A historic night at Amon G. Carter Stadium was capped with a win for the history books.
TCU coach Gary Patterson, already a football legend on the Horned Frogs' campus, made it official Saturday evening.
TCU's 56-0 drubbing of Grambling State gave Patterson his 110th career win, surpassing Dutch Meyer's school record that had stood for 60 years.
A sellout crowd of 45,112 helped Patterson (110-30 in 12 seasons at TCU) celebrate and usher in a new era with the first game at the renovated stadium. And the Frogs helped make it a special night with a historically dominating performance.
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No. 20 TCU outgained the Tigers 531 total yards to 70 and had a 26-5 first-down advantage. That's the fewest yards the Frogs have allowed since holding Northern Illinois to 60 yards in the 2006 Poinsettia Bowl.
"If you were going to script a first ballgame this is the way we'd want to do it," Patterson said. "To be here is really kind of amazing. To be a part of something where you're going into a new conference, a new stadium, and to get a chance to follow a legend and break that record. It's obviously pretty neat."
Patterson wasn't the only one setting records.
Quarterback Casey Pachall was a perfect 9 for 9 passing for 201 yards and three touchdowns. His backup, Trevone Boykin, played the entire second half and completed all eight of his passes. TCU's 17 for 17 night broke Iowa's 2002 FBS record. Freshman Deanté Gray broke a 65-year school record with 160 punt return yards. Gray began the rout with a 70-yard scoring return 1:59 into the game.
TCU's offense moved 75 yards in seven plays and took a 14-0 lead on Waymon James' 1-yard run after the defense had forced its second 3-and-out. On the first play of the Tigers' third possession, safety Elisha Olabode returned an interception 28 yards for a touchdown to put the Frogs up 21-0 seven minutes into the game.
"I saw a few of my teammates saying let's go, I just ran and followed them and they led the way. It was a great feeling," Olabode said.
Pachall connected for touchdown passes of 21, 12 and 66 yards as TCU built a 42-0 lead by halftime.
"We've been talking about not playing down to other team's level," Pachall said. "Everybody in the locker room had the right mindset from the get-go."
After the game Patterson was surprised by TCU chancellor Victor Boschini, who handed him a football-shaped crystal trophy for his milestone win. Current and former players surrounded him on the field as he thanked the crowd. Patterson's parents and other family members attended the game, which helped make the moment especially emotional for him.
"This happened because of a whole lot of people, not just because of me," said Patterson, before thanking his coaching staff and former mentors such as Dennis Franchione. "To watch all this happen is just spectacular."
"Fort Worth raised me as a head coach," he said later during his postgame news conference. "There was a lot of people in my past to help get me to that point, but Fort Worth raised me. I was emotional. There's a lot to it."
Patterson arrived as a defensive coordinator in 1998 under Franchione and was selected TCU's head coach in December 2000. He began his 12th season Saturday with a career-defining record. He thanked Fort Worth for helping making him the coach he has become.
"In a couple more years I'll be here [in Fort Worth] as long as I was in Rozel, Kansas," Patterson said of his hometown. "This has become home."
But Patterson, not unexpectedly, was quick to turn his attention to next week's Big 12 Conference opener at Kansas. The Jayhawks lost to Rice on a last-second field goal Saturday.
"We have too much in front of us to think about it too long," Patterson said.
His players were not surprised by their coach.
"Knowing him this is just the start," said defensive end Stansly Maponga, who had one of three TCU sacks. "He's probably just going to celebrate tonight but he'll be ready to go tomorrow. It's a great accomplishment. I'm happy for him."