TCU and Iowa State football will meet for the 10th time in the programs’ collective histories on Saturday when the Horned Frogs (2-2) host the Cyclones (1-2) at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.
Needless to say, neither team has gotten off to the start they envisioned in 2018. TCU began the season with high hopes amid a No. 17 preseason ranking, but has since fallen out of the AP Top 25 altogether after back-to-back losses against Ohio State and Texas. Plenty of time remains on the season, the Frogs have already lost a considerable amount of control when it comes to their destiny at the end of the year.
The frustration has been near equal for the Cyclones after a breakout 2017 season that saw Iowa State rise as high as No. 15 in the College Football Playoff rankings. The team’s home-opener vs. South Dakota State was cancelled due to weather before losing two straight out of the gate against Iowa and Oklahoma. Iowa State finally got in the win column last Saturday vs. Akron.
With both teams now 0-1 in conference play, a win is seemingly a must if either intends to keep its hopes of playing at AT&T Stadium the first weekend of December afloat. So what can we expect?
Let’s take a look at the previous meetings between the Frogs and Cyclones to see which way this series swings.
1995: TCU 27, Iowa State 10 (Fort Worth, Texas)
The Frogs, then under head coach Pat Sullivan, went a modest 6-5 in the final year of Southwest Conference, but TCU got the ball rolling on a positive note by recording a 17-point victory over what was then a non-conference opponent with a Big 8 school. The win marked TCU’s first week 1 victory since 1991 at the time. Iowa State went on to finish a dismal 3-8.
1998: TCU 31, Iowa State 21 (Ames, Iowa)
Once again, TCU opened the season vs. Iowa State, and once again, the Frogs prevailed — this time under the direction of first-year head coach Dennis Franchione. Sullivan was fired the previous season after TCU got off to an 0-10 start, but the Frogs prevailed in their season finale vs. SMU. Alas, this game gave TCU its first winning streak in more than a year.
2005: TCU 27, Iowa State 24 (Texas Bowl)
After facing the Cyclones in a season-opener the first two times, the Frogs got Iowa State on the tail end of the calendar this time — and without much warning — as the two were paired up in the Holiday Bowl. TCU had come off a 10-1 regular season mark — the lone loss coming at SMU in Week 2. TCU rocketed out to a 14-0 lead early, and though the Cyclones cut the lead to three not once but twice, Gary Patterson and the Frogs were able to hold on for the win and a No. 11 ranking in the final AP Poll of the year.
2012: TCU 23, Iowa State 37 (Fort Worth, Texas)
Fresh off the news that starting quarterback Casey Pachall had been suspended following a DWI arrest, No. 15 TCU endured its first loss of the season, and first ever to Iowa State, as backup quarterback Trevone Boykin was intercepted three times. The Frogs never led, and although they pulled within 3 points in the third quarter, Iowa State outscored TCU 14-3 in the fourth quarter to seal the game’s fate.
2013: TCU 21, Iowa State 17 (Ames, Iowa)
Pachall, back from an early-season injury, recorded his final win ever in a TCU uniform as he passed for 245 yards in the win. It was, Boykin, however, who was responsible for all three of the Frogs’ touchdowns that — all on the ground. His third and final touchdown came in the final minute of play to give TCU the win, snapping a three-game skid.
2014: TCU 55, Iowa State 3 (Fort Worth, Texas)
Ranked No. 3 in the College Football Playoff rankings, TCU knew it needed to make a statement in the final game of the regular season. That it did, as the Frogs pummeled the Cyclones for a 52-point victory and their first Big 12 title in school history. Boykin threw for a whopping 460 yards and 4 touchdowns in the win.
2015: TCU 45, Iowa State 21 (Ames, Iowa)
For a second straight season, TCU faced Iowa State as the No. 3 team in the country. And for a second straight season, Boykin eclipsed 400 passing yards with 4 touchdowns on the day vs. the Cyclones. Pile that on top of Josh Doctson’s 190-yard, 2 touchdown performance and the Frogs had a day to remember as they embarked on 31-0 scoring run to end the game.
2016: TCU 41, Iowa State 20 (Fort Worth, Texas)
An otherwise inconsequential Big 12 opener for both schools was marred by an injury to TCU wide receiver and return specialist KaVontae Turpin, who was sidelined well into the second half of the season. Iowa State went on to end the year 3-9 under first year coach Matt Campbell while the Frogs finished a mediocre 6-6.
2017: Iowa State 14, TCU 7 (Ames, Iowa)
The lowest scoring affair between the Frogs and Cyclones was perhaps the most stunning one, and not just because it was a top-25 matchup with major Big 12 title implications. TCU entered the game ranked 7-0 and No. 4 in the country, but the hopes of an undefeated season were put on the ropes when Iowa State took a 14-0 lead on the Frogs at halftime. TCU returned the opening kickoff of the second half for a touchdown, but that would be the only score for the Frogs all day. Quarterback Kenny Hill committed three turnovers in the second half, and that sealed the deal in a 14-7 upset victory for the Cyclones — their second AP Top 5 win of the year.
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