This just in, TCU is good.
Very, very good, and that's probably an understatement.
In front of the second-largest crowd ever at Rice-Eccles Stadium (46,522), the Horned Frogs (#3 in the BCS standings) took control early and ran away from #5 Utah, 47-7, snapping the Utes' 21-game home winning streak.
The game was supposed to be an entertaining, down-to-the-wire showdown for not only Mountain West Conference supremacy, but also for further consideration for a BCS bowl game and possibly even the national championship game.
Both teams came into the game with perfect records, but it was TCU that came in and dominated from the opening kickoff, scoring three 1st quarter touchdowns and never looking back.
"The score was not indicative of how lopsided this game was," stated Utah head coach Kyle Whittingham. "They were better at every phase of the game. We were out-coached and out-played."
The Frogs brought the nation's top defense into the contest, but the offense was equally as impressive against the Utes, with 177 rushing yards and 381 more through the air, for a whopping 558 yards of total offense.
"They smoked us in every phase of the game," said defensive end Christian Cox. "It is disheartening and frustrating."
While the Utah defense was having its trouble with the TCU offense, Jordan Wynn and the Ute offense had a hard time generating much of anything either. Wynn finished with 16 completions on 35 attempts for 148 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions.
The run game was even less effective, winding up with just 51 yards on 17 carries, after gaining two yards on seven tries in the first half.
It didn't take TCU long to take the lead, going 80 yards in nine plays on the first drive of the game. The Frogs scored on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Andy Dalton to Josh Boyce, and the extra-point made it 7-0 less than five minutes into the contest.
Utah forced a punt the second time the Frogs got the ball, but not the third. After a 67-yard Sean Sellwood punt pinned TCU back at its own 7-yard line, Dalton hooked up with Boyce again, and after a missed tackle by Brandon Burton, Boyce raced down the sideline for what would turn out to be a 93-yard touchdown.
Utah's next possession ended abruptly when Jordan Wynn fumbled after taking a big hit on a sack. The Horned Frogs turned that into points on the next play when they lined up in a "Wildcat" formation with wideout Jeremy Kerley at quarterback, who then tossed to Bart Johnson for a 26-yard touchdown and a 20-0 first-quarter lead.
It was 23-0 at the half, 37-0 after three quarters of play, and 40-0 before Utah finally got on the board with a 19-yard touchdown pass from Wynn to running back Matt Asiata. What had to be troubling for the Utes was that the scoring drive marked the first time in the ballgame they got into TCU territory.
In addition to Wynn's two interceptions, Utah also lost a pair of fumbles, coming out on the wrong end of a 4-1 turnover margin. Another key indicator as to how this game played out if third-down conversions. TCU was 10 of 15 while the Utes were just 3 of 13.
Now that the undefeated season and BCS bowl game possibilities are gone, the question for Whittingham and the Utes is how will they respond as they get ready for a trip to Notre Dame next week.
"I still believe we are a good team but it was painfully obvious today that we are not as good as TCU," Whittingham said.
- Chaz Walker set a new career high with 18 tackles in the game. The previous high for the junior linebacker was 16 against UNLV earlier this season.
- TCU extended its school-record regular-season winning streak to 23. The Horned Frogs are 36-3 in their last 39 games.
- Time of possession: Utah - 20:54; TCU - 39:06.
- The last time Utah gave up more than 500 yards of total offense was in last season's loss at TCU.