No. 17 TCU can't keep getting away with turnovers

Associated Press  |  Last updated September 20, 2012
TCU coach Gary Patterson heard the same thing so many times about going into the Big 12. Despite their success against teams from BCS conferences, including a Rose Bowl victory and No. 2 final ranking only two seasons ago, the coach kept hearing that the Horned Frogs were going to have play ''way over'' their heads and be nearly flawless to beat other Big 12 teams. Then Big 12 newcomer TCU went out in its first conference road game at Kansas last weekend and committed four turnovers, including three fumbles inside the 20 - and still won. ''Now we do it later on, we're probably not (winning),'' Patterson said. While Patterson isn't too concerned about those miscues yet, he knows moving forward in the Big 12 that it's unlikely the 17th-ranked Frogs (2-0) will be able to keep getting away with them like they have been. ''We can't make mistakes like that against good teams,'' said running back Matthew Tucker, who fumbled late in the game. ''We just got away with a win.'' Since the start of the 2009 season, the Frogs have had at least four turnovers in a game four times - all road games they won. That included three Mountain West Conference games, two at Wyoming and the other at San Diego State before Saturday's 20-6 win at Kansas, the team picked to finish at the bottom of the Big 12 standings again this year. TCU is home Saturday against Virginia (2-1). There is then a three-week span with road games against SMU and Baylor, the only two teams that beat the Frogs last season, sandwiching their first Big 12 home game against Iowa State. The Horned Frogs played in three different non-automatic qualifier conferences over the past 16 seasons, winning or sharing titles in the WAC, Conference USA and the Mountain West. Moving to the Big 12 will certainly provide less margin of error for the Frogs, the only FBS team to win at least 11 games in six of the last seven seasons. Consider the closing stretch of their regular-season schedule this year. The Frogs' last four games are against teams ranked in the top 15 of the AP poll - at No. 8 West Virginia, No. 15 Kansas State, at No. 12 Texas and home against No. 6 Oklahoma. When the Frogs played at Texas in 2007 and had four turnovers, they lost 34-13. They turned the ball over four times against another Big 12 team in 2008, losing 35-10 at Oklahoma. Since that loss to the Sooners, TCU is 44-4 overall with the losses coming by a combined 19 points. Virginia also won a game this season with four turnovers, three in the red zone and all four inside its 30 - just like TCU did at Kansas. The Cavaliers won 17-16 over Penn State two weeks ago when the Nittany Lions were held to minus-14 yards after the giveaways. But Penn State also missed four field goal attempts, including a 20-yarder. TCU lost fumbles on its first two possessions against Kansas. Second-year starting quarterback Casey Pachall couldn't recover a low snap, then later in the first quarter fumbled when he was sacked. Pachall was running toward the end zone in the fourth quarter when the ball was knocked out of his hands at the 1, then rolled through the end zone for a touchback. Tucker's turnover on the next drive was similar, a ball he lost at the Jayhawks 7. Tucker, a senior, said those last two fumbles came when they were switching the ball from one arm to the other. ''We were taught at practice to never switch over when we're going into the end zone. It was a mistake. It won't happen again,'' Tucker said. ''We've got to move on and not worry about that.'' Right after Tucker's fumble, Kansas drove 93 yards to the Frogs 3. But defensive end Stansly Maponga forced a fumble by quarterback Dayne Crist that was recovered in the end zone by safety Elisha Olabode to clinch the victory. ''Matthew, the one fumble, but through his years he hasn't been somebody who has been like that. ... If it was younger guys, I'd be on them,'' Patterson said. ''You can't lose the takeaway battle is you're going to win a lot of games. Fortunately for us, we stopped a drive and changed the momentum with one of our takeaways.''
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Fitzpatrick on negotiations: I wouldn’t wish it on anybody

NBA players to fund health insurance for former players

Report: Geno Smith 'intent' on beating out Ryan Fitzpatrick

Greg Jennings: Ryan Tannehill has had his hands tied by coaches

Josh McDaniels 'happy' with Pats but wants to be a head coach again

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh in cleats throws out first pitch at Cubs game

Why Rickie Fowler will win the PGA Championship

Warren Sapp bitten on arm by shark

Baker considering removing Papelbon from closer role?

Greg Hardy struggling to find work, reportedly even in CFL

Jets players told not to discuss Ryan Fitzpatrick situation

Did Joey Votto reject kid who asked for his batting gloves?

Rams got it right releasing Nick Foles, trusting Jared Goff

Report: Ravens WR Mike Wallace failed conditioning test

WATCH: Kobe Bryant drives Ferrari around Italian racetrack

Terrelle Pryor shouts out Ohio State after ban ends

Justin Timberlake advocates for Memphis to join Big 12

Poll: Las Vegas residents don’t support public funds for NFL stadium

Conor McGregor talks trash to Nate Diaz on ‘Conan’

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Real Madrid can’t train at Norwegian school because of the kids

Newspaper uses Michael Jordan ‘crying face’ as image

Equipment manager Blake Griffin punched no longer works for Clippers

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker