FORT WORTH You'd have to take out a microscope to find much positive about BYU's performance in a 32-7 loss to TCU on Thursday night.
But Harvey Unga did gain 53 yards rushing on 14 carries (3.8 ypc) against the nation's No. 1 defense against the rush a unit that had been giving opposing teams just 20 yards a game.
TCU caught Unga for a loss just once. BYU's fumble on its first possession, combined with TCU's offensive firepower early, forced the Cougars into a catch-up game and took away using Unga's legs to churn at the Frogs and try to get into fewer third-and-long situations.
Austin Collie, who didn't catch a pass in the first quarter, registered his fifth straight 100-yard reception game with six catches for 116 yards. He caught a bomb of 49 yards from Hall in the fourth quarter.
Of course, none of that ended up important.
"We started to run early, as first it seemed we could, but then we got back to the old passing game and our run game lost intensity; it just lost its umph," said Unga.
"TCU is a good team, they came out and outplayed us in every aspect of the game," said Unga. "We obviously didn't play to our potential as a championship team. This is just a huge learning experience. We can either come out and stumble or get ourselves better."
Unga said nobody is going to lay down for the Cougars.
"Everybody is going to come gunning for us, and I think they fought that way tonight," he said. "We have to put that in perspective from tonight nobody is going to give us anything, we have to fight for everything we have and refocus."
Like Unga and the rest of his teammates, Collie was extremely disappointed.
"Honestly, the only thing I can say is they outplayed us on both sides of the ball. They were well prepared to play us. I don't think we prepared ourselves well enough to play these guys and it showed," Collie said.
The star junior receiver said losing a shot at a BCS bowl and an undefeated season doesn't matter right now and the Cougars shouldn't make that an issue over the weekend.
"We need to regroup and win out from now on, and that's our goal," he said. "We're all going to have to lean on each other. This Band of Brother things has to really come into effect. We can't point fingers, we can't blame each other or say it is that person's fault or that side's fault. We didn't play as a team and we lost. We have to know that and go on and push on together."
Collie said it was frustrating to drive down the field and not score in the second half.
He came off the field after the Cougars got their first touchdown, a 2-yard run by Max Hall, and screamed to the offense, "Man, this is battle. That first touchdown was a war; we had to fight for every yard out there."
Collie said the team didn't come in thinking they were unprepared but they were.
"TCU came out here and played hard like they had a chip on their shoulder and they did that every play," Collie said.
"We just got to get back on our horse and play hard now and see what happens."51 comments on this story
Unga said he missed the team flight to Dallas over a minor infraction playing flag football with some friends."It was a minor mistake. Obviously I didn't understand all the rules," he said. "It was settled. I appreciate all those who got it settled. Appreciate all the people, our people and the NCAA who worked to get it settled. It wasn't a big thing."