Quantcast

BYU football: 'It just hurts' — Quest for perfection ends as TCU defense manhandles Cougars

Published: Saturday, Aug. 1 2015 9:05 p.m. MDT

BYU's Max Hall fumbles the ball after being hit by TCU's Jerry Hughes as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play Thursday night in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU won, 32-7. ((Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU's Max Hall fumbles the ball after being hit by TCU's Jerry Hughes as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play Thursday night in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU won, 32-7. ((Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
FORT WORTH — BYU's quest for an undefeated season came to an unceremonious end Thursday night against TCU.
BYU quarterback Max Hall is hit TCU's Jerry Hughes, forcing a fumble in Thursday night's game. Hall was sacked seven times (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU quarterback Max Hall is hit TCU's Jerry Hughes, forcing a fumble in Thursday night's game. Hall was sacked seven times (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
So did a lot of other things — such as the No. 9 Cougars' top 10 ranking, a nation-leading 16-game winning streak, a 18-game Mountain West Conference winning streak, and, almost certainly, their shot at a BCS bid. The fast, athletic and inspired Horned Frogs jumped out early and didn't let up in a 32-7 rout over BYU at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
BYU defender Scott Johnson, right, tackles TCU's Aaron Brown as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play in a Mountain West Conference football game in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU defender Scott Johnson, right, tackles TCU's Aaron Brown as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play in a Mountain West Conference football game in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
"It just hurts. The BCS, winning streak, when you get beat 30-something to seven, that stuff doesn't matter," BYU defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen said. "When you have high expectations like our team has and as hard as we worked to get better, it just feels horrible."
BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall watches his team play against TCU as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play in a Mountain West Conference football game in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall watches his team play against TCU as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play in a Mountain West Conference football game in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
TCU (7-1, 4-0), which had lost two in a row in this series took out a couple of years' frustration on BYU (6-1, 2-1).
BYU's Max Hall throws a pass against TCU as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play in a Mountain West Conference football game in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU's Max Hall throws a pass against TCU as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play in a Mountain West Conference football game in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
"BYU has been the top team in our conference the last two seasons and our guys have been focused on them since January," said Horned Frog coach Gary Patterson. "We really wanted to come out and be the best TCU football team that we could be and I think we did that. We knew it would be a big stage, and we got some breaks and turnovers, and it worked out well for us."
BYU's Harvey Unga, left, tries to run with TCU defenders hanging on him as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play in a Mountain West Conference football game in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU's Harvey Unga, left, tries to run with TCU defenders hanging on him as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play in a Mountain West Conference football game in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
"I was very impressed with TCU tonight," said BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall. "Coach Patterson had his team more prepared than I had our team. They were sharper in every phase of the game and executed at a higher level from beginning to end. That comes down to simply coaching and preparation. We're looking forward to learning a lot from this game. There are many things to learn. I don't think we played to our potential in any phase of the game."
BYU coaches watch their team fall farther behind to TCU in the first half as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play in a Mountain West Conference football game in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU coaches watch their team fall farther behind to TCU in the first half as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play in a Mountain West Conference football game in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
The loss marked BYU's worst defeat since a 49-23 loss at Notre Dame in 2005. It was the Cougars first setback since falling at Tulsa, 55-47, on Sept. 15, 2007, and it was their first MWC loss since losing to Utah, 41-34, in 2005.
BYU defenders Brett Denney, top, and Jan Jorgensen take down TCU's Jeremy Kerley as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play in a Mountain West Conference football game in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU defenders Brett Denney, top, and Jan Jorgensen take down TCU's Jeremy Kerley as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play in a Mountain West Conference football game in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
Nobody in Provo is disputing that TCU's defense is best in the nation. The Horned Frogs entered the game ranked No. 1 in total defense, rush defense and sacks and they were mighty impressive against the Cougars, who had been rated No. 8 in the country in passing.
