Ochaun Mathis felt he had to say something. TCU football, on the heels of the worst loss in program history since 1993 at Oklahoma State, came out flat against Kansas.
The Jayhawks were leading 14-7 at halftime, and that didn’t sit well with Mathis. He let his teammates know in the locker room during the break.
“I told them it’s Kansas and we’re basically just waiting for us to come back,” Mathis said. “We couldn’t just sit around and wait for them. It’s best to take that step forward and do something about it. I kind of got on their butts about it and brought that potential out of them.”
Mathis’ teammates responded, rallying for a 31-28 victory on a late field goal by Griffin Kell. That kept TCU’s postseason dreams alive by improving to 5-6 on the season. The Frogs have a chance to become bowl eligible with a victory at Iowa State on Friday.
Mathis has emerged as one of the leaders on the team, especially after the longtime coach Gary Patterson and TCU parted ways on Oct. 31.
Mathis is a guy who has started all 33 games for the Horned Frogs the past three seasons. He has a team-leading four sacks and is second on the team with seven tackles for loss this season. He also has 43 tackles, a career-best three pass breakups and blocked a field goal.
For his career, Mathis is the active leader on the team with 15 1/2 career sacks and 30 1/2 tackles for loss. Mathis, a junior from Manor, spoke with the media earlier this week.
On a bowl berth serving as motivation this week: “A lot of guys are trying to step up and do what’s best for the seniors and go out with a bang. That’s one thing we’re trying to focus on is trying to make this game like a playoff game. Then go into the next step, which is a bowl game, and win that as well.”
On TCU’s coaching change and his future: “Whatever happens, happens. I can’t change anything about it, so I might as well sit back and watch and see what happens in the end. And then make a decision based off that. Right now I’m kind of busy thinking of Iowa State more than anything.”
On Iowa State’s offense: “Iowa State has a lot of formations and they like to switch around a lot. More than anything, we have to keep our eyes on key and watch the guys where they move to and know what formations they run the ball out of, pass the ball out of.”
On his season: “Based off what I’ve done this year, the film tells all. Even though this year hasn’t been as bright, I wish I could’ve had a lot more opportunities to get back there to the quarterback, but I know the season isn’t over. Things can happen in the long run from these last two games after winning Iowa State.”
On playing at Iowa State: “The last time we went to Iowa State, it was nasty weather but I give them props about their fans because they bring the heat. I kind of like the atmosphere. It’s really nice. That’s all I got to say about it. I like Iowa State. They’re not as mean as other fans, but I think it would be a great feeling to win that game.”
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