Key play: KU safety Bradley McDougald forced TCU’s second turnover by stripping the ball from quarterback Casey Pachall at the KU 23.
Key stat: Pachall completed his first four passes after being a perfect 9 for 9 last week against Grambling State.
Key play: On second-and-goal from the 8 in the final minutes, KU quarterback Dayne Crist was sacked. One play later, KU was called for holding and the Jayhawks had to settle for a field goal.
Key stat: Crist finished the half 9 for 12 passing for 117 yards.
Key play: On third-and-6, with KU trailing 10-6, KU defensive end Toben Opurum nearly reached TCU quarterback Casey Pachall, but Pachall slung the ball to receiver Brandon Carter on a play that resulted in a 33-yard gain. It set up a TD that gave TCU a 17-6 lead.
Key stat: KU’s Taylor Cox, who rushed nine times for 43 yards in the first half, had just two carries for four yards in the quarter.
Key play: In a quiet quarter, Crist’s fumble at the KU 3 with more than a minute left eliminated any chance at a comeback.
Key stat: The Jayhawks have lost 13 straight Big 12 games. In 1986-88, the Jayhawks had an 18-game winless streak in conference play, but that included only an 11-game losing streak before a tie at K-State.
Offense: D. Crist threw for more than 300 yards, and the rushing attack worked early. But once again, the offense struggled on third down.
Defense: B-. Maybe forcing four turnovers made the performance look a lot better than it really was. The defense allowed 487 yards. But two of the turnovers came on standout plays, and it’s likely that TCU will score more than 20 points in most Big 12 games.
Special teams: C. Kicker Ron Doherty made two of three field-goal attempts. But a poor snap sabotaged his other chance, and KU was hampered by terrible kickoff returns.
Coaching: B-. Charlie Weis said his goal was to make KU more competitive in conference play. Perhaps KU should have run more in the second half, but defensive coordinator Dave Campo called a solid game.
Player of the game: TCU receiver Brandon Carter finished with eight catches for 141 yards while scoring both of the Horned Frogs’ touchdowns.
Reason to hope: If the Jayhawks play with this kind of effort on defense, they might have a chance to pick up a win this week at Northern Illinois or in conference play against a lesser Big 12 team.
Reason to mope: If the offense doesn’t pick up, KU could easily lose next week at Northern Illinois. And that would mean a likely 1-7 start with K-State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and Texas the first four games in conference play.
Looking ahead: The Jayhawks hit the road for the first time, facing Northern Illinois at 2:30 p.m. this Saturday.
— Rustin Dodd