Posted on September 11, 2016, by Travis Pulver
Week Two of the 2016 college football season did not feature a single marquee match-up. While quite a few games were featuring ranked opponents last week, this week most of them decided to take it easy this week—but TCU and Arkansas did not.
After imperfect wins over what should have been easy competition in Week One, the Horned Frogs were looking to prove they are still a legitimate Big 12 power. The Razorbacks hoped to prove that they are on the rise and better than last week’s narrow win over Louisiana Tech would indicate.
Overall, the game was a slugfest that featured a TCU defense trying to play bigger than it is to stop the Razorbacks running backs—but things didn’t really get interesting until the fourth quarter.
After doing little against the Arkansas defense for the first three-quarters of the game, Kenny Hill took over the final quarter of the contest. Down 20-7 when the fourth quarter began, he took the team on three successive touchdown drives to give the Horned Frogs a 28-20 lead with a little over two minutes to play.
However, as brilliant as his play was, TCU quarterback Kenny Hill made a foolish move after scoring the third touchdown (a throat slash gesture) that resulted in a personal foul (15-yards) which the refs marched off on the ensuing kickoff.
The penalty helped give Arkansas better field position to mount a comeback of their own–and they did. But with one small problem. By using only 65 seconds to score a touchdown and tie the game, they left TCU an opportunity to win the game.
And they almost did.
A 64-yard kick return by KeVontae Turpin put the Horned Frogs within field goal range on the 27-yard line. They ended up attempting what should have been a chip-shot at 28-yards—but Arkansas blocked it and sent the game to overtime.
Both teams scored touchdowns on their first drive of overtime, but TCU could only muster a field goal on the second one. So when Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen took the ball over the goal line from five yards out, the Razorbacks earned the win.
“We wanted to keep you in your seats for four quarters and some,” Bielema said with a smile as he greeted reporters after the game (ESPN). “For college football, this is everything you could ask for.”
For TCU, it becomes gut-check time. After giving up 400+ yards of offense and 41-points for two consecutive weeks, head coach Gary Patterson has to be concerned about his defense with Big 12 play right around the corner. His defense was supposed to anchor the team this year as Kenny Hill took over the offense. Instead, it looks like Kenny Hill is in the same scenario he had in College Station—great offense, but the defense can’t stop a fly.
If they expect to compete against Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas, the defense must improve.
As for Arkansas, there is no telling what they could do yet. Under Bielema, they have become known for great games one week and terrible ones the next. Fans better hope that their team has a great one in a couple of weeks. Texas State comes to town next weekend, but the following week begin conference play against Texas A&M.