Frogs not in Top 25? 'Makes my job easier,' Patterson says

When TCU is lightly regarded to start a season, veteran head coach Gary Patterson says he doesn't have to say anything.
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When TCU is lightly regarded to start a season, veteran head coach Gary Patterson says he doesn't have to say anything.


TCU vs. Jackson State: What to know about the Horned Frogs and Tigers

By Carlos Mendez

August 28, 2017 11:31 AM

TCU (0-0, Big 12) vs. Jackson State (0-0, SWAC)

Kickoff: 7 p.m. Saturday, Amon G. Carter Stadium


Radio: WBAP 870-AM, KTCU 88.7 FM

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Series: This is the first meeting between the Horned Frogs and Tigers. The last time TCU played a team from the Southwest Athletic Conference, it was a 56-0 victory against Grambling State in 2012.

Weather: High of 93, low of 72, rain chance 40 percent, humidity 70 percent, south-southeast wind 5-10 mph.

Who’s favored: No line as of Friday.

What’s this about: TCU can win its 16th consecutive home opener. Only four active streaks are longer (Florida’s 28, Illinois’ 20, Arizona State’s 18 and Arizona’s 17). A win could push the Horned Frogs into the AP Top 25 — they have appeared in every AP poll at some point in the past 12 seasons and in 32 of the past 45 weeks — and provide momentum for next week’s game at Arkansas.

Stat leaders

TCU: QB Kenny Hill threw for 3,208 yards and 17 touchdowns last season, also rushing for 10 touchdowns. RB Kyle Hicks led the team in rushing and receptions. LB Travin Howard led the Big 12 with 130 tackles.

Jackson State: QB Brent Lyles averaged 98.8 yards rushing per game last season. WR Jevon Floyd caught 28 passes. DE Keontre Anderson had nine sacks.

From around here

Senior defensive tackle Cornelius Henderson played at Duncanville, signing with Jackson State in 2013.

Numbers game

5 Career passing games of 400-yards plus for TCU quarterback Kenny Hill, second most among active players nationally.

19 Returning starters for TCU (10 offense, seven defense, kicker and punter), tied with Georgia and Kentucky for second-most in the nation behind Syracuse’s 21.

149 Career wins for TCU coach Gary Patterson, second-most among Big 12 coaches at their current school.

Did you know?

TCU will play this season with 12 players who have already earned their degrees. That’s the most in the Big 12 and tied for sixth-most in the country with Alabama and Oregon. Leading the list are Northwestern with 18, Coastal Carolina with 17, Cincinnati and East Carolina with 14 each and Toledo with 13. TCU’s list includes one master’s candidate, receiver John Diarse, who earned his bachelor’s degree at LSU before transferring to TCU.

Since 2005, TCU has the best record among the FBS programs in Texas. The Horned Frogs are 117-37 (.760) in that stretch, ahead of Texas’ 104-50 and Houston’s 103-54. Nationally, TCU and USC lead all private schools with 117 victories since 2005.

Kenny Hill posted one of the top passing seasons in TCU history last year. His 3,817 total yards were third-most all-time, and his 3,208 passing yards and 269 completions were both second-most. His passing yards against SMU (452), Oklahoma (449) and South Dakota State (439) ranked sixth, seventh and ninth in TCU history.

Travin Howard is 80 tackles away from tying Jason Phillips for most career tackles by a TCU player under Gary Patterson. Phillips, in his third year as a graduate assistant, made 315 tackles from 2004 to 2008 at his linebacker spot. Howard, a senior linebacker from Longview, enters 2017 with 235 career tackles and is coming off a 130-tackle season that led the Big 12. Ty Summers, a junior defensive end, enters 2017 with 207 tackles.

The analytics website Pro Football Focus ranked Nick Orr and Niko Small as the top returning safeties in the Big 12 in lowest passer rating allowed, 65.6 by Orr and 65.8 by Small. Kyle White of West Virginia was next at 77.6.

Carlos Mendez: 817-390-7760, @calexmendez