Colorado State run over 34-10 by No. 19 TCU
Giving a true freshman quarterback his first career start, on the road against the No. 19 team in the country, all with his team mired in a five-game losing streak, Colorado State coach Steve Fairchild decided to also throw caution - and fashion - to the wind.
He let his club do something Saturday that's believed to have never been done before in school history: pairing gold jerseys with white pants.
They probably won't be trying that again anytime soon.
Garrett Grayson and the Rams kept things close into the third quarter, yet wound up losing 34-10 to TCU on Saturday.
Colorado State (3-7, 1-4 Mountain West) trailed 13-3 at halftime, then found itself down 27-3 before getting its lone touchdown, a 66-yard pass from Grayson to Raymond Carter. The victory allowed the Horned Frogs (9-2, 6-0) to clinch at least a share of the conference title.
''If they had even remotely not been playing hard this thing would have been a rout (early),'' Fairchild said. ''They believe they are a good football team. I think we played a good football team with a good record. We're a good football team; we just don't have a good record.''
TCU was coming off an upset win over Boise State. All week, Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson could tell his team was lacking emotion and they proved him right Saturday.
''We just went through the motions in that ballgame, the whole game,'' Patterson said. ''If you want to be champions and a top 15 program, you've got to do things the same every week. Not once in a while. Every week.''
The Horned Frogs were so lackadaisical that defensive tackle D.J. Yendrey forgot in his locker the blitz card worn around his wrist (similar to what quarterbacks often use). Patterson gave a list of other examples that showed his club wasn't as sharp as he wanted them to be.
They wound up pulling away because Antoine Hicks, Ed Wesley and Matthew Tucker ran for touchdowns and Tank Carder returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown. TCU kept alive hopes of going to a second straight BCS bowl game.
''For some reason today we came out flat,'' right guard Blaize Foltz said. ''After all the emotion we had last week, it was pretty difficult to get back up. I'm glad we came out of the funk.''
CSU's Garrett Grayson, starting because of an injury to Pete Thomas, was 14 of 24 for 248 yards and a touchdown plus the interception by Carder. He also ran eight times for 53 yards.
''I wish we could have pulled it out,'' Grayson said. ''I feel like we weren't intimidated. ... The score really didn't reflect how we played.''
Grayson's touchdown came a few snaps after the interception. This time, he rolled right to avoid an unblocked blitzer, saw Carter alone beyond the defense and let loose a pass that covered nearly 50 yards in the air. Carter caught it around the 20 and stepped into the end zone for a 66-yard touchdown.
''To ask a true freshman to come down here and make his first start, I thought he looked calm,'' Fairchild said. ''He can escape in the pocket, which adds a dimension in the passing game. There were some designed runs, as well.''
Chris Nwoke followed his 232-yard rushing performance last week by rushing for 60 yards on 21 carries.
The Horned Frogs extended their Mountain West records by winning a 23rd straight league game and 16th straight league game at home. However, this was their second-to-last game in the conference as they're headed to the Big 12 next season.
TCU's Casey Pachall was 13 of 20 for 117 yards, and Waymon James had 108 yards rushing. Tucker ran for 94 yards and Wesley for 63. Hicks' 2-yard TD came on his only carry.