QB Controversy in Ft. Worth?
FORT WORTH—Last Saturday’s game between Texas Tech and TCU was billed by ESPN as a battle of two gun-slinging quarterbacks who happen to be sons of former big-league pitchers in Tech’s Pat Mahomes III and the Horned Frogs’ Kenny Hill.
Of course, that’s not how this Big 12 Conference clash played out. Points were at a premium in a 27-24 win by the Red Raiders at Amon G. Carter Stadium in double overtime. But one of the biggest stories to come out of this game was that Hill, who was 16-29 for 160 yards and one interception, did not play the fourth quarter or in overtime.
Sophomore Foster Sawyer, a Fort Worth product, replaced Hill, a junior, who was 3-for-8 for 31 yards and an interception in the third quarter, on TCU’s final drive of the third.
Sawyer threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to DeSoto product Desmon White in the first extra frame, but TCU head coach Gary Patterson perfectly summed up his and Hill’s performances in his Tuesday press conference at the Horned Frogs’ football facility.
“Kenny was really good until there was a throw right before half where he threw in the flat and the guy dropped it and it was a possible interception, didn’t play very well after that,” Patterson said. “Foster was hit and miss. He was either really good or was really bad. He (Sawyer) has to get into the consistency of throwing well and doing things, but he threw well to the outside and he didn’t really throw that well to the inside.”
When asked about his quarterback situation during his postgame presser on Saturday, a loss which dropped the Frogs to 4-4, Patterson deferred, saying that he had to talk to offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie before he could comment. Well, as of Tuesday, Patterson had still yet to converse with Cumbie about whether Hill or Sawyer will start when the Frogs travel to Waco this weekend to face Baylor.
“Sonny had a death in the family,” Patterson said of Cumbie. “We had a quick meeting this morning (Tuesday), but he wasn’t at it. Usually I would tell you (the media) if he was going to change that they probably would have said something to me, so I would probably say Kenny (Hill is starting) is right now. But I think we feel confident that if it’s not going where we need it to, you’d see both and you may see both (quarterbacks) anyway.”
But no matter who starts, although it would be a shock to see anyone besides Hill under center at McLane Stadium this weekend, the immense responsibility on that individual’s shoulders remains the same, especially as TCU keeps battling to become bowl-eligible.
“Again, that position is much is given, much is asked. It’s a very high standard. It’s not just at TCU, that’s anywhere in the country,” Patterson said. “For a long time though, I talked about quarterbacks managing the game, which they did. And really in some ways, it’s still the same way here.”