TCU looked very impressive during a season-opening road win over an ACC team. The Horned Frogs’ next challenge shouldn’t be nearly as formidable.
The No. 15 Horned Frogs begin their home schedule Saturday night when they face Texas State of the Football Championship Subdivision in the teams’ first-ever meeting.
TCU picked up where it left off in 2008 last Saturday, shutting down Virginia with stifling defense and looking mostly good on offense in a 30-14 victory - one that was more one-sided than the final score indicated.
The Frogs held the Cavaliers to seven first downs and 177 yards of offense - 83 coming on two late TD passes - while keeping Virginia from snapping the ball inside the TCU 20.
The dominant performance on defense was nothing out of the ordinary for TCU, which finished second in the nation last season with 10.9 points allowed per game.
“Crazy things happen in first games, and this was our first game. We didn’t want to beat ourselves. Going on the road and beating an ACC team is a tough thing to do,” said coach Gary Patterson, whose 74th victory at TCU tied him with Abe Martin for second behind Dutch Meyer (109).
Senior end Jerry Hughes had a career-best 11 tackles - 2 1/2 for loss - and 1 1/2 sacks to earn Mountain West Conference defensive player of the week honors.
“We prepared awesome for this game,” Hughes said. “We were looking forward to getting out there and getting to showcase our talents, and that’s exactly what happened. Offense executed well, defense came out there and did the same thing.”
TCU looked rusty at times on offense, going 1 for 11 on third downs and settling for Ross Evans’ field goals on three trips into the red zone. The Frogs, though, rushed for 203 yards, and Andy Dalton was 15 of 21 for 177 yards as he began his third season running the team’s spread offense.
Perhaps most encouraging for TCU was the performance of its deep and balanced ground attack. Five Frogs players rushed for 21 yards or more, with Joseph Turner and Jeremy Kerley scoring a touchdown apiece.
Redshirt freshman Edward Wesley ran 10 times for 53 yards, while freshman Matthew Tucker added 39 yards on 10 carries.
“You know, it’s great to see these young guys go in and really carry the ball really well,” Dalton told the team’s official Web site. “They’re explosive backs who can handle a lot of things and we really got to see what they can do today.”
TCU looks to continue its dominance at Amon G. Carter Stadium, where the Frogs have gone 50-6 since the start of the 1999 season. They will be trying to win their eighth straight home opener.
TCU’s last home loss to a non-conference opponent came in September 2001, with the Frogs going 13-0 since.
That makes the challenge for Texas State all the more daunting. The Bobcats, from the Southland Conference, have lost 16 of 17 non-conference road games.
Texas State defeated Angelo State 48-28 at home in its opener Sept. 5. Bradley George threw for 328 yards and three touchdowns, while wide receiver Cedric Alexander scored on a 10-yard reverse and added a 48-yard TD reception.
“The most important stat of the game is that we won,” Texas State coach Brad Wright told the team’s official Web site. “I saw a lot of mistakes that can and will be fixed. We have lots of things to learn from when we look at film. We’re 1-0, that’s the bottom line.”