TCU-Colorado St. Preview
While maintaining its perfect record, TCU might have revealed a
weakness in its rush defense.
The fifth-ranked Horned Frogs, though, likely won’t have to
worry about that in their Mountain West opener against Colorado
State on Saturday.
TCU (4-0) came away with a 41-24 victory at SMU last week but
gave up 192 yards on the ground after allowing an average of 88 in
its first three games. The Frogs had trouble stopping the Mustangs’
draw plays as converted linebacker Zach Line ran for a career-best
“I’m very happy with the win,” coach Gary Patterson said. “But
I’m disappointed with some of the mistakes.”
TCU managed to rally for its 17th consecutive regular-season
victory as Andy Dalton led three straight scoring drives following
a pair of interceptions. The less-than-dominating win, however,
caused the Frogs to drop one spot in the Top 25.
After connecting on nearly 75 percent of his passes in the first
three games, Dalton was 14 of 26 for a season-low 174 yards,
although he tied a school record with his 49th TD pass.
“It’s very hard to get to (4-0) in this day and time, especially
with the type of non-conference schedule that we played,” said
Patterson, whose team opened the season with a 30-21 victory over
then-No. 24 Oregon State.
Dalton, the active leader among FBS quarterbacks with 33
victories, was 15 of 23 for 211 yards and two touchdowns in a 44-6
rout of Colorado State on Oct. 17. Jeremy Kerley, whose 83-yard
kickoff return set up the go-ahead touchdown last week, brought a
punt back 69 yards for a score in that game.
In his first meeting with Colorado State (1-3) in 2007, Dalton
was 5 of 6 for 60 yards on the game’s opening drive before leaving
with a knee injury in a 24-12 win.
He was also out with an injury in 2008 when TCU held on for a
13-7 victory in its last trip to Fort Collins. Since joining the
Mountain West in 2005, the Frogs are 5-0 against the Rams.
TCU ran for 275 yards in last season’s matchup as 14 Frogs had
at least one carry. Colorado State, which had 70 yards rushing in
that loss, is averaging 59 yards on the ground this year.
The Rams had a season-high 108 rushing yards last week against
Idaho, and freshman Pete Thomas threw for a career-best 386 yards
and three TDs. Colorado State still needed Ben DeLine’s 35-yard
field goal as time expired for a 36-34 win as it ended a 12-game
“Our football team is very young,” coach Steve Fairchild said.
“This was an emotional week for our football team, but one thing we
keep preaching is that we’re never out of the fight.”
After failing to crack 200 yards in his first two games, Thomas
has topped 300 in each of the past two, but he’ll face the nation’s
ninth-best pass defense at 143.3 yards per game and 12th-ranked
overall unit at 257.3.
TCU, winner of seven straight road games, plays outside its home
state for the first time in its opening eight contests. The Frogs
play three of their final four away from Texas.
They lead the series with Colorado State 6-1.