And then the "Beat Baylor" Horned Frogs showed up, and the Utes looked every bit as bad against them as the Bears did. Utah crossed midfield once-- fifty minutes into the "game." Ute DE Christian Cox summed it up: "My bishop won't be happy, but we got our ass kicked." No, Christian, he won't be, and not because you cussed.
The quarterback duel was like a continuation of the '09 meeting between Dalton and Wynn, only better for Dalton, and worse for Wynn. Andy Dalton threw (arguably) the best game of his career, completing 80.8% of his passes to nine different receivers for 355 yards and 3 touchdowns. His offensive line allowed zero sacks, and thoroughly thumped Utah's defense. The other quarterback on the field, Jordan Wynn, had an abysmal day, overthrowing receivers, throwing to the Horned Frogs, and generally looking out of his depth from the get-go. Wynn's line could not keep Frog defenders away from its quarterback.
Speaking of defense, the Frogs' D was simply ferocious. Defensive end Wayne Daniels said, "We tackle well. We cover well. We frustrate quarterbacks." That was Jordan Wynn Saturday. While sacking him just once, TCU defenders were in his face all day, and when he did complete a pass, tackled with authority. Tanner Brock was everywhere, including toting the rock for 57 yards, just a few steps shy of a score. Also notable was D.J. Yendrey's performance in the trenches in his second career start. The sophomore could not be exploited for ground yards in Kelly Griffin's absence.
Josh Boyce, Jimmy Young, and Jeremy Kerley were key pieces for the Frogs. The trio combined for 15 catches, 278 receiving yards, 3 receiving touchdowns and one touchdown pass. Boyce's 93-yard catch and scamper was the longest Frog play since early 2003, and the third-longest in TCU history.
And history is smiling on TCU. When last playing for a Rose Bowl berth, Sam Baugh's Frogs lost a nail-biter to SMU, in the depths of the Great Depression. This year, the Frogs met their toughest challenge en route to Pasadena, and couldn't have played a better game. If the national championship is not available for the taking, the Grandaddy of Them All will be a splendid consolation. Bring on the Buckeyes.