TCU Shuts Out UNLV, 41-0
Oct. 31, 2009
It was another dominating performance for the sixth-ranked Horned Frogs (8-0, 4-0 Mountain West), who for now are in position to be this season's BCS buster.
TCU won its 10th consecutive game overall, and 12th in a row at home - a span at Amon Carter Stadium in which the Frogs have outscored their opponents by an average margin of 43-9 since a loss to Utah two years ago. The 19th-ranked Utes will be in Fort Worth in two weeks.
UNLV (3-6, 1-4) never challenged the Horned Frogs, a week after a 38-7 victory at BYU boosted them to sixth in the Bowl Championship Series standings and past Boise State, the only other undefeated team from a non-BCS conference.
Boise State (8-0) beat San Jose State 45-7 on Saturday, the Broncos' eighth consecutive victory since losing to TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl last December.
UNLV managed only 160 yards, 40 of it coming on a run by backup quarterback Mike Clausen, and was shut out for the first time in 69 games - since losing 7-0 to San Diego State on Nov. 8, 2003. A week ago, the Rebels ended a 20-game Mountain West road losing streak that dated to 2005 with a 34-17 win at New Mexico.
It was TCU's sixth shutout victory at home since 2003.
Despite two lost fumbles, TCU led 17-0 early in the second quarter when Wesley took a handoff to the left, ran into a defender and reversed all the way to the other side of the field, where he found an open lane and sprinted for a 59-yard touchdown.
Wesley caught a 21-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, that coming five plays after Ryan Wolfe muffed a punt, to make it 34-0.
Wolfe, the NCAA's active career leading receiver, was held to a season-low five catches for 25 yards.
Ross Evans kicked the first of his two field goals, a 29-yarder, on TCU's opening drive.
It was 10-0 when Dalton hit Antoine Hicks for a 75-yard TD late in the first quarter. It was the seventh TD (four receiving, three rushing) in 17 touches this season for Hicks, who caught the ball near the UNLV 45 and broke a tackle.
Jeremy Kerley, who returned punts for touchdowns in the previous two home games, caught a 14-yard TD pass to cap the opening drive of the second half after he had a 43-yard kickoff return.
That made up for Kerley's fumble in the first quarter, when he initially was ruled down before UNLV coach Mike Sanford challenged the call. Officials overturned it after a review.
Dalton lost the ball when he was stripped trying to pick up more yards after a 17-yard pickup later in the first quarter. But UNLV went three-and-out.
Dalton finished 12-of-21 passing for 178 yards, and ran eight times for 53 yards. That made him the team's fourth-leading rusher, behind Wesley (seven carries, 86 yards), Joseph Turner (10-64) and Matthew Tucker (9-59)
The Rebels punted 11 times, including their first nine possessions, before an interception ended a drive.