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POSTGAME BLOG: (3) TCU 47, (5) Utah 7

POSTGAME BLOG: (3) TCU 47, (5) Utah 7

By Robert Jackson, KSL.com Sports Writer | Posted - Nov. 6, 2010 at 4:52 p.m.



This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

FINAL
Score: (3) TCU 47, (5) Utah 7
SALT LAKE CITY -- In what was billed to be the biggest game ever in Mountain West Conference history, the Utah Utes decided to take an early vacation. Wearing all black camo jerseys, the Utes were "blacked out" by an aggressive TCU defense that didn't let them cross midfield until 12 minutes left in the game.

TCU dominated in all three phases, piling up 558 total yards while holding the Utes to just 199. TCU converted 11 of 15 3rd downs while holding the Utes to just 3 of 13. And the Horned Frogs snapped Utah's 21 game MWC record home winning streak (TCU currently has 19).

The humiliating loss will certainly drop the Utes out of the Top 10 and leaves the Utes with plenty of unanswered questions as they next travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame. All in all, this was the worst performance I've personally seen from the Utes, and that includes Utah's 36-3 blowout loss to Boise State in 2006.


Time Remaining: 4:58 Fourth Quarter
Score: (3) TCU 47, (5) Utah 7

Ugh. I don't know how much more of this I can take. TCU's backup quarterback fumbles the option pitch, yet TCU RB Waymon James is able to recover the fumble AND run 25 yards for another TCU touchdown. 47-7 Frogs.


Time Remaining: 11:12 Fourth Quarter
Score: (3) TCU 40, (5) Utah 7

Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! With 12:12 left in the 4th, Utah finally crosses midfield. The momentum is enough to get Wynn back into rhythym, as he completes a pass over the middle to Kendrick Moeai, and follows it up with a 19 yard TD pass to Matt Asiata. Utes finally on the board, but trail 40-7.


Time Remaining: 14:49 Fourth Quarter
Score: (3) TCU 40, (5) Utah 0

Ross Evans adds 23 yard field goal, and the Frogs now lead 40-0. TCU has yet to allow the 3rd ranked offense to get past midfield, even after Shaky Smithson put the Utes on the 45 with a great return.


Time Remaining: End of Third Quarter
Score: (3) TCU 37, (5) Utah 0

TCU has taken the foot off the gas, or this one could really be ugly. The Utes have 1 quarter left to avoid their first home shutout since a 28-0 loss to Wyoming back in 1967.


Time Remaining: 5:33 Third Quarter
Score: (3) TCU 37, (5) Utah 0

TCU just gave Utah the death blow, going on a 70 yard drive and adding another 7 points on a 11 yard TD pass from Dalton to Jimmy Young. I think we all thought TCU was this good, but it is hard to believe that the Utes are this bad. Utah has definitely been exposed with its soft schedule, and when push came to shove, they couldn't come through.


Time Remaining: 11:12 Third Quarter
Score: (3) TCU 30, (5) Utah 0

Shaky Smithson sparks some life into this Utah crowd with a 45 yard kickoff return, carrying TCU players on his back for the final 5. However, its back to the same old, same old for the Utah offense. Open receiver, good throw, dropped pass, followed up by terrible throw by Wynn and easy interception by TCU LB Tanner Brock. Brock returns interception to Utah 4 yard line. Next play, Ed Wesley 4 yard TD rush. 30-0 TCU. 46,522 fans got to witness this: Jordan Wynn is not yet ready for bigtime college football.

Wynn stays in the game, completes a pass to DeVonte Christopher, which then Christopher fumbles and TCU recovers on the Utah 36 yard line. Utah finally forces a turnover of their own, recovering an Ed Wesley fumble. Let's see if the Utes can get something going.

Nope. Utes forced to punt again. The Utes have yet to be in TCU territory with the ball.


Halftime

SALT LAKE CITY -- TCU went 80 yards on their opening possession and haven't looked back, dominating the Utes 23-0 at the half in Rice-Eccles Stadium.

1st Half Stats

TCUUTAH
1st Downs125
Rushing Yards662
Passing Yards26270
Total Offense32872
Penalties3-300-0
Possession19:2910:31
3rd Downs4-72-8
Turnovers01

TCU racked up 237 yards of total offense, in the first quarter, helping them jump out to a 20-0 lead. The Utes have buckled down defensively, only allowing a TCU field goal in the 2nd quarter, but offensively the Utes might as well be on vacation as their performance is, well ... outright terrible. The Utes only have 72 yards of total offense for the entire half.

Jordan Wynn is only 10-21 for 70 yards with a fumble. Utah has combined for a whopping total of 2 yards rushing.


Time Remaining: 1:07 Second Quarter
Score: (3) TCU 23, (5) Utah 0

Utes can't get first down and are forced to punt. Fans are booing. Can't blame them, both sides of the ball are playing poorly.


