It was the Frogs' first two-touchdown deficit in more than two years, and this on senior day in the final game played at Amon G. Carter Stadium. After SDSU scored the first TD of the game on a double reverse flea flicker, TCU QB and Heisman candidate Andy Dalton was sacked from behind in the end-zone, fumbled the ball, and SDSU recovered to silence the sold out crowd. Was this how TCU's BCS hopes were going to end? After all, TCU had only given up 23 points combined to every other MWC opponent this season.
Not if Dalton and Jeremy Kerley had anything to say about it. TCU's rushing attack did most of the dirty work, but in my mind the player of the game was by far Kerley, who caught 8 balls for 85 yards and 3 touchdowns. Kerley gave Aztec defenders fits all day, and TCU does not win this football game without him. In fact, it was after Kerley came out of the game in the second half when SDSU nearly posted the miracle comeback.
For those of you that missed it, this was one of the most entertaining games in MWC play this season. It wasn't one of those back and forth shootouts, it was a game marked by periods of domination. SDSU dominated the very beginning and the very end of the game, and TCU dominated most of the rest. There were a lot of great tackles, huge hits, and QB sacks. In fact, both QBs came into the game having only been sacked 5 times all season; Lindley was sacked three times and Dalton was sacked twice (one being the fumble for a TD).
Senior WR Vincent Brown was the offensive star for the Aztecs, catching 4 balls for 167 yards and 2 TDs. SDSU was never able to establish a running game which was a big reason for TCU's domination throughout most of the game. Freshman phenom RB Ronnie Hillman came into the game averaging 116 yards on the ground and finished with only 54 yards on 13 carries. On the other side of the ball, TCU had two RBs over 100 yards; Matthew Tucker and James Waymon, who finished with 133 and 111 yards respectively.
On defense, SDSU actually finished with 6 tackles for a loss which has been a strong point for SDSU's defense this season, including the two sacks on Dalton. The Aztecs were also able to pick-off Dalton once, but TCU's stingy pass defense was able to intercept Aztec QB Ryan Lindley twice in big situations. Another big key to the game was that TCU's defense only allowed SDSU to convert on 3rd down twice all game as the Aztecs finished 2-11.
We learned today that when it comes to the Mountain West, there is TCU and then there is everybody else. SDSU scoring more against every other MWC opponent combined, and scoring more points than any other team this season on the nation's #1 defense proved that they around around the top of "everyone else".