9 - 56 Final
  for this game

No. 18 TCU routs UNLV to keep BCS hopes alive

Dec 4, 2011 - 12:00 AM Fort Worth, TX (Sports Network) - Waymon James ran for two of TCU's six rushing touchdowns, leading the 18th-ranked Horned Frogs to a 56-9 whipping of UNLV on Saturday.

Matthew Tucker rushed for 55 yards and one score, while Ed Wesley, Casey Pachall and Matt Brown also ran for touchdowns for the Horned Frogs (10-2, 7-0 MWC), who won their third consecutive Mountain West Conference championship.

"For us, to win a championship outright was important," TCU head coach Gary Patterson said. "We didn't really get anyone banged up which is a big deal because of the possible short turnaround for bowl season. That was the way you want to finish a ball game."

Pachall threw for 185 yards on 15-of-22 passing, while Brandon Carter caught four passes for 80 yards and Greg McCoy returned a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown.

The Horned Frogs still have hopes of earning a BCS bowl game bid after Houston's shocking loss to Southern Mississippi in the Conference USA Championship game. TCU must finish in the top 16 of the BCS Standings to get a bid.

Nolan Kohorst accounted for all of UNLV's points with three field goals, while Bradley Randle rushed for 71 yards on 14 carries.

Taylor Barnhill struggled under center for the Rebels (2-10, 1-6), throwing for 48 yards and one interception on 4-of-12 passing.

UNLV opened the scoring midway through the opening quarter with a 39-yard field goal by Kohorst to cap a five-play, 32-yard drive, but TCU came right back on its next drive to take a 7-3 lead when Pachall rushed for an eight- yard touchdown to finish off a nine-play, 55-yard drive.

The Horned Frogs extended their lead to 14-3 with 7:07 to go in the second quarter when Pachall led a six-play, 59-yard drive to the UNLV 10 before James sprinted across the goal line.

On the ensuing UNLV drive, the Rebels were pushed backwards for three plays and faced a 4th-and-12. Deryck Gildon blocked the punt and recovered the ball on the UNLV 32.

From there, the Horned Frogs needed only one play -- a 32-yard touchdown sprint by Tucker -- to take a comfortable 21-3 lead with over five minutes to play in the second quarter.

A 43-yard field goal by Kohorst on the Rebels next drive made it 21-6, but TCU came up with a huge special teams play on the ensuing kickoff as Chase Lansford's 69-yard boot was returned 99 yards to paydirt by McCoy to give the Horned Frogs a 28-6 lead.

TCU's defense made another big play on the first play of UNLV's ensuing drive as Barnhill was picked off by Kris Gardner, who took it back 16 yards for the touchdown and a 35-6 lead at halftime.

After the break, the Horned Frogs continued the offensive barrage, scoring two more touchdowns in the third quarter to balloon the lead to 49-6.

The first score of the quarter came on TCU's first possession of the second half, as Pachall led a 10-play, 74-yard march to the UNLV two, before James pushed his way into the end zone.

The second score of the quarter came on the Horned Frogs' next possession as they moved the ball 81 yards in eight plays before Wesley ran in for a nine- yard score on 1st-and-goal with under four minutes to play in the third stanza.

Early in the fourth quarter, Kohorst was good on a 29-yard field goal -- his third of the day -- to make it 49-9, but TCU responded with another touchdown under three minutes later when Brown ran for a six-yard score to cap an eight- play, 60-yard drive to finish off the scoring.

"We were in the game and playing hard and fairly well but any time we match up with TCU's speed, skill and athletic ability, you are holding your breath every time the ball goes out," UNLV head coach Bobby Hauck said. "They're awfully good. In a game like this where you are the underdog, you have to get touchdowns and not field goals. When you get those back- to-back scores that really takes the wind out of your sails."

Game Notes

TCU leads the all-time series with UNLV, 9-1, and has won the past eight consecutive meetings...TCU will head over to the Big 12 next season...TCU finished with 385 yards of total offense, while UNLV racked up only 164 yards of offense...The Horned Frogs' defensive ended the day with three sacks...TCU converted 8-of-12 third down chances, while UNLV went 0-for-15 on third down.