TCU's Dismantling of BYU Makes Utah New Best Non-Automatic Bid Candidate

JeremySenior Writer IOctober 18, 2008

That loud noise south of Salt Lake is BYU fans yelling in horror after getting crushed against TCU Thursday, 32-7. This game was not even close; this night, TCU could have beaten anyone in the country—and that includes Texas, LSU, Alabama, and anyone else ranked in the top 25.

The start of the game with the early turnover and then the 4th-and-1 miscue gave way for TCU winning. The BYU offensive line, which had only given up two sacks all year, gave up six in this one. Turnovers hurt BYU with four on the game, and that first series is where the game seemed in TCU’s favor.

Max Hall was sacked and fumbled the ball, and then on the next play TCU had a 25-yard touchdown pass, then BYU went three-an-out, but was lucky to recover the punt that bounced off a TCU player. Three plays later, BYU had a 4th-and-1 at the TCU 27, so the Cougars were within field goal range, but decided to run an off-tackle play by Harvey Unga, which did not net the one yard needed.

TCU then drove down the field to go up, 14-0—right then is when most people felt BYU had already lost the game. Who knows what would have happened if BYU kicked and made the field goal. Not to say I told you so, but I pointed back in the Utah State game recap that the BYU secondary and its overall defense was vulnerable.

TCU had the much better athletes and the Cougars were just outplayed and outcoached, which is what was said by coach Bronco Mendenhall in the postgame press conference. TCU did show some trickery by running wide receiver Jeremy Kerley out of the shotgun for a direct snap, which worked multiple times.

One thing to figure out about TCU is whether this was a one-time performance or can TCU continue this type of success, but don't forget that the week early TCU escaped, 13-7, over Colorado State. Also, TCU Coach Gary Patterson had a BYU helmet on a tackling dummy and kept saying to his squad how important this game is, because of how good BYU has been the past two years.

Next week when TCU plays Wyoming, we will see if the Horned Frogs come out and destroy the Pokes. The loss by BYU opens things up for Utah to be the new clubhouse leader for a BCS bid from a non-automatic qualifier, plus this loss ruins what could have been a historic Holy War with two undefeated teams in the top 10.