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TCU's Defense Dominant, Horned Frogs Win 27-0

(Sports Network) – Ed Wesley ran for a pair of touchdowns and Andy Dalton threw a touchdown pass, as fifth-ranked TCU used a stout defensive effort in a 27-0 victory over Colorado State in the Mountain West opener for both schools at Hughes Stadium.

Wesley ran for 78 yards on 15 carries and Matthew Tucker added 87 yards on eight attempts for the Horned Frogs (5-0, 1-0 MWC), who racked up 346 yards on the ground. Dalton also picked up 67 yards on 10 carries and completed just 11-of-24 passes for 109 yards in the victory.

Colorado State (1-4, 0-1) was coming off a 36-34 win over Idaho last week, but managed a mere 161 yards of offense and eight first downs in this one. The Rams had scored just 19 points in losses to Colorado, Nevada and Miami-Ohio before last week’s game.

Pete Thomas threw for 116 yards while completing 17-of-29 passes, but the Rams mustered only 45 rushing yards and were shut out at home for the first time in 13 years. John Mosure led CSU with 15 yards on seven carries.

The Horned Frogs carried only a 6-0 lead to the intermission, then finally found the end zone twice in the third quarter.

TCU immediately faced 3rd-and-1 on its first series of the second half, but a 47-yard romp by Tucker was followed by a 16-yard run by Dalton and Wesley’s eight-yard scoring jaunt to cap a five-play, 80-yard drive.

After a trade of punts, the Horned Frogs went 60 yards on eight plays for another score. Wesley started the march with a 12-yard run and finished it with a three-yard TD burst to make it 20-0 with 2:51 to play in the third.

Colorado State then fumbled on its next possession and TCU took over at the Rams’ 41, but the Horned Frogs turned it over on downs when a fourth-down pass fell incomplete.

The Rams followed by turning it over on downs with just over 12 minutes left in the game and Dalton needed only two plays to get the Frogs back in the end zone. He ran for 16 yards on first down, then found Jimmy Young with a 39-yard scoring pass for a 27-0 cushion with 11:25 remaining.

Colorado State threatened to ruin the shutout bid, marching to the TCU 26 on the ensuing possession, but Chris Nwoke fumbled and the Frogs ran out the remaining 3:55 for their first shutout of the year.

While Colorado State held TCU out of the end zone in the first half, the Rams’ offense managed just one first down in the first quarter and one more in the second. The Horned Frogs, meanwhile, drove 55 yards on their first offensive series and took a 3-0 lead on a 29-yard field goal from Ross Evans, then added a 43-yard Evans field goal early in the second to open a 6-0 edge.

Game Notes

TCU compiled 474 total yards of offense…The Rams were shut out for the first time since a 24-0 loss at Wyoming on October 21, 2006 and were blanked at home for the first time since a 24-0 setback to Air Force on September 20, 1997…TCU has won 18 consecutive regular-season games…The Horned Frogs have won the last seven meetings and lead the all-time series, 7-1.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.