LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Casey Pachall threw for 335 yards and two touchdowns, both of them to Brandon Carter, and No. 16 TCU beat Kansas 20-6 on Saturday in its Big 12 debut.
Carter finished with eight catches for 141 yards, and Waymon James added 99 yards rushing for the Horned Frogs (2-0, 1-0), who pushed the nation’s longest winning streak to 10 games by beating up on the team picked to finish last in the conference in preseason polls.
Dayne Crist led the Jayhawks (1-2, 0-1) with 303 yards passing, but he was also intercepted once, fumbled as he was heading into the end zone in the fourth quarter, and missed several third-down throws that prevented Kansas from capitalizing on TCU turnovers.
Pachall fumbled three times for the Horned Frogs, and Matthew Tucker also coughed up the ball, each time as they were heading into the end zone.
The Jayhawks have forced 12 turnovers through their first three games.
The fumbles were the only glaring blemishes in TCU’s workmanlike win, though. The offense was coldly efficient, the defense managed to hold Kansas out of the end zone, and the result was a 25th consecutive conference victory going back to its membership in the Mountain West.
Not that beating up on college football’s big boys is anything new.
TCU had won 16 of its past 20 games against schools from automatic BCS-qualifying conferences, including a stretch of five straight against Big 12 schools. Among the victims have been Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Iowa State — all schools that they’ll be facing in coming weeks.
TCU certainly gave the Jayhawks every opportunity to make it a game.
The Horned Frogs effortlessly marched inside the Kansas 10 on their opening possession, only for a fumbled snap to go scooting past Pachall. The Jayhawks recovered it and drove the other way, and Ron Doherty’s field goal with 8:45 left in the first quarter gave them a 3-0 lead.
TCU marched right down field again, gaining big yardage with each play, but this time Pachall fumbled while attempting a pass and Kansas jumped on the ball.
Turns out the Jayhawks are good at giving away possessions, too.
Crist threw an interception on their first play from scrimmage, and Pachall pushed his streak to 13 straight completions to start the season when he found Carter for an 8-yard touchdown pass.
Pachall’s streak ended at 14 straight on the Horned Frogs’ next drive.
Doherty and his TCU counterpart, Jaden Oberkrom, atoned for missed field goals earlier in the second quarter by each making good before halftime. That left TCU clinging to a 10-6 lead.
Things finally unraveled for Kansas in the third quarter.
The Jayhawks were forced to punt on their first two possessions, and TCU made them pay by finally finishing off a drive. Pachall completed six consecutive passes — one of them 33 yards to Carter to convert on third down — before hitting his favorite target from 25 yards out.
Pachall unloaded the pass to avoid a blitz, but the 5-foot-11 Carter managed to pull down the jump ball over cornerback Tyree Williams, and then tiptoed down the sideline for the score.
Oberkrom added a 27-yard field goal later in the third quarter, and the Horned Frogs dominated the fourth quarter — despite two more fumbles costing them points — to wrap up the victory.
TCU also won its debuts in Conference USA and the Mountain West.
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