Utah now 10-0 overall, was down 10-6 with a little under 3 minutes left to play in the game. Senior quarterback Brian Johnson drove the Utes 80-yards, capping off the drive with an inside slant touchdown pass to wide receiver Freddie Brown for an eventual 13-10 victory. Under head coach Gary Patterson, TCU is now 50-1 when allowing 17 points or less.
"No one panicked. we just hung in there," Utah coach Kyle Whittingham said after the game. "Nothing came easy but the guys toughed it out and they came up with big plays each time we needed them."
The Horned Frogs record dropped to 9-2 overall and 6-1 in the Mountain West Conference. They set up Utah's eventual scoring drive by missing two field goals in the last 6 minutes of the game. Freshman kicker and Lou Groza Semi-Finalist Ross Evan's first attempt from 26-yards was knocked off the left upright. After TCU forced a three and out, Evans missed again this time pushing it to the right from 35-yards out.
Appearing on the TCU ISP Sports Radio Network after the game, Coach Gary Patterson could not fault his team's effort.
"That was a good TCU football team. I told them in the locker room that I was proud of them. We found ways in all three phases, but we just didn't find a way to make the play in the last five minutes."
Utah improved to 5-1 all-time against TCU. The Utes remains a perfect 5-0 in school history in games when both teams are ranked.
While it seemed hard for the Frogs to punch anything into the red zone, TCU did manage to accumulate over 416 total yards of offense. Senior running back Aaron Brown had 15 carries for 106-yards while junior tailback Ryan Christian added 46-yards on 12 carries.
TCU sophomore quarterback Andy Dalton passed for over 250 total yards tonight, but struggled mightily at times in the ball game. Dalton went 16-37 with 2-interceptions and no touchdown passes. He was also sacked on multiple occasions taking the Frogs out of field goal range. Much was made throughout the week on Dalton's performance last year against the Utes. A freshman at the time, in that game Dalton had 4-interceptions.
TCU came into the game as the most penalized team in the nation, and they lived up to suit again. The Frogs were flagged eleven times for 70-yards, but the timing of the penalties was the problem. On more than one occasion, TCU's false starts made a good 1 down play null and void.
TCU will now take 16 days off before playing their last conference game at home against Air Force. Air Force is currently 7-2 overall and have Colorado State, BYU, and TCU on their remaining schedule.
"The key to it is that we are going to try to get these seniors 10 wins," said Coach Patterson after the game.
If Patterson can get the seniors to 10 wins this season, in their four-year careers they would have won 40 games.
If it's any consolation to the TCU players, coaches, and fans the school can still win the Mountain West Conference. If TCU beats Air Force in two weeks and BYU beats Utah in the final week of the MWC play, the Frogs will be co-champs with the Utes and Cougars.
BigPurpleNation.com will have more on this game tomorrow!