Nov 20, 2021; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA; Southern Methodist Mustangs head coach Sonny Dykes during the first half against the Cincinnati Bearcats at Nippert Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports

TCU officially names Sonny Dykes next coach

TCU officially named Sonny Dykes its next coach Tuesday, one day after flying him in on a helicopter and landing at midfield of Amon G. Carter Stadium.

Dykes, 52, landed a six-year deal worth nearly $30 million, the Star-Telegram reported. Dykes was being introduced at a Tuesday press conference.

But he already met with the players Monday after he touched down at midfield, where he shook hands with administrators and addressed the crowd.

Dykes went 30-18 record with SMU, including 8-4 this season. He is 71-63 overall as a head coach.

Dykes served as the head coach at Louisiana Tech (2010-2012) and California (2013-16) before the Golden Bears’ fired him after the 2016 season. Dykes spent a year as an offensive analyst for TCU before accepting the head job with SMU in December 2017.

He replaces Gary Patterson, who parted ways with TCU on Oct. 31. Patterson left as the all-time winningest coach in TCU history.

–Field Level Media

Nov 14, 2020; Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA;  Southern Methodist Mustangs head coach Sonny Dykes on the sidelines during the game against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Skelly Field at H.A. Chapman Stadium. Tulsa won 28-24. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Sonny Dykes leaving SMU for TCU gig

SMU coach Sonny Dykes is leaving the program for a metro rival, accepting a deal to become the new coach at TCU, ESPN and Action Network reported Friday.

Dykes was offered $4 million to stay at SMU but TCU’s package was worth “significantly more,” according to ESPN.

Multiple media outlets reported that SMU is turning to former offensive coordinator Rhett Lashlee to fill its impending head-coaching vacancy. Lashlee is currently the offensive coordinator at Miami.

Dykes, 52, served as the head coach at Louisiana Tech (2010-2012) and Cal (2013-16) before the Golden Bears’ program fired him after the 2016 season. Dykes spent a year as an offensive analyst for TCU before accepting the head job with SMU in December 2017.

His Mustangs are 8-3 this season entering Saturday’s regular-season finale against Tulsa. He has a 30-17 record in four seasons with SMU and a 71-62 overall record as a head coach.

TCU needed a replacement for Gary Patterson, the longtime Horned Frogs coach who left the job earlier this month.

The programs are separated by roughly 40 miles, with SMU in Dallas and TCU in Fort Worth. They were longtime rivals in the Southwest Conference and have maintained an annual rivalry game for the Iron Skillet.

–Field Level Media

Nov 26, 2021; Ames, Iowa, USA; Iowa State Cyclones running back Breece Hall (28) runs away from TCU Horned Frogs defensive end Ochaun Mathis (32) at Jack Trice Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Breece Hall enjoys record-setting day as Iowa State tops TCU

Breece Hall rushed for career-best 242 yards and three touchdowns and added a scoring reception as Iowa State prepared for the postseason with an easy 48-14 win over visiting TCU on Friday in Ames, Iowa.

Hall scored a rushing touchdown in his 24th consecutive game, breaking the NCAA mark as set by Arkansas’ Bill Burnette from 1968-70.

Brock Purdy passed for 262 yards and two touchdowns for Iowa State (7-5, 5-4 Big 12). The Cyclones are bowl eligible for a program-record fifth straight year and will continue their season in December.

The Horned Frogs (5-7, 3-6) were trying to clinch a berth in a bowl but will now have to wait to see if they can fill a spot among a bevy of 5-7 teams.

Max Duggan passed for 216 yards and two scores for TCU while playing with a broken foot.

The Cyclones scored on the game’s opening possession, moving 50 yards in nine plays to Andrew Mevis’ 27-yard field goal. Iowa State added to its lead with a 40-yard touchdown run by Jirehl Brock with 13:12 to play in the second quarter at the end of a five-play, 80-yard drive.

Hall’s 39-yard scoring run with 3:35 left in the second quarter put him in the history books and pushed the Cyclones’ advantage to 17-0.

TCU got on the board late in the half on a 47-yard touchdown pass from Duggan to Blair Conwright and pulled within 17-7.

Hall hauled in a swing pass from Purdy on Iowa State’s first possession of the third quarter and turned it into a 22-yard touchdown that extended the lead to 24-7. Later in the quarter, Mevis hit a 32-yard field goal to build the margin to 20 points.