BYU's Andrew George, left, hangs on to a pass while being hit by TCU's Steven Coleman as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play in a Mountain West Conference football game in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU's Andrew George, left, hangs on to a pass while being hit by TCU's Steven Coleman as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play in a Mountain West Conference football game in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
TCU sacked quarterback Max Hall seven times, forced four turnovers and limited the Cougars to just 297 yards of total offense, including 23 yards rushing.
BYU fans can only stand and watch their team fall farther behind TCU as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play in a Mountain West Conference football game in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU fans can only stand and watch their team fall farther behind TCU as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play in a Mountain West Conference football game in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
"I take a lot of responsibility (for the loss)," said Hall, who threw two interceptions. "They were fast and they got to me. The bottom line is they were strong and they forced me into some bad decisions. I thought that I had been fairly good at handling the pressure, but tonight it just got to me. TCU deserves a lot of credit for their performance."
TCU's Rafael Priest, left, knocks away a pass intended for BYU's Michael Reed during the Cougars' Mountain West Conference football game against the Horned Frogs in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday night. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) TCU's Rafael Priest, left, knocks away a pass intended for BYU's Michael Reed during the Cougars' Mountain West Conference football game against the Horned Frogs in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday night. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
"It was frustrating," said BYU receiver Austin Collie, who caught six passes for 116 yards. "We had to fight for every yard that we got. It was a battle out there. The drive that we scored on was, honestly, a war. It is hard. It is disappointing."
BYU fan Scott Phillips, a student at Baker College in Texas, watches during the Cougars' Mountain West Conference football game against the TCU Horned Frogs in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday night. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU fan Scott Phillips, a student at Baker College in Texas, watches during the Cougars' Mountain West Conference football game against the TCU Horned Frogs in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday night. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
Meanwhile, TCU quarterback Andy Dalton, who had been sidelined the previous two games due to a knee injury suffered against Oklahoma, outplayed Hall. He completed 12 of 19 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns.
TCU defender John Fonua (90) raises the ball into the air after recovering a BYU fumble during the Cougars' Mountain West Conference football game against the Horned Frogs in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday night. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) TCU defender John Fonua (90) raises the ball into the air after recovering a BYU fumble during the Cougars' Mountain West Conference football game against the Horned Frogs in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday night. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
To change things up, Patterson inserted wide receiver Jeremy Kerley at quarterback early in the game. On the Frogs' second series, Kerley took a direct snap and ran for 23 yards. A few plays later, the speedy sophomore took another direct snap and scored on a 16-yard touchdown that gave TCU a 14-0 lead.
BYU's Austin Collie makes a catch over TCU's Rafael Priest as the No. 9 Cougars fall to the Horned Frogs on Thursday night to end their undefeated season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU's Austin Collie makes a catch over TCU's Rafael Priest as the No. 9 Cougars fall to the Horned Frogs on Thursday night to end their undefeated season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
"(Kerley) got us on our heels," Mendenhall said. "We were slow in adjusting."
BYU receiver Austin Collie, left, makes a rare catch over TCU's Rafael Priest during the Cougars' Mountain West Conference football game against the Horned Frogs in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday night. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU receiver Austin Collie, left, makes a rare catch over TCU's Rafael Priest during the Cougars' Mountain West Conference football game against the Horned Frogs in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday night. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
"We wanted to come with some surprises against a team like this," Kerley said. "I'm not taking anything away from them because they are a good football team, but I think we played with some explosion tonight and caught them a little off-guard. This is college football and it is a crazy game. Any team can lose at any time and any team can pull out a win at any time."
Matt Tomlinson, a BYU fan from Salt Lake City, watches sadly as the final minutes tick away during the Cougars' Mountain West Conference football game against the TCU Horned Frogs in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday night. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) Matt Tomlinson, a BYU fan from Salt Lake City, watches sadly as the final minutes tick away during the Cougars' Mountain West Conference football game against the TCU Horned Frogs in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday night. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
It became apparent early on that this would not be BYU's night. On the Cougars' opening drive, on the fourth play from scrimmage, Hall was almost intercepted by TCU linebacker Daryl Washington, who bobbled the ball before dropping it. Had he been able to hold on, he would have scored a touchdown.