Time Remaining: 2:40 Second Quarter
Score: (3) TCU 23, (5) Utah 0

Things are going so bad for the Utes that Jereme Brooks can't even catch a screen pass from Wynn. Utes have had plenty of opportunities, they just haven't converted. Again, typical Utah drive. 1 first down, then forced to punt. Ugly. Wynn is only 9 of 19 for 64 yards.

What's this? Utah's defense forces a TCU punt, on a drive where TCU only had 1 first down. Utah will have 2:40 left in the half to try to put some points on the board. Their drive will start on their own 34 yard line.


Time Remaining: 7:55 Second Quarter
Score: (3) TCU 23, (5) Utah 0

Utah receivers having a hard time catching the ball. Wynn had Christopher open over the middle and DeVonte couldn't bring in the catch. Utah has only been able to get 1 first down on each drive so far. TCU with ball and rolling on own 31 yard line.

Again, TCU = speed. A quick screen pass to Jeremy Kerley would have gone for another touchdown if he hadn't stepped out of bounds. I haven't seen Utah got beat like this at home since Utah vs. Boise State in 2006 (36-3 loss). TCU running the same screen pass again and again, Utah cannot stop it. And to add insult to injury, Utah forgot how to tackle. TCU tacks on a 24 yard field goal, lead the Utes 23-0. Ouch.


Time Remaining: 0:25 First Quarter
Score: (3) TCU 20, (5) Utah 0

TCU is getting plenty of pressure on Utah QB Jordan Wynn their front four. They haven't had to bring extra guys on the blitz. After Utes pick up a first down, they are forced to punt on their second series. Sellwood's punt is fair caught at the TCU 7 yard line (67 yard punt).

On TCU's first play of the drive, Dalton runs the playaction fake to perfection, sees one on one coverage deep with Josh Boyce, throws a perfect pass then Boyce outruns the Utah defense for the score. 14-0 TCU on top.

Jordan Wynn is pressured and fumbles the ball, TCU recovers on Utah 26 yard line.

On the very next play, TCU WR Jeremy Kerley takes the direct snap and completes a 26 yard TD pass to Bart Johnson. PAT no good, but Frogs are rolling regardless. 20-0 and we are still in the first quarter.


Time Remaining: 4:07 First Quarter
Score: (3) TCU 7, (5) Utah 0

Utah opens in 5-wide receiver set, and Wynn's first pass nearly intercepted by TCU LB Tanner Brock. On a third and four, Wynn stays in the pocket and allows DeVonte Christopher to find some space over the middle, and the completion gives the Utes 15 yards and a first down. However, on the Utes 2nd set of downs, the Utes are only able to gain 7 yards and are forced to punt near mid-field. TCU will have it first and 10 after Sellwood's punt goes into the endzone.

Utah misses a golden defensive opportunity - after forcing a 3rd and 15 with TCU pinned on their own 15 yard line, Dalton completes a 30 yard pass on the right sidelide for a gain of 30. Utah is mixing up blitzes and coverages, but aren't getting enough pressure on Dalton. Utah's front four needs to find a way to disrupt TCU's offensive line. After moving to midfield, TCU is forced to punt, and Utah will have their second possession on their own 16 yard line.


Time Remaining: 10:14 First Quarter
Score: (3) TCU 7, (5) Utah 0

Here it is. We all circled this game back when the schedules first came out as potentially the MWC game of the year, and as each team has won every week up until this point, the anticipation and hype surrounding this game grew. Two undefeated, BCS top 5 teams will face off today in the biggest Mountain West Conference game of all time, and perhaps the biggest football game ever to take place inside the state of Utah.

Utah will be in camo black jerseys, supporting the Wounded Warrior project, while TCU is in their all white jerseys and purple helmets. And for fans that have been to a game at Rice-Eccles before, the stands are 99% full prior to kickoff, just another way to show the significance of this game.

Utah won the coin toss and will defer to the second half. TCU will start the game on offense, traveling from north to south. We get to see the 19th ranked total defense (Utah) against the 7th ranked total offense (TCU).

TCU quarterback Andy Dalton with loads of time in the pocket, and moves the Horned Frogs into Utah territory on a 24 yard pass to Skye Dawson. Utah forces a third down on the 26 yard line, but Dalton finds an open Josh Boyce in the end zone and TCU strikes first, 7-0.


Pregame Blog

TCU and Utah have become two of the most prominent BCS party-crashing teams in the country. Even though both play in the Mountain West, a non-BCS conference, each has made it to a BCS bowl game in recent years.

Only one will be left in that position again this year when third-ranked TCU (9-0, 5-0 MWC) travels to Salt Lake City to take on fifth-ranked Utah (8-0, 5-0) on Saturday afternoon.

Last year, the Horned Frogs rolled to a surprising 55-28 rout of the Utes at home. TCU knows it won't be that easy this year.

Still, the Frogs are coming off an impressive 48-6 victory over UNLV last week. In its five Mountain West games this year, TCU has outscored its opponents 189-16.

