Utah University's Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City was on and cracking early on Saturday. ESPN's College GameDay was broadcasting from the parking lot, the fans were all clad in black, the team had shiny new black/ camo uniforms courtesy of Under Armour, and they were about to "protect this house" and send #3 TCU back to Fort Worth once again with their BCS bubbles popped. There was only one problem, Utah forgot to show up, and TCU didn't.
4th year starting quarterback Andy Dalton came out from the first snap and looked like--- a 4th year starting quarterback. On the first drive Dalton didn't throw a single incompletion while leading his team on a 9 play, 80 yard drive that was capped off with a 26 yard touchdown pass to redshirt freshman receiver Josh Boyce. On TCU's third possession with the score still 7-0 and the Frogs backed up on their own 7 yard line Dalton wisely went back to Boyce who broke a tackle and went 93 yards to the house. The rout was on, the crowd was silenced, and TCU didn't look back. Dalton had a career day going 21 for 26, and throwing for a personal record of 355 yards and 3 touchdowns. TCU was able to keep the Ute defense off-balance by countering the efficient passing attack of Andy Dalton with an equally effective running game. With the help of a dominating offensive line TCU controlled the clock for 39 minutes by rushing the ball 45 times for 177 yards (3.9 avg). Ed Wesley(12 car, 52yds, TD) tweaked his ankle in the 2nd quarter so the carries were more spread out than usual with Matthew Tucker (9 car, 36 yds), Waymon James (11 Car, 64 yds, TD), and Aundre Dean (4 car, 22 yds) all getting in on the action.
Defensively the Frogs had a lights out performance holding the #3 total offense in the nation to a paltry 199 total yards. The front four had their best night of the season terrorizing young Jordan Wynn all afternoon. Though the Frogs only came away with one sack they made their presence felt and forced Wynn into 3 costly turnovers (2 int, 1 fumble). The Utah running backs never got going and ended the afternoon with 62 yards on 17 attempts (3.0 ypc).
All in all TCU put forth it's most impressive performance of the year in it's most important game, but the Frogs musn't rest on their laurels, San Diego State comes to town this Saturday looking for some Montezuma's revenge.