A rare Thursday night Big 12 game for K-State will showcase a matchup between Chris Klieman and Gary Patterson, who embarks on his 19th season as the longest-tenured head coach in the league.
The Horned Frogs will have 12 days to prepare for the Wildcats after a road game at Iowa State. K-State has lost four of the last five against TCU and hasn’t beaten the Horned Frogs in Manhattan since a 33-31 win in 2013.
K-State knows about close defeats when it comes to TCU. Their 14-13 loss in Fort Worth in 2018 proved excruciating due to botched chances to snatch victory. K-State’s special teams unit had one of its worst days in the last 25 years as the Wildcats had trouble fielding punts, returning punt and downing punts. They had trouble punting. They botched a field goal.
The troubles reached a boil on a missed extra-point attempt to tie the game in the fourth quarter. Neither team scored the rest of the way, giving the Wildcats a devastating defeat after the defense allowed just 275 total yards, the fewest surrendered by the Wildcats all season.
TCU has the second-best overall record (46-19) and conference record (30-15) in the Big 12 over the last five seasons (K-State is 37-27 and 24-21 over the same span). TCU is 16-9 in one-score games since 2014.
TCU appears to return seven on offense but just five on defense for 2019. The Horned Frogs will lose more than half of its starters from a defense that finished second in the Big 12 in scoring defense (23.1) and first in total defense (338.2). But TCU played 15 true freshmen in 2018, tied for the second-most in the Patterson era.
Mike Collins, a sophomore transfer from Penn, possesses size at 6-foot-5, 225 pounds, and is the only returner to attempt a pass. He completed 79 of 140 passes for 1,059 yards with six touchdowns and two interceptions in nine appearances but went down with an injury against Baylor.
Justin Rogers, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound freshman, who sat out after arriving at TCU as the No. 2 dual-threat quarterback in the nation and No. 34 overall player in the class. The native of Bossier City, La., will likely battle for the starting spot.
They’ll have able targets starting with second-team All-Big 12 selection Jalen Reagor, who will be one of the top returning wide receivers in the league. He ranked fifth with 72 receptions and his 1,061 receiving yards ranked sixth.
Running back Darius Anderson will be back for his senior season after amassing a team-leading 598 rushing yards while junior Sewo Olonilua brings back 441 rushing yards as well.