Saturday, September 4, 2010

TCU stops Beavers by 9 in 2010 opener

Quarterback Andy Dalton passed football legend Sammy Baugh as the winningest quarterback in school history Saturday night, leading the 6th ranked TCU Horned Frogs to a 30-21 win over the 24th ranked Oregon State Beavers in the 2010 Cowboys Classic tonight in front of 46,148 at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

After going nowhere in their first possession, the Beavers caught a break when Lance Frazier picked off a pass and returned it to the TCU 31. Two plays later, Ryan Katz found a streaking James Rodgers down the middle for a 30 yard touchdown catch and run. Justin Kahut kicked the extra point and with 2:56 gone in the opening quarter of the season, Oregon State had a 7-0 lead.

Horned Frogs' quarterback Andy Dalton hit a long bomb for 52 yards to Skye Dawson on their next possession to get the ball to the Beaver 10. On third and goal from the 7, Dalton went straight out of the pocket then turned left and easily scored. Ross Evans kicked the PAT and with 7:18 left in the first, the game was tied 7-7.

Oregon State would eat up real estate on their next possession against some stiff resistance by the Horned Frogs' defense. After the drive broke down at the TCU 30, Kahut came on to kick a 47 yard field goal but missed wide left by a bunch with 2:15 left in the first, leaving the game tied 7-7.

On the first possession of the second quarter, the Beavers were faced with 4th and 1 at their own 44. Johnny Hekker, a former high school quarterback, threw a bullet out of punt formation to Jordan Poyer along the left side line, good for 23 yards and a first down. On the next play, Katz found Jordan Bishop just across the goalline from 34 yards out, putting OSU back on top. Kahut's PAT made it 14-7 Beavers, with 2:03 gone in the second.

The Frogs came right back, grinding out a long drive, culmination in a Dalton to Jeremy Kerley 1 yard touchdown pass. Evans made the PAT, tying the game 14-14, with 8:46 left in the first half.

TCU took their first lead of the night late in the half. Taking advantage of a short, line drive punt by Hekker and a 34 yard return by Kerley, the Horned Frogs went 23 yards in 4 plays. Ed Wesley ran the final 8 yards for the score, and with the PAT from Evans with 61 seconds left, putting  the Horned Frogs on top 21-14 at the half.

TCU had the first possession of the second half and marched deep into Oregon State territory, but turned the ball over when Dwight Roberson stepped in front of a Dalton flip pass intended for Evan Frosch at the 13, putting a screeching halt to a 12 play, 72 yard drive by the Horned Frogs, that run 7:08 off the clock to start the third quarter.

After Katz nearly threw an interception on the next play, the Beavers regained their composure, taking 7 more plays to travel 87 yards. On first-and-10 from the 17, Jacquizz Rodgers ran 16 yards around the right side, before being forced out at the 1. He then went in standing up and untouched on the next play for the touchdown. Kahut's PAT tied the game 21-21, with 5:33 to go in the third.

TCU would then grind their way to another touchdown on their next possession, with Dalton pushing his way in from the 3 for his 17th career touchdown and the go ahead score. Evans kicked the PAT, putting the Frogs back on top 28-21, with 1:11 still to play in the third.

TCU was running clock with a solid, ball-possession offense, but Roberson, who intercepted a pass that led to the Oregon State third quarter touchdown, made a diving deflection of a pass, forcing the Horned Frogs to punt. The kick was taken by James Rodgers on a fair catch at his own 18, giving the Beavers the ball with 4:18 remaining.

Disaster struck on the first play, as Katz changed the play at the line, then had the snap of center Alex Linnenkohl sail over his head while he was still calling signals for the new play. Katz reached the ball just shy of the goal line and kicked the ball out of the endzone for a safety, pushing the TCU lead to a two-score advantage, 30-21, with 4:14 still on the clock in regulation time.

The Horned Frogs got great field possession on a short free kick and drove deep into Oregon State territory, but most importantly, ran the rest of the time off the clock, winning the game 30-21.

For TCU, Andy Dalton, who quarterbacked his team to victory for the 30th time in his career, was 17-of-27 passing for 176 yards,1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. He was sacked once, and rushed the ball 15 times for 62 yards and 2 touchdowns. Ed Wesley led all rushers with 136 yards on 17 carries, while adding a touchdown. Jeremy Kerley caught 6 balls for 48 yards and a touchdown, while Skye Dawson had 4 catches for 69 yards. For the Beavers, Ryan Katz, in his first career start, was 9-of-25 passing for 157 yards and 2 touchdowns, while getting sacked twice. Jacquizz Rodgers rushed 18 times for 75 yards and 1 touchdown, James Rodgers caught 4 passes for 73 yards and a touchdown and Jordan Bishop's only reception in the game went for a 34 yard touchdown. The Horned Frogs' Ross Evans kicked 4 PATs and Anson Kelton punted 4 times for a 42.0 average. For Oregon State, Justin Kahut kicked 3 PATs and missed his only field goal attempt, while Johnny Hekker, who completed 1 pass for 23 yards, punted 5 times for a 44.4 yard average for the Beavers.

TCU had 31 first downs, turned the ball over twice and rolled up 454 yards in total offense. The Horned Frogs were a sparkling 11-of-17 on third down and ran the ball for 278 net yards, while being penalized 6 times for 45 yards. The Beavers had 270 total yards, 13 first downs, 0 turnovers and rushed for just 90 yards. They were penalized 4 times for 30 yards.

Oregon State, who are now 0-5 in September games against ranked teams in the 2000s, start the season 0-1 for the 4th time in the past 11 seasons, have next Saturday off, before hosting the Louisville Cardinals on September 18th at Reser Stadium in Corvallis. Kickoff is set for 5:30pm EDT, with TV coverage on Fox Sports Northwest, and radio coverage on the Beaver Sports Network. TCU takes their 1-0 record to their regular home in Fort Worth (Where they play 5 of their first 8 games in 2010) next Saturday against Tennessee Tech. Kickoff is set for 7:00pm EDT.

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