Hall added an 80-yard scoring run early in the fourth quarter and a 4-yard touchdown run at the 8:53 mark to augment his big day.

The Horned Frogs got a fourth-quarter 6-yard touchdown pass from Duggan to Tyler Guyton four snaps after a 78-yard kickoff return by Derius Davis.

Purdy passed 48 yards to Chase Allen for the game’s final score with 4:48 to play.

–Field Level Media

Nov 20, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan (15) is defended by  Kansas Jayhawks linebacker Gavin Potter (19) during the second half at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

Max Duggan keeps TCU’s bowl hopes alive, engineering win vs. Kansas

Max Duggan engineered a methodical 67-yard drive to set up Griffin Kell for a game-winning 25-yard field goal with 6 seconds remaining Saturday as TCU outlasted Kansas 31-28 at Fort Worth, Texas.

The Horned Frogs (5-6, 3-5) overcame a seven-point halftime deficit by scoring on each of their first three second-half possessions to gain a 28-14 lead.

The Jayhawks (2-9, 1-7) bounced back with touchdown strikes of 28 and 10 yards from Jalon Daniels to Luke Grimm and Jared Casey at the 9:23 and 4:46 marks of the fourth quarter for a 28-28 tie.

Duggan, playing with a broken bone in his foot after missing the previous two games, confidently drove TCU downfield, generating five first downs, including an 11-yard reception and 14-yard rush by Derius Davis.

Duggan passed for 166 yards and added 74 rushing, while engineering a 99-yard drive that featured a 49-yard strike to Davis. Kendre Miller also returned off an injury to rush for 112 yards, including a 56-yard touchdown. Emari Demercado added 89 yards.

Daniels, who officially burned a redshirt by playing in his fifth game of the season, completed 22 of 30 passes for 255 yards.

His two late TDs forged a 28-28 tie as the Jayhawks looked to follow up on an upset at Texas last week that snapped a 56-game conference road losing streak.

TCU, however, countered with 492 total yards, including 326 on the ground.

Kansas secured two first-half takeaways, including an interception in the end zone by Jacobee Bryant, to lead 14-7 at halftime.

Daniels passed for 133 first-half yards, while Devin Neal rushed for 59 yards on 14 carries, including a 2-yard score. Neal apparently injured his shoulder late in the half and did not return.

TCU scored on its first possession, driving 83 yards in just five plays. Davis scored on a jet sweep he busted for 43 yards.

–Field Level Media

Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels (6) carries the ball forward in overtime during the game against the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021.  Kansas won 57-56 in overtime.

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Coming off shocking upset, Kansas visits banged-up TCU

The stunning upset Kansas pulled off at Texas led to a difficult decision on the status of a key performer.

The Jayhawks (2-8, 1-6 Big 12) will now retain Jalon Daniels for the remainder of the season and not redshirt the player who engineered the overtime win that snapped a 56-game Big 12 road losing streak and an 18-game losing streak overall in conference play.

Daniels, who has played four games after being summoned because of injuries, will be in the lineup Saturday when Kansas faces TCU (4-6, 2-5) at Fort Worth, Texas. That will put him over the redshirt limit of games played.

“He sees the momentum of what this team is doing, what it’s done for our locker room,” first-year Kansas coach Lance Leipold said. “He’s all in to help us build the program, and he wants to play.”

Devin Neal impressed Leipold enough for him not to press a freshman redshirt and instead play the prize recruit in the Jayhawks’ 2021 class. Neal recorded 143 yards rushing and three touchdowns in the Texas win. Kwamie Lassiter had eight catches as Kansas enjoyed a rare day where skill players performed consistently well across the board.

Can the Jayhawks play at that level against TCU? Perhaps.

The Horned Frogs could not build on an upset over Baylor on Nov. 6 and will be coming off a humiliating 46-point loss at Oklahoma State, allowing 682 total yards in their worst defeat since 1993.

Defending the pass has been a significant challenge for TCU, which allows a league-worst 9.5 yards per attempt. Offensively, TCU scored its only touchdowns in the final quarter of the Oklahoma State blowout and converted just 2 of 13 third downs.

