Red Raiders haven't forgotten last year's 82-27 blowout at TCU

TCU's romp over Texas Tech got so out of hand last year, the Horned Frogs burned through their fireworks cache.

For the whole season.

This weekend, the two longtime rivals will meet again in Lubbock in a key Big 12 opener. And while the Horned Frogs have tried to put last season’s historic 82-27 blowout out of their minds, the Red Raiders still remember it vividly.

“I don’t think you forget losses like that,” Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury said. “As a player, I didn’t.

“I’m sure they haven’t forgotten.”

Amazing as it sounds, the Red Raiders were actually still in last year’s game against TCU well into the second quarter. Turnovers, however, plagued Tech all season, and they did in Fort Worth, too. The Red Raiders fumbled twice just before halftime, allowing TCU to kick a pair of field goals to extend its lead, 37-20.

Then in the second half, the floodgates opened. The Horned Frogs scored touchdowns on four straight possessions on their way to setting a Big 12 record for points in a conference game. On the final touchdown, TCU had no fireworks left to celebrate the score.

“That was a horrible game on our part,” said Tech receiver Jakeem Grant. “They did everything right, and we were undisciplined, completely out of whack.

"A beating like that gives you a chip on our shoulder.”

So far, the Red Raiders have played that way. Last week, they avenged the 21-point beating Arkansas gave them in 2014, rolling past the Razorbacks 35-24 in Fayetteville.

TCU coach Gary Patterson said his players have quickly realized that Tech isn’t the same squad the Horned Frogs demolished last season.

“We understand, us watching film, that Tech is a better team than they were a year ago,” he said. “Our kids see that. Really, I haven’t gotten the feeling from them -- we’ve had kids come by watching film -- that they feel any different. They understand they’re a really good football team. (Tech has) really played well on offense, and they keep getting better on defense every week.

“They’re completely different.”

Sophomore quarterback Patrick Mahomes is a big reason why.

As a true freshman Mahomes didn’t enter last year’s game against TCU until well after the game had been decided.

This season, he is seventh nationally in passing, with nine touchdowns to just three picks. He’s also rushed for a pair of touchdowns in his last two games.

“He’s throwing the ball all over the field and just doing a great job,” Patterson said.

The Horned Frogs also have their own issues they’re working through, which should help keep them grounded.

TCU has already lost five defensive starters for the season, and a sixth -- defensive tackle Davion Pierson -- has yet to see the field this year with a head injury. Also on Monday, DE Mike Tuaua, who hasn’t played since the opener, was arrested on felony robbery charges. The Horned Frogs also aren’t sure when they’re getting back defensive end Terrell Lathan, who was injured in the SMU game over the weekend.

If Pierson and Lathan are unable to play Saturday, TCU will be starting just one defender -- safety Derrick Kindred -- who also started last year’s Peach Bowl against Ole Miss.

“You’ve got to be careful talking about it too much, (even if) it’s something that’s on our mind,” Patterson said. “You really need to be thinking about Texas Tech, your next opponent, more than you’re thinking about that.”

The Red Raiders have been thinking about TCU, and what happened last year, for awhile.

"You can't forget something like that," Grant said. "But this year, it's a different us, a different team. We’re much hungrier and playing for each other.

“We’re out to prove we’re not the same team.”