The Cowboys are entering a two-week stretch against teams that have parted ways with their head coaches during the season.
Jerry Kill was given the interim tag when TCU split with longtime coach Gary Patterson. Kill met with reporters Tuesday to discuss his team’s upcoming trip to Stillwater. Here are three things he hit on.
1. The Midwest City Meetup
Mike Gundy went way back with Gary Patterson, but Gundy goes even further back with Jerry Kill.
Gundy said on Monday that Kill was his junior biology teacher at Midwest City High School when Kill was a defensive coach on the Bombers’ staff.
“I guess Mike said I taught him biology,” Kill said. “I don’t remember that, but that’s how old I am. And he shouldn’t remember it because he’s old, too.”
Kill was the linebackers coach Gundy’s senior season. Kill said one of the things that made Gundy stand out is how he studied the game, something it sounds like Gundy studied more than biology.
“Of course everybody was recruiting him,” Kill said. “A lot of people don’t know how good a baseball player he was. He was a great baseball player, could’ve played baseball, but chose football, had an outstanding career at Oklahoma State and has done an outstanding job there. Not very many people can stay at their alma mater and do what he’s done. My hat’s off to him. I’ve got a great deal of respect for him. Great high school player.”
2. More Love to Jim Knowles’ Defense
Being a defense guy, Kill said he can appreciate what Jim Knowles’ group is doing.
The Cowboys are giving up only 16.3 points and 277 yards a game, both stats lead the Big 12. Kill said he also remembers the fact that the Cowboys forced TCU into five turnovers last season, four of which were fumbles.
“They got a bunch of veterans that are playing defense,” Kill said. “They got everybody back that played last year except for, I think, one. Any time you get older, you get better. They’re more experienced. They don’t make mistakes. They’re assignment sound. They play hard, relentless. Coach Knowles is a good coach. They’re just overall very, very sound.
“Probably the thing I notice the most on film, they’re great tacklers. They tackle very well. We’ve played some teams that haven’t tackled very well. They tackle very well.”
3. Morris Set to Make Second Start
TCU quarterback Max Duggan is dealing with a foot injury, which made way from Oklahoma transfer Chandler Morris to make the start against Baylor on Saturday, and it doesn’t look as if Morris is giving that job back.
Morris threw for 461 yards and two touchdowns in an upset victory against the Bears. He also ran for 70 yards and another score.
A junior, Duggan will be suited up Saturday, but Morris will the the Horned Frogs’ starter.
“Max is one of the greatest kids I’ve ever met,” Kill said. “He came and talked to me and said, ‘Chandler deserves to start. I’ve got a broken bone in my foot. I can do whatever you need me to do, Coach. I just need to know what you think.’
“He’ll suit up and be ready to go if needed and he may play some. It will be according to how he does the rest of the week. If there’s ever a team player, he’s one of them. He knows he’s not 100%, but at the same time right now Chandler is banged a little bit. Those two guys we need so we’ll progress as we go along here.”
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