Frogs clinch MWC title share with 34-10 win

At the end of the day, the TCU football team walked off Moncrief Field with a win.

It just needed a little kickstart along the way.

Ed Wesley scored on a one-yard touchdown run and Tank Carder took an interception back 69 yards for a score, as TCU pulled away from Colorado State in the second half to bury the Rams 34-10 Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium.

With the win, the Frogs improved to 9-2 on the season and clinched at least a share of the Mountain West championship. TCU can clinch the conference title outright with a win against UNLV on Dec. 3.

But the Frogs’ victory Saturday may have been closer than the final score indicated.

After failing to score a touchdown until the 4:26 mark of the second quarter, the Frogs went into halftime with a 13-3 lead and were forced to punt on their first possession of the third quarter.

TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson said the Frogs came out flat, much like they did last year against San Diego State after beating Utah 47-7 on the road. TCU beat the Aztecs that night and beat CSU Saturday afternoon. Other than that, there’s not much more to be said, Patterson said.

“We won. Period. That’s it,” Patterson said. “We played with no emotion. We played the same way we did after coming off the Utah game a year ago. You got to get ready to play.”

TCU got the ball back on their own 12 and drove all the way to the Colorado 18-yard line before being stopped on third down and one.

But the Frogs went for it. And got it.

Casey Pachall completed a 17-yard pass to fullback Luke Shivers that gave TCU the first down and took the Frogs down to the Colorado State one-yard line. From there, it took just one play for Wesley to punch it in for the touchdown.

TCU wouldn’t let up.

Three plays into CSU’s next possession, Carder intercepted a Garrett Grayson pass and ran it back 69 yards for the Frogs’ second touchdown in two minutes. Ross Evans’ extra point was good and gave TCU a commanding 27-3 lead.

Carder said the interception was actually a result of a blown coverage. When the CSU receiver got open, Carder came off his assignment, stepped up and made the play.

“The other linebacker called my name out and I knew that he (CSU receiver) wasn’t supposed to be across, so I just came off my guy and he threw it right to me,” Carder said. “Right place at the right time.”

CSU’s only other score of the game was a 66-yard pass from Grayson to Raymond Carter in the third quarter.

Despite the Frogs big second half, Patterson said his team played with no energy the entire game and other than the seniors notching their school-record, 45th win, there wasn’t many bright spots.

“We just went through the motions in that ball game,” Patterson said. “The whole game. Tank got a pick, which is great. The seniors deserve it. The seniors became the all-time winningest class in history. Outside of that, we’ll practice tomorrow. I’ll tell you that.

TCU kicker Ross Evans made field goals of 21 and 46 yards in the first quarter for the Frogs’ first two scores of the game.

Receiver Antoine Hicks scored on a one-yard reverse with 4:26 left in the first half for TCU’s first touchdown of the game.

Pachall, who torched Boise State for 473 yards and five touchdowns last week, finished the game with just 117 yards on 13-of-20 passing.

Patterson said CSU’s pass coverage limited Pachall at times, something it did last year against the Frogs when Andy Dalton was held to just 109 yards passing.

“They stay on the top,” Patterson said. “They stay in the two-shell a lot. A lot of people do that. You got to be able to run the football. At times, we did and at times, we didn’t.”

Waymon James led the Frogs in rushing with 108 yards on 15 carries.

Matthew Tucker added 94 yards on the ground and scored on a five-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.

Patterson reiterated the fact that Saturday’s win was a win — nothing more, nothing less.

“That was a win,” Patterson said. “But it’s not one that I’m excited about. Period.”

TCU will have a bye week before hosting UNLV Dec. 3.