Against the Rebels, the Frogs were in control from the start. Jeremy Kerley got the scoring fest started with a 5-yard touchdown run in the first quarter and Ed Wesley and Andy Dalton added scoring runs in the second quarter. Colin Jones also had a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown in the second quarter as the Frogs rolled to a 28-6 lead at halftime.

Defensively, TCU had another impressive outing. Jones tied a career high with nine tackles and Tank Carder finished with a team-high 10 tackles.

It won't be easy going into Utah, though.

Game 9 Notes
No. 5/6/6 Utah (8-0, 5-0 MWC) vs.
No. 3/4/4 TCU (9-0, 5-0 MWC)
Date: Saturday, Nov. 6, 2010
Time: 1:30 p.m. (MT)
Site: Rice-Eccles Stadium (45,017/Fieldturf)
TV: CBS C Radio: ESPN 700, Westwood One, SIRIUS 122/XM 143
Series Record: Utah leads 5-2
Last Meeting:2009 (4) TCU 55, (14) Utah 28
Kickoff Weather: Mostly Sunny; Temps: upper 60s
************************

The Utes have defended their home field well, winning 21 straight games at Rice-Eccles Stadium going into this week's showdown. Utah won its last meeting there against TCU, pulling out a 13-10 victory in 2008.

Last week, Utah held off a late charge from Air Force in a 28-23 victory.

Utes running backs Eddie Wide and Matt Asiata led the offense, combining for 177 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Jordan Wynn completed 15 of 23 passes for 148 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

This week, the Utes' offense could get an added boost from sophomore wide receiver DeVonte Christopher, who missed last week's game with a knee injury. Christopher is listed as questionable for the TCU game.

Defensively, Utah freshman defensive back Brian Blechen led the defense last week with nine tackles and an interception. Junior linebacker Chaz Walker also had a solid outing, recording six tackles, including a sack.

Aside from the BCS implications, the story lines run deeper for Saturday's matchup.

The most prominent for TCU is winning for the first time in Salt Lake City in the final meeting between the two schools before Utah moves to the Pac-10 Conference. And Utah, of course, would like to avenge last year's loss.

************************

Keys to the Game for Utah

  • Fight fire with fire - TCU has speed, but so does Utah. If Utah can establish the run game, building on Matt Asiata and Eddie Wide grinding out first downs, it will force TCU to put extra defenders in the box, which will open up the passing attack for Jordan Wynn.
  • Pressure Dalton - It is a point of emphasis every week, but this week it is oh so important to pressure TCU QB Andy Dalton. Utah cannot let the senior quarterback get comfortable in the pocket.

MY PREDICTION: I agree with Kirk Herbstreit from ESPN's College GameDay - Utah 24, TCU 14. Let me know what you think. Email me your predictions/questions rojackson@ksl.com

Team Stat Comparison
![](/images/team_logo/ncaa/tcu.png) Texas Christian

Utah Advantage
Points (Per Game)40.78 45.25

Passing Yards (Per Game)214.78 258.13

Rushing Yards (Per Game)270.00 191.50

3rd Down Conversions (Season)54%54%-

4th Down Conversions (Season)64%75%

Time of Possession (Per Game)33:4530:17

Red Zone Scores (Season)89%90%

**Last Year ...** FORT WORTH, TEXAS -- In a dominating performance, No. 4 TCU showed that it belonged in the BCS, knocking off No. 14 Utah 55-28 in front of a record crowd at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

TCU set the tone early, blocking a punt, forcing a fumble on a kickoff return and returning an interception for a touchdown en route to a 24 point 2nd quarter. The hole was too big for the Utes to overcome as they lose by their largest margin since a 36-3 loss to Boise State in 2005.

Utah Miscellaneous Stats

  • No. 3 TCU is the highest ranked opponent Utah has hosted in Rice-Eccles Stadium since it opened in 1998 and ties the highest ranking ever by an opponent in Salt Lake City (BYU was No. 3 in the 1984 game in old Rice Stadium).
  • The Utes have been extremely productive in the red zone, converting on 90% of their trips inside the 20 (35-of-39).
  • Utah ranks fourth in the nation and first in the MWC in pass efficiency offense (170.8).
  • The Utes have allowed just three sacks, which is tied for second in the nation and is first in the MWC.
  • Utah is ranked in the top 10 in the nation in total defense, scoring defense, pass defense, opponent first downs, opponent third-down conversions and opponent fourth-down conversions.

TCU Miscellaneous Stats

  • The Horned Frogs have outscored their five Mountain West Conference opponents 189-16, allowing just two touchdowns in the process.
  • TCU leads the nation in scoring defense (8.7 points per game), total defense (217.3 yards per game), pass defense (119.0 yards per game), fewest first downs allowed (12.1 per game) and opponent third-down defense (98.3 yards per game).
  • TCU, allowing 8.7 points per game, is on pace for the NCAA's lowest scoring defense mark since 1988, when Auburn surrendered an average of 7.2 points.
  • TCU has punted just once in its last two game

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Robert Jackson Sports Writer

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