The Frogs hope Chandler Morris regains the form he showed in his first start, when he totaled 531 yards against Baylor. Morris should play against Kansas, but not at 100 percent, said interim coach Jerry Kill, who provided a grim injury report. Max Duggan, TCU’s regular quarterback, could be available too, but is dealing with a broken foot.

Elsewhere on offense, Kill said “we don’t have a running back that is healthy,” noting ailments bothering Zach Evans, Kendre Miller and Emari Demercado. A converted defender, Ahmonte Watkins, could get carries.

“We’re decimated by injuries,” said Kill, a Kansas native. “I mean, there’s no excuses. I’ve never had (an excuse) in my life, so you’ve got to find a way to get it done. But I’ve never seen anything like it and it continues to get worse.”

–Field Level Media

Nov 13, 2021; Stillwater, Oklahoma, USA;  Oklahoma State Cowboys running back Jaylen Warren (7) scores a touchdown during the second quarter against the TCU Horned Frogs at Boone Pickens Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brett Rojo-USA TODAY Sports

No. 10 Oklahoma State routs TCU to tie for Big 12 lead

Jaylen Warren rushed for 113 yards and three touchdowns Saturday as No. 10 Oklahoma State moved into a tie for first place in the Big 12 by trampling TCU 63-17 at Stillwater, Okla.

The surging Cowboys (9-1, 6-1 Big 12) won their third straight and tied Oklahoma for the conference lead after the No. 8 Sooners endured their first defeat with a loss Saturday at Baylor.

Warren surpassed the 1,000-yard mark for the season and scored on first-half carries of 1, 2 and 6 yards. Since becoming the Cowboys’ starter, he has five 100-yard performances in eight games.

Warren hobbled off in the third quarter, though Dominic Richardson and Dezmon Jackson also starred with two touchdowns apiece.

Spencer Sanders engineered the victory and was solid executing the offense. Brennan Presley led the Oklahoma State receivers in catches, while Blaine Green scored on a 46-yard strike late in the second quarter for a 28-3 halftime lead.

The Big 12’s top-rated defense again sparkled as the Cowboys did not allow a touchdown until the final period while claiming their seventh straight home win.

TCU played its second game under interim coach Jerry Kill, who stepped in after the sudden departure of veteran coach Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs recovered a fumble on their first defensive series, and got a 44-yard field goal from Griffin Kell to make it 7-3 later in the first quarter. TCU did not score again until the fourth period.

Emari Demercado provided the Frogs their most punch and scored a touchdown. TCU missed three injured rushers: Zach Evans, Kendre Miller and Daimarqua Foster. Chandler Morris, coming off a sensational debut in an upset of Baylor, absorbed five sacks and could not find any rhythm.

Oklahoma State’s bid to draw a CFP invitation includes a game at Texas Tech on Nov. 20 before playing Oklahoma on Nov. 27. The Big 12 championship game is Dec. 4.

Oklahoma State unveiled a statue of Barry Sanders before the game and then placed the 1988 Heisman Trophy winner in its ring of honor at halftime.

–Field Level Media

Nov 6, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA;  TCU Horned Frogs interim head coach Jerry Kill chats with Baylor head coach Dave Aranda before the game at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

No. 10 Oklahoma State tackles revived TCU, but Bedlam looms

Sometimes a past relationship with an opposing coach can prove advantageous in planning.

For Mike Gundy, however, the time he spent with Jerry Kill was brief. Oklahoma State’s coach did remember the TCU interim coach teaching high school biology in 1984 at Midwest City, Okla., where Kill served as a young defensive assistant.

Each man now dissects major-college football strategies and will match wits Saturday when the Horned Frogs (4-5, 2-4 Big 12) visit the No. 10 Cowboys (8-1, 5-1) at Stillwater, Okla.

“He’s an old-school tough guy that I’ve always had a lot of respect for and what he’s been able to accomplish,” Gundy said. “And so, it’s been fun to watch him bounce around in the things that he’s done.”

Kill, a former head coach at multiple levels, took over after TCU and Gary Patterson parted ways before last week’s game against Baylor. The Frogs then upset the Bears and now look to pull off a second straight surprise against a College Football Playoff contender.

“To beat Oklahoma State, we’re going to need everything we have,” Kill said. “We’ll see if (players) carry that focus in and practice the way we practiced last week, very fast with a lot of motion.”

