Gilbert throws 5 picks in SMU loss to TCU
SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert's struggles continued against TCU on Saturday night.
Casey Pachall threw two touchdown passes, Jason Verrett picked off two of the five interceptions thrown by Gilbert and No. 15 TCU extended its FBS-best winning streak to 12 games by beating SMU 24-16.
Gilbert, a highly-touted recruit who played for Texas in the 2009 BCS national championship game before transferring to SMU in the offseason, has thrown nine interceptions and four touchdowns. He was picked off four times in the second half as TCU overcame several of its own mistakes to turn away SMU's upset bid. ''We shot ourselves in the foot a couple times,'' Gilbert said. ''We need to do a better job of not making the unforced errors.''
The Horned Frogs (4-0) managed just three points and 27 yards of offense after halftime.
TCU botched a snap on a field goal attempt in the third quarter. In the fourth, punter Ethan Perry lost the ball twice before he was able to kick, giving the Mustangs a chance to get back in the game.
Verrett intercepted a desperation heave on the final play of the game as the Horned Frogs avenged a 40-33 overtime setback to the Mustangs a year ago, which was TCU's last loss.
''It felt good winning another game and going 4-0,'' said TCU safety Elisha Olabode, who had an interception to set up a touchdown. ''They always play this game hard and with a great passion.''
TCU has won 11 of 13 over SMU and regained the Iron Skillet trophy, which goes to the winner of the Dallas-Fort Worth rivalry.
Horned Frogs running back Matthew Tucker scored two touchdowns in the first half that capped drives of less than 10 yards.
The game was played in a heavy rainstorm. The rain picked up in intensity around kickoff and didn't let up until the game ended.
''I would like to think it was the weather, but we have to make some plays,'' SMU coach June Jones said.
The Horned Frogs jumped out to a 21-10 halftime lead and held on despite a season-low 156 yards of offense.
Zach Line had a 21-yard touchdown run in the second quarter for the Mustangs, which lost for the second time this season to a state rival from the Big 12. Baylor beat SMU 59-24 in the season opener on Sept. 2.
Gilbert was of 15 of 40 for 190 yards, but his receivers dropped at least six passes. SMU (1-3) finished with six overall turnovers.
''The dropped passes are going to happen in a game like this,'' Gilbert said. ''I've just got to do a better job of putting the ball where it needs to be.''
The Horned Frogs committed 13 penalties for 140 yards, including seven personal foul calls.
Punter Ethan Perry couldn't field a low snap, giving SMU the ball at the TCU 35. Gilbert hooked up with Der'rikk Thompson for a touchdown on the next play, cutting the deficit to 24-16 with 2:08 left.
The Mustangs had one last chance when they got the ball at their own 33 with 1:06 left. They moved the ball 9 yards before Verrett intercepted Gilbert's Hail Mary attempt.
Pachall, who came into game leading all FBS quarterbacks in passing efficiency, was 10 of 26 for 107 yards. Tucker rushed for 56 yards and Josh Boyce added 42 yards receiving for the Horned Frogs.
TCU's only points in the second half came on Jaden Oberkrom's 43-yard field goal early in the fourth.
''I was glad we survived,'' Patterson said.
TCU safety Chris Hackett recovered Line's fumble at the SMU 41 to set up Pachall's 10-yard touchdown pass to LaDarius Brown. Olabode intercepted Gilbert and returned it 51 yards down to the 8. Three plays later, Pachall found a wide open Tucker on a 2-yard scoring toss.
After picking up only 4 yards of offense in the first quarter, the Mustangs put together their only substantial drive.
Gilbert hit 4 of 5 passes for 56 yards and Line finished off an 86-yard drive with his touchdown. The big back broke three TCU tackles and then skipped over another on the way to his third score of the season.
Skye Dawson returned a punt 64 yards down to the 4, and Tucker scored on the next play to extend TCU's advantage to 21-7 with 2:11 left in the first half.
Chase Hover kicked a 29-yard field goal just before halftime to bring SMU within 21-10.
The rain caused problems for both teams as TCU head coach Gary Patterson braved the elements without any kind of rain jacket or slicker.
''It's just water,'' Patterson joked. ''I can't coach constricted.''
SMU receivers had three drops on its first two possessions of the game.
Tucker slipped twice making cuts on consecutive running attempts, and TCU's holder couldn't handle a snap on a field goal attempt in the third quarter.
The Mustangs had a scoring chance early in the fourth when Perry mishandled a snap, and SMU's Austin Fuller picked up the loose ball at the 1. After Line was stuffed and Gilbert was sacked, the Mustangs threw two incompletions into the end zone to squander the opportunity