ESPN College GameDay set up their stage in the TCU Commons Thursday, preparing for their Saturday morning broadcast before the TCU West Virginia Game. Paul Moseley pmoseley@star-telegram.com
ESPN College GameDay set up their stage in the TCU Commons Thursday, preparing for their Saturday morning broadcast before the TCU West Virginia Game. Paul Moseley pmoseley@star-telegram.com

TCU

TCU and Kenny Hill are winning games against top QBs. Here comes another one

By Carlos Mendez

cmendez@star-telegram.com

October 06, 2017 11:46 AM

UPDATED October 06, 2017 06:30 PM

It’s another one of those weeks for TCU’s Kenny Hill.

You know, the ones where he has to beat one of the nation’s best quarterbacks.

Saturday, when the eighth-ranked Horned Frogs take on No. 23 West Virginia at Amon G. Carter Stadium, it’s a match-up against the Mountaineers’ Will Grier, a junior who ranks sixth in the country with 13 touchdown passes, ninth in passing efficiency and 17th in passing yards with 1,374.

Hill is doing well, but he doesn’t have those numbers.

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His best numbers are 4-0, TCU’s record, including victories in the past two games against teams led by SMU’s Ben Hicks and Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph, two of the top passers in the country. Hill completed 80 percent of his passes against SMU. Two weeks ago, though Hill threw for fewer yards and touchdowns, he out-performed Rudolph and Oklahoma State on the road.

“We’ve talked about this and Kenny Hill,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “It’s about just winning and not yards.”

Hill has thrown for 965 yards and nine touchdowns in four games, an average of 241.2 yards per game that ranks only seventh in a traditionally pass-heavy Big 12. He and Kansas State’s Jesse Ertz are the only Big 12 quarterbacks to start every game yet enter October shy of 1,000 passing yards.

ESPN College GameDay host Rece Davis highlights what TCU fans should expect and does his impression of Gary Patterson

College GameDay host Rece Davis highlights what to expect Saturday morning and offers his impression of Gary Patterson on the sideline.

Stefan Stevenson sstevenson@star-telegram.com

Supported by the conference’s best rushing game and his own 72.6 percent completion rate, Hill has the Horned Frogs fifth in the league in total offense and leading the nation in third-down conversion percentage.

That is how Hill and his offense have put up 86 points in the last two games.

“He’s playing like a fifth-year senior,” West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said of Hill. “He’s played a lot of ball. There’s a lot of similarities between him and the quarterback that we have playing right now — he’s just a year older. Both had great high school careers, played early at their respective universities, transferred and are finding success where they’re at.”

Hill transferred to TCU after one year at Texas A&M, where he started eight games but lost his job, and then was suspended. He started last season after the graduation of Trevone Boykin.

Grier played in six games at Florida as a freshman before the NCAA suspended him for a positive performance-enhancing drug test. He transferred to West Virginia and stepped in to succeed Skyler Howard.

ESPN's David Pollack impressed with Fort Worth, TCU and that Mexican restaurant he keeps hearing about

ESPN College GameDay analyst David Pollack discusses his first visit to Cowtown with the show, TCU's facilities and the Mexican restaurant that everyone keeps telling him about.

Stefan Stevenson sstevenson@star-telegram.com

Patterson sees little change in the danger of the quarterback position at West Virginia.

“The quarterback a year ago beat us. He was a competitor and hard-nosed. Both are runners,” he said. “I think probably Grier possibly throws the ball better as far as the deep ball and some of those things. But from what I can tell, the last guy was a winner. They won a lot of ballgames with him. Dana and his group did a great job with him, and it looks like they’ve done the same thing with Will Grier. He’s just only going into his fifth ballgame in the system, which is a little bit different than doing it for a couple of years.”

Against that kind of firepower, Hill and the offense will rely on what they have used to counter two other big offenses.

The same with Patterson and the defense.

“It’s just another Big 12 ballgame,” Patterson said. “You better get ready to pull up your pants and get ready to go.”

Carlos Mendez: 817-390-7760, @calexmendez

TCU vs. West Virginia

2:30 Saturday, FS1

Head to head

Category

TCU

(4-0, 1-0)

West Virginia

(3-1, 1-0)

Scoring offense

47.8

48.8

Total offense

497.0

594.8

Passing offense

264.8

363.8

Rushing offense

232.3

231.0

Scoring defense

18.5

25.3

Total defense

323.5

451.0

Passing defense

229.0

225.0

Rushing defense

94.5

226.0