Chandler Morris made his first college start last week in place of injured Max Duggan and sparked TCU’s 30-28 upset over Baylor. Morris, an Oklahoma transfer, passed for 461 yards and accounted for three touchdowns. His 531 yards of total offense ranked second in TCU history.

“Last year at OU, just sitting there and watching a really good quarterback in Spencer (Rattler), I just realized that I belong,” Morris told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “I can compete with these dudes. These dudes who make those throws, I feel like I can make them.”

Quentin Johnson has posted 100 yards receiving in three of the last four games, though TCU could lean on inexperienced rushers with Zach Evans out and Kendre Miller questionable.

The Frogs also must face a mighty Oklahoma State defense, which held its last two opponents to a combined total of six points and lead the Big 12 in average yards (277.0) and points (16.3) allowed.

One of the Cowboys’ most stifling performances came last week when they allowed 17 yards rushing and two third-down conversions while recording eight sacks in a 24-3 win at West Virginia.

“We’ve been fortunate that we’re playing so many guys on defense that their reps have been cut by 40 percent,” Gundy said of Oklahoma State’s depth. “So, most of our guys that are playing in the front seven are 40 percent less (workload) than what they had been over the last six or eight years.”

Butkus Award candidate Malcolm Rodriguez leads the Big 12 with a 9.7 tackling average.

Offensively, Spencer Sanders and Tay Martin pose a threat as a pass-catch combination, while Jaylen Warren adds 103.1 yards rushing on average.

The Cowboys moved up one spot in the CFP standings after initially being slotted 11th. They sit second behind No. 8 Oklahoma in conference play and control their destiny for reaching the Big 12 championship game.

–Field Level Media

Sep 11, 2021; Memphis, TN, USA; Jackson State head coach Deion Sanders walks up and down the sideline in the Southern Heritage Classic between Tennessee State University and Jackson State University at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium in Memphis, Tenn., on Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021.  Mandatory Credit: Henry Taylor-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Deion Sanders interviews for TCU job

Jackson State coach Deion Sanders has reportedly interviewed for the vacant position at TCU.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram said the Pro Football Hall of Famer met with the selection committee on Monday.

“I’m not saying he is going to get the job, not saying he’s the leading candidate at this point, but he is in the mix,” a source told the newspaper. “He was impressive.”

Other reported candidates to replace longtime coach Gary Patterson, who parted ways with the Horned Frogs on Oct. 31, include Iowa State coach Matt Campbell, SMU coach Sonny Dykes, Louisiana coach Billy Napier and Clemson offensive coordinator Tony Elliott.

Sanders, 54, is in his second season at Mississippi’s Jackson State. It is his first coaching position at the collegiate level.

The Tigers, who compete in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, are 8-1 this season and 6-0 in the SWAC.

Jackson State finished 4-3 overall and 3-2 in league play in Sanders’ first season, a pandemic-shortened campaign that was played in the spring of 2021.

Sanders is a popular figure in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, having won a Super Bowl and earned four Pro Bowl appearances during his five seasons with the Dallas Cowboys (1995-99).

The 2011 Hall of Fame inductee later founded and coached at a charter school in the area, Prime Prep Academy, and also worked as the offensive coordinator at Trinity Christian School in Cedar Hill, Texas, from 2017-20 before taking over at Jackson State.

Dallas Cowboys offensive coordinator Kellen Moore is no longer a candidate, according to the Star-Telegram.

–Field Level Media

Oct 16, 2021; Waco, Texas, USA; Brigham Young Cougars wide receiver Hobbs Nyberg (23) is brought down by the Baylor Bears defense during the second half at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

First test for TCU post-Gary Patterson is No. 14 Baylor

TCU and No. 14 Baylor will renew an old rivalry Saturday under anything but normal circumstances.

The surging Bears head to Fort Worth looking to collect their fourth win in a row. They will take on a Horned Frogs’ team under new leadership for the first time in 21 years after the school and longtime coach Gary Patterson mutually parted ways on Sunday.

TCU (3-5, 1-4 Big 12) is on a three-game skid that has dropped the Horned Frogs to ninth place in the standings. The last loss, a 31-12 setback at Kansas State, prompted a meeting Sunday that ended with Patterson walking away from a program he has guided since 2000.

Jerry Kill, a former head coach at Minnesota and Northern Illinois and a longtime friend of Patterson, will be the interim coach the rest of the season.

