BYU (3-2, 1-0) did everything they needed to do and then some to pull out the upset victory over TCU (3-1, 0-1) in Fort Worth, Texas. John Beck threw for 323 yards and 3 touchdowns and came through in key 3rd down situations to pull off the 31-17 victory.
The Cougars struck first with a 21-yard field goal in the first quarter by Jared McLaughlin to put the Cougars up 3-0. The Horned Frogs then drove right down to the BYU 15-yard line when David Nixon hit Ballard on a blindside sack causing the ball to pop out, and BYU pounced on it.
After a long drive, BYU was able to punch the ball in from eight yards out with a swing pass from Beck to Manase Tonga putting the Cougars up 10-0. TCU was able to score with four seconds left in the half by a 36-yard field goal credited to Chris Manfredini as BYU went into the half with a 10-3 advantage.
BYU would not look back. On third down and 10 in the third quarter, Beck hit Michael Reed on the sideline and Reed broke a tackle and took the ball for a 40 yard touchdown to put the Cougars up 17-3. Undaunted, TCU clawed back with a couple of third and long conversions that were capped off by Horned Frog quarterback Jeff Ballard hitting a wide open Brent Hecht for a 2-yard TD pass on 3rd and goal.
BYU then took over the game as Beck hit Matt Allen for another third down touchdown strike that cover 26 yards. Beck then put the game away at 31-10 with a 4-yard lob to Jonny Harline in the corner of the end zone.
The win was made sweeter for the Cougars by how they did it. Texas Christian actually won the numbers game, out-gaining the Cougars 29 – 21 in first downs and putting up 437 total yards to BYU's 393. TCU also controlled the ground game as the Cougar defense surrendered 153 yards rushing to TCU's Jeff Ballard and Aaron Brown. The TCU defense held BYU to just 73 yards rushing.
Michael Reed led all BYU receivers with 4 receptions for 69 yards and 1 TD. BYU had 5 receivers with over 40 receiving yards on the day.
Said Beck: "TCU is a great football team, they deserve to have that winning streak and we give them a lot of respect, however we have always known the potential that we have. This win is huge for us as far as momentum goes, last year we were 1-3 going into league play, this year we are 3-2. We have that confidence."
BYU now takes on SDSU in Provo next Saturday as the Cougars look to avenge a 31-10 loss in San Diego last season.
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