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Utah Utes football: Firm believers in TCU's talent

Published: Sunday, Nov. 15 2009 2:06 a.m. MST

TCU wide receiver Bart Johnson scores a touchdown against Utah during the Horned Frogs' big victory Saturday.   (August Miller, Deseret News) TCU wide receiver Bart Johnson scores a touchdown against Utah during the Horned Frogs' big victory Saturday. (August Miller, Deseret News)

FORT WORTH — And now, the latest in the short list of little guys with big plans: TCU.

"As a head coach five years, that's probably the best team we've faced," said Utah coach Kyle Whittingham.

TCU moved its record to 10-0, 6-0 in the Mountain West Conference, with Saturday's 55-28 win over Utah. Thus, the countdown begins. Rated No. 4 in the BCS standings, the Horned Frogs must beat only Wyoming and New Mexico to complete and undefeated season.

"I really believe this team can play with anybody," said TCU coach Gary Patterson.

Regarding the fact that there are still some undefeated teams ahead of TCU, vying for the national title, Patterson said, "Every week, somebody gets upset."

It has been, on all accounts, a great year for the Frogs. They are on a 12-game win streak, their longest since a 13-game run that lasted from the last 10 games of 2005 through the first three games of 2006.

They went into Saturday's game as one of just six undefeated teams. Their start is their best since they won the national title in 1938.

In the early going, this year, TCU's offense was slightly suspect, scoring just 14 points at Clemson and 20 at Air Force. But the Frogs have outscored their last five opponents by a combined score of 233-53.

Before Saturday, Utah seemed to have TCU's number. The Utes are the only team in the Mountain West with an all-time winning record against it (5-2), including wins in the previous three games.

Nevertheless, the Frogs left no doubt on Saturday. They rolled to a 35-7 lead, dominating the Utes on both sides. In the first half alone they ran up a whopping 309 yards total offense and seven touchdowns. They finished with 549 yards nicely balanced total yards — 342 rushing and 207 passing.

"They're great," said Ute linebacker Stevenson Sylvester. "They're a really good team. I give them all the credit in the world."

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