“I think the kids here respect me,” said Kill, who joined the TCU program as a consultant last season. “I’ve been around them enough, we’ve got a good game plan and we’ll go to work (Tuesday) and get after them. Nobody’s going to be Gary Patterson. I don’t claim to be Gary Patterson.”

On the other side of the field on Saturday, the Bears (7-1, 4-1) will focus on continuing what has propelled them into the hunt for a spot in the conference championship game.

Baylor owns the Big 12’s second-best offense, averaging 465.5 yards a game, and third-stingiest defense (339.4 yards allowed per game). Abram Smith has rushed for 930 yards and 11 touchdowns (116.3 yards per game), while quarterback Gerry Bohannon has been a major key with 1,753 passing yards, 12 touchdowns and only three interceptions in 203 pass attempts.

As effective as the Bears’ offense has been, defense has been at the eye of the storm — especially the last three weeks against foes with dangerous running attacks. Facing West Virginia’s Leddie Brown, Tyler Allgeier from BYU and Texas star Bijan Robinson, Baylor has been tough-as-nails — surrendering 120 yards total to that trio.

With running the ball a chore, the Bears’ foes have been forced to lean on the pass, and Baylor has recorded 13 sacks in the same three-game span.

“Change is different, especially when you’re pass-rushing to play the run, and now you play the run to get the opportunity to rush the passer,” second-year Baylor coach Dave Aranda said.

“The buy-in, the work, the grinding, has got it to where we’re winning the line of scrimmage.”

Those little battles have been tough for TCU in Big 12 play, where the Horned Frogs’ only victory is a 52-31 decision against Texas Tech.

The Horned Frogs’ defense — which was what Patterson built his legacy on — has been gashed for 443.3 total yards a game. Until last week, five foes in a row had rushed for 214 yards or more and each of the last four has thrown for 242 yards or more.

The abrupt change makes any wholesale changes difficult, but Kill said he and the remaining staff will focus on finding ways to help TCU get back on track.

“We’re not stopping trying to help TCU,” Kill said. “That would not be fair to Gary. We’ve got to carry on his legacy. … Everybody thinks everybody is out looking for a job, but that’s not happening right now. We are working. If you work and you do well, then if you’re out of a job, you get a job a lot quicker, if you’re doing your job here.”

–Field Level Media

Oct 23, 2021; Fort Worth, Texas, USA;  TCU Horned Frogs head coach Gary Patterson reacts during the first half against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

TCU, Gary Patterson agree to part ways

TCU has “mutually agreed to part ways” with coach Gary Patterson after 21-plus years with him at the head of the Horned Frogs’ football program.

Assistant Jerry Kill will serve as TCU’s interim coach for the remainder of the season.

TCU is 3-5 overall (1-4 Big 12) and has lost five of its past six games. The team could finish with a losing record for the third time in six seasons.

TCU athletic director Jeremiah Donati said in a statement that he and Patterson agreed a new voice was needed in the program. Patterson is the program’s all-time leader in victories with 181.

“The story of Gary Patterson and the rise in the fortunes of the TCU football program over the last 20 years is clearly one of the most remarkable in the history of college football,” Donati said. “We are grateful to Gary and Kelsey Patterson and appreciate everything they have meant to TCU and the Fort Worth community.

“Under his leadership, TCU has become a nationally recognized brand name in football and in collegiate athletics. Chancellor (Victor) Boschini and I met with Coach Patterson today and mutually agreed that the time has come for a new voice and leadership in our football program. We asked him to continue on as our head coach for the remainder of the season, and take on a different role in 2022, but he believed it was in the team’s and TCU’s best interests to begin the transition immediately.”

Patterson took over as the Horned Frogs’ coach starting with the 2000 Mobile Alabama Bowl. He led the program’s transition from Conference USA to the Mountain West, turned it into a perennial power and then helped them make the jump to the Big 12.

Under Patterson, TCU appeared in the 2009 Fiesta Bowl, which they lost to Boise State in a matchup of undefeated Group of Five teams, and then the 2010 Rose Bowl, where they defeated Wisconsin.

Patterson, 61, was 181-79 all-time as TCU’s coach. He guided the Horned Frogs to 10 or more wins on 11 occasions.

Kill’s head-coaching stops comprise Northern Illinois (2008-10) and Minnesota (2011-15). He is 60 years old.

–Field Level Media