we’re really excited about where we’re at right now,” Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson said.
Anderson’s career day topped his previous rushing best of 103 yards in a victory over Texas last season, helping TCU win in Fayetteville for the first time since 1984 when both schools were in the Southwest Conference.
It was the collective effort of the Horned Frogs defense, however, that stole the show — while Hill was content to manage the rushing game and lead an offense that converted 10 of 14 third downs. Even in a secondary role, the senior still finished 21-of-31 passing and topped 200 yards of total offense in his third career game against Arkansas.
“We need to come out and score some more points, but (the defense) played unbelievable,” Hill said. ”... We’ve got a long way to go, but that was a big win. I love it.”
The Horned Frogs had three sacks in the game, one each by Ridwan Issahaku, Ben Banogu and Corey Bethley.
It was its coverage that decimated Arkansas’ once-mighty passing attack, though. Only three Razorbacks wide receivers caught passes in the game and quarterback Austin Allen — who accounted for four touchdowns in last year’s win — finished 9 of 23 for 138 yards passing.
“Coach (Patterson) always tells us we don’t know how good we could be,” Banogu said. “I think today we really took the potential part and made it into something we could actually do.”
Arkansas has now lost three of its last four games to fall to 26-27 under fifth-year coach Bret Bielema.
“I wish I had words to describe the way I feel and the way our guys feel,” Bielema said. ”... We’ve got to be the most-improved team in the country and get a lot better at the details.”
TCU: The Horned Frogs had lost 31 of their last 34 games to Arkansas dating to 1959, and they felt as if they let a win slip away in Fort Worth last season . It looked like they might let the game get away once again on Saturday, particularly after a second-half fumble deep close to the goal line. However, the defense held time and again and TCU scored two touchdowns within 14 seconds of each other to put the game away in the fourth quarter — capped by Sewo Olonilua’s second score of the game.
“We came here not to think about last year, we came here to win,” Patterson said.
ARKANSAS: The list of concerns is substantial for the Razorbacks, from their struggles in the passing game to special teams. Allen was out of sync for much of Saturday and threw for a career low in yards as a starter, completing only 4 of 13 passes for 31 yards in the second half. Also, junior Cole Hedlund missed field goals of 23 and 20 yards and is 14 of 24 for his career.
TCU: The Horned Frogs finish up their nonconference schedule by hosting SMU next week.
ARKANSAS: The Razorbacks have their lone off week of the season next week before returning against Texas A&M in AT&T Stadium on Sept. 23.
Follow Kurt Voigt on Twitter at @Kurt_Voigt_AP