Football Finishes Strong With 62-7 Rout Of SMU
By JAIME ARON
DALLAS (AP) - Although LaDainian Tomlinson sealed his second straight NCAA rushing title, went over 2,000 yards for the season and had a 74-yard touchdown run, he was only a bit player Nov. 24 as No. 13 Texas Christian beat rival Southern Methodist 62-7.
The Horned Frogs (10-1, 7-1 WAC) hardly needed Tomlinson as they scored six straight touchdowns in the second and third quarters.
The scoring streak actually went nine straight as a 43-yard field goal was followed by a 34-yard touchdown pass on fourth-and-4 and a 108-yard kickoff return by LaTarence Dunbar. College rules, however, credit him with a 100-yard return.
Casey Printers highlighted the rout with a career-high four touchdown passes. He also ran for a touchdown. Printers tied his career high with 251 yards passing and set another career-best with 90 yards rushing.
The blowout was a nice way for TCU to earn a share of the conference title and reach 10 wins for the first time since 1938, when it went 11-0 and won the national championship.
These Horned Frogs lost their shot at going to a BCS game by losing to San Jose State earlier this month. They're headed to the Mobile Bowl on Dec. 20.
Tomlinson ran 26 times for 174 yards, giving him 2,158 yards this season (No. 4 all-time) and 5,263 yards in his career (No. 6 all-time). He's the eighth player to reach 2,000 in a season and he joined former Texas star Ricky Williams as the only members of the 2,000-5,000 Club.
Despite the lopsided score, Tomlinson got his final carry in the fourth quarter. The 8-yard gain pushed him 4 past Herschel Walker on the all-time list.
TCU called timeout after the play and Tomlinson walked slowly to the bench. With his helmet off, he waved to the crowd - which included his mother, father, brother and sister seeing him play together for the first time - and was greeted at the sideline by the entire team, led by coach Dennis Franchione.
SMU (3-9, 2-6) had one of its most humiliating performance since coming off the death penalty - although it wasn't their largest margin of defeat since then. Texas A&M beat the Mustangs 65-6 in '91 and Houston won 95-21 in '89.
What made this one so bad was that SMU did not get a first down for the first 22 minutes, 10 seconds. It took another nine minutes for the next one. The Mustangs had just 10 in the game, or two fewer than TCU had touchdowns.
SMU's only highlight was seeing Eric Dickerson get his No. 19 jersey retired at halftime.
While many of the Mustangs' woes were self-induced, the Horned Frogs' defense still put an exclamation point on their claim as the country's stingiest defense. TCU lowered its already national-best numbers to 9.6 points per game and 245 yards per game.
TCU also enjoyed the widest win in the 82-game history of the rivalry. This was the last time the teams met as conference rivals as TCU is joining Conference USA next season. The schools have agreed to continue playing through at least 2004.
The Horned Frogs' band even got in on the humiliation, dropping fertilizer in the shape of the letters TCU on SMU's new $54 million stadium during its halftime
show. The prank was payback for a similar stunt by the Mustangs' band last year.