No. 3 TCU Holds On For 40-35 Win Over San Diego State

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TCU Vs. San Diego State: Second Half Surge Falls Short As TCU Wins Close One

After blowing a 14-0 lead and falling behind 37-14, could San Diego State still have a chance to knock off TCU? Improbably, yes.

The Aztecs have kept on throwing and shrinking TCU's advantage, and finally found some chinks in the TCU defense in the fourth quarter, as Ryan Lindley connected with Vincent Brown for two long touchdown passes to cut the Horned Frogs' lead to 40-35. It's more done with one dimension than TCU is accustomed to permitting: the Aztecs have had the ball for less than 20 minutes of game clock and have just 38 rushing years, but scored more points on the nation's best scoring defense than any other team this season.

In fact, in six games since September, TCU had allowed just 23 points; the Aztecs nearly had that in today's second half.

But the big hole the Aztecs tried to climb out of proved too much to overcome, especially because TCU can run the ball. The Horned Frogs did that effectively against the Aztecs when the game was on the line, running out the clock with a grinding drive and securing a five-point win that is their closest of the season. San Diego State becomes just the latest team to do a lot, but not enough, on Scare Saturday.


TCS Vs. San Diego State: Jeremy Kerley Has Three Touchdowns, And The Aztecs Have No Chance

Well, at least San Diego State kept it close for a while.

TCU's scored 34 straight points, finishing that spurt with Jeremy Kerley's third touchdown catch of the day. It's a nice explosion from the Horned Frogs, who haven't scored more than 50 against an FBS foe this year, but it's also an implosion from the Aztecs.

Since going up 14-0, San Diego State has five three-and-outs, and has gained just 22 yards. There's no way the Aztecs win by doing that going forward — in fact, there's probably no way they stay within 30 points if they can't get a first down for the rest of the day.

But this is how good TCU is: just when it looks like luck and lulls might saddle the Horned Frogs with a shootout, the defense turns its ferocity up to 11 and the offense begins to execute efficiently. That's how a 34-14 halftime lead is built, and that's how BCS contenders conduct themselves.


TCU Vs. San Diego State: Jeremy Kerley's Second Touchdown Extends Lead To 27-14

Hey, remember when San Diego State looked like it might have a chance to make a game of their date against TCU today? That moment has passed.

TCU just scored its fourth touchdown of the day — on Andy Dalton's third TD throw of the day and Jeremy Kerley's second six-point catch — and the Horned Frogs have run off 27 straight points since going down 14-0. This is bad news for the Aztecs.

It's not that San Diego State can't hang in there against good teams. Their near upset against Missouri earlier this year is proof enough that the Aztecs have some fight. But TCU is better than Missouri, and San Diego State never trailed by 13 in that game.


TCU Vs. San Diego State: Horned Frogs Finish Drive On Ground, Lead 20-14

Across the nation, people on couches are saying, "That's more like the TCU we've watched all season."

After falling behind and rallying behind a passing game that has been the lesser half of their offense this season, the Horned Frogs turned to the ground attack to take back the lead. Waymon James dragged a defender around the corner and scored on a nine-yard rush to finish a six-play, 63-yard drive that included just one passing play.

If San Diego State's 14-0 spurt to start this game was promising, a 20-point run by TCU may presage doom. And the Aztecs' offensive output in the second quarter has been nearly nonexistent: on six plays, San Diego State has just 13 yards.

It's almost as if the 14-0 lead the Aztecs took was built on the unsustainable foundation of one big play and a fluky moment of defensive brilliance or something.


No. 3 TCU Vs. San Diego State: Horned Frogs Getting Game From Aztecs

San Diego State isn't a bad team, not nearly. But a team that can score 14 points on TCU in the first quarter? No one saw that coming in, and so the tight Mountain West conference game the Horned Frogs and Aztecs are locked in comes as a bit of a surprise.

The Aztecs raced out to a 14-0 lead with a 49-yard bomb from Ryan Lindley to Vincent Brown that set up a short touchdown run and a fierce rush that got a strip-sack of Andy Dalton in the TCU end zone and recovered for a touchdown. Those 14 points are the most TCU has allowed in a game since September.

Since, though, TCU has rallied, coming up with two touchdowns of its own. And the points have come through the air: Dalton has thrown for both scores, one to Jeremy Kerley and one to Logan Brock. The Horned Frogs may need more from him going forward, as they have negative-10 rushing yards so far.

They'll also need more points to even tie this game up. Ross Evans missed the game-tying extra point, and San Diego State still has a 14-13 lead in Fort Worth entering the second quarter.

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