Texas Christian opened their first ever Big 12 season today in Lawrence and left with a victory over the Kansas Jayhawks. The final score ended up 20-6, much closer than many people had expected after last week's showing against Rice. As always, we saw some improvement in certain areas and some things that are still worthy of concern. Overall, TCU outgained Kansas 489 yards to 380. The Kansas defense had men around the TCU players often but still struggled making tackles and stopping the Frogs when it mattered outside of the red zone. On offense, the Jayhawks felt fairly balanced and effective in the first half. The second half was a different story as the playcalling went very pass heavy and it just didn't work.
Crist was better than we've seen in the previous two weeks. He still struggled to avoid the rush and we saw him overthrow receivers multiple times, though he did hit on a few deep balls today. Overall, he was better but not good enough for the team to compete. Tony Pierson was and continues to be the one skill player on the offensive side of the ball can make something happen. He ended the game with only 35 rushing yards but complimented that with 99 yards receiving. Taylor Cox also ran the ball effectively in the first half but disappeared in the second. Not entirely his fault as the Jayhawks basically ignored the run in the second half.
Ultimately how you end up feeling about this game will depend on what you want to take from it. The score looks much better than expected. The defense competed and only allowed two touchdowns on the day. Dayne Crist ended the day with 303 yards.
The flip side of that is to realize that the game was closer to 48 to 6 than it was to 20-14. TCU fumbled twice inside the ten yard line and was only forced to punt on one possession. Still a very long way to go.