TCU's official entry to the Big 12 is only a month away now, and though the Big 12 has always seemed like the promised land to TCU fans, the Mountain West years have been good to the Frogs. So every day until the Big 12 becomes official Frogs O' War will be counting down its staff's top ten TCU sports moments in our Mountain West tenure. Number ten was beating Oklahoma in 2005, number nine was the 2010 Fiesta Bowl, number eight was TCU's winning every Mountain West Championship in baseball, number seven was TCU's three consecutive Mountain West Championships in football, number six was the 2011 TCU/Boise State football game, and number five is the 2010 football game against Utah.
It was a battle of top five teams as the #3 ranked Horned Frogs strolled into Salt Lake City to take on #5 Utah (#5 vs. #6 in BCS.) The hype built all week long. ESPN’s College Gameday was broadcasting outside of Rice-Eccles Stadium. It was billed as the biggest game in Mountain West Conference history. The second largest crowd in Utah school history was on hand. The Utes had the black out in full effect. Everyone thought it would be the game of the week, but really…it was over after the first quarter.
The Frogs were on a mission in 2010. Coming off a disappointing showing in the Fiesta Bowl, the group of seniors led by Andy Dalton didn’t want the taste of defeat in their mouth as long as they were a part of the program, and they didn’t. The 2010 matchup against the Utes was the biggest of the season at that point, and the Frogs never let up for one minute. Hell, TCU was up 40-0 at the beginning of the 4th. It was total domination.
It all started on the first drive when Andy Dalton connected with Josh Boyce for a 26 yard touchdown pass. It continued on the Frogs third possession when Dalton connected with Boyce once again for a 93 yard quick strike TD. The first quarter excitement wasn’t over though. With :31 left in the first, Jeremy Kerley hit Bart Johnson for a 26 yard touchdown pass to put the Frogs up 20-0 heading into the 2nd quarter. At half time the Frogs had outgained Utah in yardage 328-72 en route to a 23-0 lead. All that was left was the crying at that point because TCU never looked back.
TCU outgained Utah in total yardage (558-199), first downs (23-11), turnovers (1-4), and pretty much every other statistical category you could think of. The final score was 47-7 and it wasn’t even that close.
Obviously the Rose Bowl is the defining moment of the 2010 season, but I feel this game really set this group of Frogs apart from every other. Utah had a 21 game winning streak on the line, the Utes always play tough at home, and the Frogs simply went in there and took care of business. It was one of Dalton’s best games in a purple jersey. The Red Rooster finished 21-26 for a career high 355 yards and 3 touchdowns. Josh Boyce racked up 142 yards receiving and reeled in 2 touchdown passes.
It was as close to flawless as you could be in a football game. The loss hit Utah so hard that they turned around the next week and lost to a mediocre Notre Dame team 28-3. It would not matter though because the Frogs went on to bigger and better things.