FORT WORTH, Texas -- All week, TCU coach Gary Patterson could tell his team was lacking emotion following an upset win over Boise State.
They proved him right against Colorado State on Saturday, yet he couldn't get too angry about it because his No. 19 Horned Frogs cruised to a 34-10 victory to clinch at least a share of the Mountain West title.
Antoine Hicks, Ed Wesley and Matthew Tucker ran for touchdowns and Tank Carder returned an interception 69 yards for a touchdown, helping TCU (9-2, 6-0) keep alive its hopes of going to a second straight BCS bowl game.
"We just went through the motions in that ballgame, the whole game," Patterson said. "If you want to be champions and a top 15 program, you've got to do things the same every week. Not once in a while. Every week."
The Horned Frogs were so lackadaisical that defensive tackle D.J. Yendrey forgot in his locker the blitz card worn around his wrist (similar to what quarterbacks often use). Patterson gave a list of other examples that showed his club wasn't as sharp as he wanted them to be.
TCU was outgained in the first half, but still led 13-3 at the break. The Horned Frogs got rolling in the third quarter and were never really threatened while handing the Rams (3-7, 1-4) a sixth straight loss.
"For some reason today we came out flat," right guard Blaize Foltz said. "After all the emotion we had last week, it was pretty difficult to get back up. I'm glad we came out of the funk."
Patterson stressed that the best thing about the victory was that it was No. 45 for the senior class, setting a school record. They'll go for one more in the season finale Dec. 3 against UNLV, which also can give TCU the outright conference title.
The Horned Frogs extended their Mountain West records by winning a 23rd straight league game and 16th straight league game at home. However, this was their second-to-last game in the conference as they're headed to the Big 12 next season.
TCU's Casey Pachall was 13 of 20 for 117 yards, and Waymon James had 108 yards rushing. Tucker ran for 94 yards and Wesley for 63. Hicks' 2-yard TD came on his only carry.
CSU coach Steve Fairchild tried sparking his team with a new uniform combination. They wore gold jerseys, which he lets them do once a year, and white pants. A team historian said that ensemble had never been done before.
CSU's Garrett Grayson, a true freshman making his first start because of an injury to Pete Thomas, was 14 of 24 for 248 yards and a touchdown plus the interception by Carder. He also ran eight times for 53 yards.
Grayson's touchdown came a few snaps after the interception. This time, he rolled right to avoid an unblocked blitzer, saw Raymond Carter alone beyond the defense and let loose a pass that covered nearly 50 yards in the air. Carter caught it around the 20 and stepped into the end zone for a 66-yard touchdown. Alas, the Rams were down 27-3 at the time.
"To ask a true freshman to come down here and make his first start, I thought he looked calm," Fairchild said. "He can escape in the pocket, which adds a dimension in the passing game. There were some designed runs, as well."
Chris Nwoke followed his 232-yard rushing performance last week by rushing for 60 yards on 21 carries.
Fairchild said he was proud of his team's effort. They hung tough against a ranked team on the road, as opposed to their 50-point loss to Boise State at home last month.
"If they had even remotely not been playing hard this thing would have been a rout (early)," Fairchild said. "They believe they are a good football team. I think we played a good football team with a good record. We're a good football team; we just don't have a good record."
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... Tank Carder's 69-yard interception return in the third quarter gave TCU some room.
Gameball goes to... Matthew Tucker ran for 94 yards and one of TCU's three rushing scores.
Stat of the game... 408. Colorado State outgained TCU in total yardage 408-372 but also had more turnovers.