TCU's Nick Sanders makes his second interception of the game in the end zone to help the Frogs beat BYU. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) TCU's Nick Sanders makes his second interception of the game in the end zone to help the Frogs beat BYU. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
But the Horned Frogs didn't have to wait long for their first score anyway, as two plays later, Hall was blindsided by defensive lineman Jerry Hughes and fumbled the ball away to Matt Panfil. It was the first of three first-half sacks by Hughes.
TCU's Nick Sanders, right, tries to return an interception in the end zone as BYU's Austin Collie chases him during the Cougars' Mountain West Conference football game against the Horned Frogs in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday night. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) TCU's Nick Sanders, right, tries to return an interception in the end zone as BYU's Austin Collie chases him during the Cougars' Mountain West Conference football game against the Horned Frogs in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday night. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
Following a pass interference call on Cougar cornerback Brandon Howard, Dalton connected with Jimmy Young for a 25-yard touchdown strike for a quick 7-0 lead.
BYU players and coaches leave the field after the Cougars' Mountain West Conference football game against the TCU Horned Frogs in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday night. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU players and coaches leave the field after the Cougars' Mountain West Conference football game against the TCU Horned Frogs in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday night. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
BYU turned the ball over again on a Hall interception late in the first quarter that TCU cashed in on in the form of a field goal to take a 17-0 advantage.
BYU quarterback Max Hall runs off the field after the Cougars' Mountain West Conference football game against the TCU Horned Frogs in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday night. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News) BYU quarterback Max Hall runs off the field after the Cougars' Mountain West Conference football game against the TCU Horned Frogs in Forth Worth, Texas, Thursday night. TCU won 32-7 to hand BYU its first loss of the season. (Scott G. Winterton, Deseret News)
Meanwhile, the Frog offense had its way with the Cougar defense, marching on 72-yard and 94-yard touchdown drives in the first half. At intermission, TCU seized a commanding 23-0 lead after a missed extra point.
TCU's Jerry Hughes admires the view after sacking BYU quarterback Max Hall in the Horned Frogs' 32-7 win on Thursday. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) TCU's Jerry Hughes admires the view after sacking BYU quarterback Max Hall in the Horned Frogs' 32-7 win on Thursday. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)
The Frogs' Aaron Brown returned the opening kickoff into BYU territory and TCU added a field goal to go up 26-0. On the ensuing possession, the Cougars finally got on the scoreboard with 4:26 remaining in the third quarter on a 15-play, 72-yard drive, capped by a two-yard run by Hall. Trouble was, the drive took 7:07 off the clock.
BYU's Dennis Pitta, right, makes a catch for a first down and is brought down by TCU's Stephen Hodge as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play football Thursday night in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU won, 32-7. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) BYU's Dennis Pitta, right, makes a catch for a first down and is brought down by TCU's Stephen Hodge as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play football Thursday night in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU won, 32-7. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)
TCU answered by scoring another touchdown four minutes later to make it 32-7. BYU turned the ball over deep in TCU territory on its next two possessions, which pretty much summed up the night for the Cougars.
BYU's Fui Vakapuna looks back after fumbling as the Cougars and TCU Horned Frogs play football Thursday night in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU won, 32-7 (Tom Smart, Deseret News) BYU's Fui Vakapuna looks back after fumbling as the Cougars and TCU Horned Frogs play football Thursday night in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU won, 32-7 (Tom Smart, Deseret News)
Though disappointed with the loss, BYU coaches and players pointed out the season isn't over.
BYU quarterback Max Hall throws a pass. The pass was intercepted by TCU's Nick Sanders as the Cougars and TCU Horned Frogs play football Thursday night in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU won, 32-7. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) BYU quarterback Max Hall throws a pass. The pass was intercepted by TCU's Nick Sanders as the Cougars and TCU Horned Frogs play football Thursday night in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU won, 32-7. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)
"It's tough. It's a conference game but we have to get over it," said linebacker David Nixon. "There's still half the season left and we can't let this get us down. We still have a lot of football left. We can still accomplish some of our goals if we continue fighting. We know we have a good team. We didn't show it tonight, but we have a good team. We're going to get better, I promise you that."

BYU's Kellen Fowler tries to tackle TCU's Joseph Turner in the second quarter as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play football Thursday night in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU won, 32-7. (Tom Smart, Deseret News) BYU's Kellen Fowler tries to tackle TCU's Joseph Turner in the second quarter as the Cougars and Horned Frogs play football Thursday night in Fort Worth, Texas. TCU won, 32-7. (Tom Smart, Deseret News)

E-mail: jeffc@desnews.com

Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company