Scores

Final

(25) TCU 35

(1-1, 1-0 Big 12)

Air Force 19

(1-1, 0-1 MW)

Coverage: NBC Sports Network

3:30 PM ET, September 10, 2011

Falcon Stadium, Usaf Academy, CO

1 2 3 4 T
#25TCU 14 7 14 035
AFA 0 3 6 1019

Top Performers

Passing: C. Pachall (TCU) - 206 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: M. Tucker (TCU) - 16 CAR, 95 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: J. Boyce (TCU) - 5 REC, 76 YDS

TCU bounces back from loss to wallop Air Force

Associated Press

AIR FORCE ACADEMY, Colo. -- The 25th-ranked TCU Horned Frogs brushed off their Baylor blues in a big way, routing Air Force 35-19 Saturday.

"It's big," Horned Frogs defensive end Jon Koontz said. "We had two tough games on the road against two tough opponents. We would have liked to get that one in Waco but as long as we could come back and get this one, that's definitely better than going back home 0-2."

TCU's 18th straight win in the Mountain West Conference tied the record set by BYU from 2006-08.

The Horned Frogs (1-1), who haven't lost a league game since 2008, were efficient in all phases in bouncing back from a stunning 50-48 loss at Baylor last week that ended their BCS-best 25-game regular-season winning streak.

"We always knew we were a good team, even after last week," TCU quarterback Casey Pachall said. "But this win gives us a lot more confidence knowing what we can do and what we can't do and it's going to help us in the future."

TCU rebounded without its star running back and top tackler, as tailback Ed Wesley (shoulder) and linebacker Tanner Brock (foot) didn't make the trip.

"I feel like this gives us real character, the guys stepping in and stepping up," Pachall said. "With them being out, our mentality didn't change. Our mentality coming in was to come in and get after it."

Wesley was replaced by Matthew Tucker, who scored on a 1-yard leap and a 3-yard run in the first half as TCU built a 21-0 lead. Tucker finished with 95 yards on 16 carries, and Waymon James rushed 13 times for 55 yards and a TD.

"We needed this because everybody had been down," Tucker said.

Kenny Cain replaced Brock at strongside linebacker and was one of three defenders who made his first career start. He had a career-best seven stops and was joined by newcomers Trent Thomas at safety and Kevin White at cornerback in the shuffled lineup.

"We had some of our 2s come in and there was no drop-off," linebacker Tank Carder said. "I think that's the key. That's what you look for."

The backups helped stifle Air Force's vaunted option offense.

Air Force (1-1), which had its five-game winning streak snapped, fancied itself a contender for the MWC crown but now will face an uphill climb in the conference, which loses the Horned Frogs to the Big East in 2012.

"They took it to us pretty good on both sides of the ball," Falcons wide receiver Jonathan Warzeka said.

The Falcons were driving on their opening possession when running back Wes Cobb's illegal chop block thwarted their momentum. Then, Koontz sliced through to stuff quarterback Tim Jefferson on fourth-and-3 at midfield.

"It stopped their drive, stopped their momentum," Koontz said.

Air Force coach Troy Calhoun said he went for it there because he figured "it might help us later in the game if we were able to keep their defense on the field a little bit, especially early."

"It didn't work," he said.

Not much of anything went right for the Falcons.

The fourth-down stop set up a 49-yard touchdown drive capped by Luke Shivers' 3-yard TD catch from Pachall, who completed 20 of 25 passes for 206 yards and two TDs.

The Falcons got on the board with a last-second field goal before halftime and carried that momentum out of the tunnel when they forced the Frogs into a three-and-out to start the third quarter.

Travaras Battle punched the ball out of punt returner Mikel Hunter's hands, however, and Greg Burks recovered it at midfield, a takeaway TCU turned into a touchdown eight plays later.

"I feel like I let my defense down the most," Hunter said. "They had gone out there and worked hard to get a three-and-out and gain momentum and then that happened."

TCU turned the turnover into points on Pachall's 21-yard TD connection with freshman David Porter, his second score on just three catches this season.

David Baska gained 34 yards on a fake punt and, one play later, Warzeka took the pitch from his quarterback, pulled up and hit Zack Kauth in stride for a 32-yard touchdown, the senior flanker's second career TD toss.

"I'm 2 for 2 against TCU with touchdowns, but obviously the scoreboard says it all," Warzeka said. "I don't know if we thought we were a little bit better than we were, but we just didn't come out to play today and I think it showed.

"Thankfully we have this week off to regroup," he added. "We'll take this week just to rebuild ourselves."

Calhoun pulled Jefferson, who went for precautionary X-rays after the game, and replaced him with Connor Dietz in the third quarter.

Although Dietz led the Falcons on a cosmetic scoring drive in the final minute, Calhoun chose to go for a field goal on fourth-and-goal from the 4 with 8:18 left in the game and his team trailing by 24 points.

"Frankly, I didn't feel real confident about us being able to knock it in at that point," Calhoun said.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
TCU
AFA
1st Downs2416
Total Yards410416
Passing206167
Rushing204249
Penalties6-506-55
3rd Down Conversions9-167-15
4th Down Conversions1-11-2
Turnovers12
Possession32:3927:21

Passing Leaders

TCUC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Pachall20/252068.220
Air ForceC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Jefferson9/15835.500

Rushing Leaders

TCUCARYDSAVGTDLG
Tucker16955.9222
James13554.2113
Air ForceCARYDSAVGTDLG
DeWitt34816.0044
Clark7466.6033

Receiving Leaders

TCURECYDSAVGTDLG
Boyce57615.2023
Hicks5438.6021
Air ForceRECYDSAVGTDLG
Kauth24120.5132
Freeman5387.6016

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERTCUAFA
TD06:13Luke Shivers 3 Yd Pass From Casey Pachall (Ross Evans Kick) 70
TD01:09Matthew Tucker 1 Yd Run (Ross Evans Kick) 140
SECOND QUARTERTCUAFA
TD05:35Matthew Tucker 3 Yd Run (Ross Evans Kick) 210
FG00:00Parker Herrington 37 Yd 213
THIRD QUARTERTCUAFA
TD09:04David Porter III 21 Yd Pass From Casey Pachall (Ross Evans Kick) 283
TD07:02Zack Kauth 32 Yd Pass From Jonathan Warzeka (Two-Point Conversion Failed) 289
TD01:32Waymon James 4 Yd Run (Ross Evans Kick) 359
FOURTH QUARTERTCUAFA
FG08:18Parker Herrington 22 Yd 3512
TD00:04Connor Dietz 1 Yd Run (Will Conant Kick) 3519