Horned Frogs open season with win over Lobos
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP)—Quarterback Andy Dalton ran for two touchdowns as TCU took advantage of New Mexico’s first-half mistakes and went on to a 26-3 win Saturday in the season-opener for both teams.
The Horned Frogs scored on their first three possessions and needed a span of just over four minutes to build a 16-0 lead on the mistake-prone Lobos in the Mountain West Conference game.
Dalton scored on runs of 11 and 4 yards, the second TD set up by Jeremy Kerley’s 53-yard punt return midway through the fourth quarter.
The Lobos, beaten 37-0 by TCU last year in Fort Worth, avoided another shutout when James Aho kicked a 28-yard field goal with 10:48 left in the third quarter.
New Mexico, 0-4 against the Horned Frogs since TCU joined the MWC in 2005, hurt itself with a fumble, an interception and a 7-yard-punt in the first half.
The short punt by first year Lobo kicker Adam Miller gave the Horned Frogs the ball on the New Mexico 30 and set up a four-play drive that ended with Dalton’s 11-yard scoring run.
The Lobos got off only one play on their ensuing possession as Donovan Porterie’s pass hit TCU safety Steven Coleman in the chest at the New Mexico 35 and Coleman returned it to the 9. Halfback Joseph Turner scored on second down from the 2.
TCU also got field goals of 50 and 39 yards from Ross Evans.
Evans missed a chance to extend TCU’s 16-0 lead when he shanked a 20-yard field goal attempt with 39 seconds left in the first half. That drive was set up by Porterie’s fumble near midfield that was recovered by defensive end Jerry Hughes.
Porterie suffered a neck injury on the play and did not return.
Backup Brad Gruner made his first pass a spectacular one, teaming with wide receiver Chris Hernandez on an 81-yard pass play to the TCU 12-yard line. But New Mexico’s offense picked up 6 yards on three plays and settled for Ajo’s field goal.