Injuries to key players are seemingly mounting for TCU. How severe — and impacting — they are remains to be seen.
Looking to bounce back from a (likely) playoff-crippling loss, Gary Patterson confirmed earlier in the week that leading rusher Darius Anderson could very well miss the remainder of the 2017 season because of an injury to his right foot sustained in the Week 11 loss to Oklahoma. On top of that, Patterson stated Tuesday that starting quarterback Kenny Hill and starting linebacker Travin Howard are listed as somewhere “between probable and questionable” for the Week 12 game against Texas Tech in Lubbock.
Both players suffered unspecified injuries in the loss to the Sooners.
Hill is currently fifth in the Big 12 and 26th nationally in passing efficiency, completing nearly 66 percent of his passes in throwing 16 touchdowns and five interceptions in his 287 attempts. Should Hill be sidelined, true freshman Shawn Robinson, who has attempted 10 passes this season, would get the start.
Despite that inexperience, TCU’s head coach is not exactly concerned, at least outwardly, about what would be the first career start for the four-star 2017 signee.
Howard, meanwhile, leads the Horned Frogs in tackles, by a wide margin, with 83; next closest is Nick Orr‘s 51. He’s also second in tackles for loss with seven and tied for second in passes broken up (four) and tied for third in passes defended (five).
This weekend’s game is huge for TCU when it comes to the conference race, which does nothing but magnify the potential injury issues.
Unless Oklahoma (6-1), which beat both TCU (5-2) and Oklahoma State (5-2) earlier this season, loses its last two games — ROTFL one of them is against Kansas — the Sooners have all but clinched one of the two spots in the Big 12 championship game. TCU needs to either win one of its last two games (at Tech, vs. Baylor) and have OSU lose at least one, or win out regardless of what OSU does in order to claim the other spot. The Cowboys, meanwhile, need to win out (vs. K-State, vs. Kansas) and have the Horned Frogs lose at least one.
Of course, if one of the two loses out, and the other wins at least one, the latter would get the spot. And if both lose out? The head-to-head tiebreaker goes to TCU, which beat OSU in Stillwater Sept. 23.