Quick Hits: TCU 27, Virginia 7
Instant analysis of the Horned Frogs' win over the Cavaliers.
TCU Won. The Horned Frogs jumped out to a 14-0 lead and held serve the rest of the way, forcing three Virginia turnovers for good measure. TCU quarterback Casey Pachall connected for three touchdown passes to three different receivers, bringing his season total to eight in three games with only one interception.
Why TCU Won. The offense was fine, racking up 438 yards with another solid afternoon from Pachall. But the headlines still belong to the Horned Frog defense, which –- despite losing three of last year's top four tacklers and breaking in seven new starters –- has allowed only one touchdown over the season's first three games. Virginia, after coming up empty on four previous trips into TCU territory, finally broke through in garbage time on a 5-yard scoring pass from backup quarterback Phillip Sims to E.J. Scott but it was far too little, too late to make any difference in the outcome.
The Cavaliers' earlier opportunities were almost singlehandedly thwarted by linebacker Kenny Cain, who helped end one promising UVA drive by pouncing on a fumble by Perry Jones and stopped two others with a pair of interceptions at the expense of quarterback Michael Rocco.
When TCU Won. Before Cain's second interception, Virginia was threatening the Horned Frogs' 17-0 lead with a strong drive into TCU territory to open the second half in search of a score to keep the game within reach. But on third-and-8 from the TCU 32-yard line, Cain stepped in front of Rocco's pass and took it back 40 yards to the UVA 31. That set up a 47-yard field goal by Jaden Oberkrom that extended the lead to 20-0 and effectively put the Cavaliers away.
What TCU Won. The Horned Frogs haven't been dominant the last two weeks, but they are 3-0 without breaking a significant sweat and remain on track for a 7-0 start before running into a gauntlet of the Big 12's heaviest hitters -- Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Kansas State, Texas and Oklahoma -- in consecutive weeks in late October and November.
What Virginia Lost. The Cavaliers were easily handled by a respectable opponent for the second week in a row, after barely escaping an upset at the hands of Penn State in Week 2. Sims probably didn't do enough in the fourth quarter to generate a full-blown quarterback controversy. But if the offense continues to struggle next week against Louisiana Tech, Rocco might find himself looking over his shoulder.
That Was Crazy. Early in the fourth quarter, TCU receiver <strong>Skye Dawson</strong> fumbled away a would-be touchdown that subsequently rolled out of the back of the end zone. That's the second consecutive week that the Frogs have had an apparent touchdown turn into a touchback following a goal-line fumble.
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