TCU 31, Wyoming 20

TCU found its running game to be both a blessing and curse

against Wyoming.

The Horned Frogs rushed for a season-high 390 yards and four

touchdowns in beating Wyoming 31-20 Saturday for its fourth win a

row.

But TCU also lost four fumbles, including two within Wyoming’s

10 yard line.

”We were lucky,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. ”You got to

protect the football; we didn’t do a good job of that. We won’t be

able to win the game next week if we don’t protect the

football.”

The Horned Frogs, who travel to No. 5 Boise State next weekend,

extended their record Mountain West Conference win streak to 21

games and tied the league record for consecutive conference road

wins at 11. BYU, which is no longer a member of the Mountain West,

won 11 straight from 2005-07.

Ed Wesley rushed for 120 yards and two TDs and Waymon James

added a career-high 181 yards on the ground to lead TCU (7-2,

4-0).

Matthew Tucker added 90 yards and two TDs rushing. Casey Pachall

completed 17 of 24 passes for 227 yards and an interception.

TCU gained a season-high 617 yards total offense.

Brett Smith led Wyoming (5-3, 2-1) with 210 yards and two

touchdowns passing and 68 yards rushing before leaving the game

early in the fourth quarter after taking a hard hit from TCU’s Tank

Carder.

”A lot of people said that changed the momentum of the game,”

Carder said. ”It’s awesome that I was a part of that and able to

do that for us so that we can get a win and come out here and go

into Boise undefeated in conference.”

Wyoming coach Dave Christensen said the loss of Smith ”may have

knocked some wind out of our sails.”

”The kids still came out and competed with five takeaways,”

Christensen said. ”We moved the ball and scored some points.”

Smith is expected to play next week when Wyoming travels to Air

Force.

The loss ended Wyoming’s two-game win streak and kept the

Cowboys from their first 3-0 start in the Mountain West.

The last time Wyoming began a season 3-0 in conference play was

1998, when it was a member of the Western Athletic Conference and

finished a game out of first place in the WAC Mountain

Division.

The game was tied 17-17 at halftime after Wyoming defensive back

Blair Burns intercepted a Pachall pass at the goal line with 30

seconds remaining in the second quarter. TCU, which had gone the

previous two games without a turnover, had five turnovers,

including three in the red zone.

”You can’t turn the ball over in the red zone; you have to at

least get a field goal,” Patterson said. ”The one I was really

upset with was the interception right before the half. If we don’t

throw the ball away, we are up 20-17. There was no reason for that

ball to be thrown.”

TCU’s first-half points came on a 5-yard run by Tucker, 2-yard

run by Wesley and 35-yard field goal by Ross Evans.

The Cowboys scored on a 7-yard pass from Smith to Josh Doctson,

an 18-yard pass from Smith to Mazi Ogbonna and a 33-yard field goal

by Daniel Sullivan.

Wyoming opened the second half with 53-yard drive that resulted

in a 48-yard field goal by Sullivan to take a 20-17 edge.

But TCU took the lead late in the third quarter with a 10-play,

80-yard drive that ended with Wesley scoring from 4 yards out.

The only score in the fourth quarter came on a 4-yard run by

Tucker.

TCU’s defense limited Wyoming’s offense to 147 yards in the

second half.

”We came out with a good plan, executed it well in the first

half,” said Cowboys receiver Chris McNeil, who caught five passes

for 99 yards. ”Unfortunately, we weren’t able to produce more

yards and points in the second half.”