Frogs trying to avoid first 0-2 start since '99

Posted Sunday, Sep. 04, 2011  comments  Print Reprints
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Of TCU's first two opponents, Air Force seemed to pose the bigger challenge for the Horned Frogs.

Now, after a season-opening loss to Baylor, the Frogs are trying to stave off their first 0-2 start since 1999.

TCU hasn't lost a conference game since November 2008 at Utah. But Air Force at home usually plays the Frogs tough, including a 20-17 TCU win in freezing conditions in 2009. TCU's last loss to Air Force came in 2007.

That situation is eerily similar to this week's. The Frogs were coming off a road loss at Texas and had to open Mountain West Conference play the following Thursday at Air Force. The Falcons won 20-17 in overtime after TCU missed a 36-yard field-goal attempt. Air Force tied the game with 5:55 remaining when Jim Ollis took an option pitch 71 yards for a score.

Andy Dalton, making his third career start, threw for 320 yards but was picked off twice, including once in the end zone in the third quarter. The Frogs also had a third-quarter field-goal attempt blocked.

Pachall's debut

TCU quarterback Casey Pachall had a hand in 34 of TCU's 48 points Friday.

Not a bad way to begin his tenure as the Horned Frogs' starting quarterback. Pachall threw four touchdowns, rushed for another and connected for two 2-point conversion passes in TCU's 50-48 loss at Baylor.

Besides a few underthrown passes and a game-ending interception, it was a solid performance from the sophomore. He finished with 251 yards on 25 of 39 passing, including touchdown tosses of 23, 1, 9 and 19 yards.

It's the fourth-best individual single-game scoring total in school history, behind 36 points by Jeff Ballard (twice) and LaDainian Tomlinson.

Key stats

6True freshmen played against Baylor, the most in Gary Patterson's 11 years at TCU. The players were wide receivers Brandon Carter, David Porter and Cam White; linebacker Deryck Gildon; nose tackle Chuck Hunter; and defensive tackle Jon Lewis.

51Consecutive games TCU had won when rushing for 167 or more yards. The streak was snapped Friday when the Frogs had 215 yards.

Moving up

Offensive line: The Frogs' inexperienced offensive line did not allow a sack and gave Casey Pachall plenty of time most of the evening. TCU rushed for a respectable 215 yards on 38 attempts, an average of 5.7 yards per carry.

Moving down

Cornerbacks: Jason Verrett and Greg McCoy took turns getting burned by Baylor receivers. But in their defense, Bears quarterback Robert Griffin III placed two of his five touchdown passes in indefensible spots, making a pass breakup nearly impossible.

Stefan Stevenson, 817-390-7760

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