No. 15 TCU beats SMU 24-16
Casey Pachall threw two touchdown passes, Jason Verrett had two interceptions and No. 15 TCU extended its FBS-best winning streak to 12 games by beating SMU 24-16 on Saturday night.
TCU (4-0) has won 11 of 13 over SMU and regained the Iron Skillet trophy, which goes to the winner of the Dallas-Fort Worth rivalry. The Horned Frogs' previous loss came last season at home to the Mustangs (1-3).
The game was played in a heavy rainstorm. The rain picked up in intensity around kickoff and never relented as the game progressed.
TCU's Matthew Tucker scored two touchdowns in the first half that capped drives of less than 10 yards.
The Horned Frogs jumped out to a 21-10 halftime and held on despite gaining 27 yards of offense in the second half and 156 overall.
SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert threw five interceptions, including one by Verrett on a desperation pass to end the game. The Mustangs turned the ball over six times.
Zach Line had a 21-yard touchdown run in the second quarter for the Mustangs, which lost for the second time this season to a state rival from the Big 12. Baylor beat SMU 59-24 in the season opener on Sept. 2.
The Horned Frogs committed 13 penalties for 140 yards, including seven personal foul calls. TCU also botched two snaps to the punter in the fourth quarter.
Punter Ethan Perry couldn't field a low snap, giving SMU the ball at the TCU 35. Gilbert hooked up with Der'rikk Thompson for a touchdown on the next play, cutting the deficit to 24-16 with 2:08 left.
The Mustangs had one last chance when they got the ball at their own 33 with 1:06 left. They moved the ball 9 yards before Verrett intercepted Gilbert's Hail Mary attempt.
Pachall, who came into game leading all FBS quarterbacks in passing efficiency, was 10 of 26 for 107 yards. Tucker rushed for 56 yards and Josh Boyce added 42 yards receiving for the Horned Frogs.
TCU's only points in the second half came on Jaden Oberkrom's 43-yard field goal early in the fourth.
Gilbert was of 15 of 40 for 190 yards, but his receivers dropped at least six passes.
TCU safety Chris Hackett recovered Line's fumble at the SMU 41 to set up Pachall's 10-yard touchdown pass to LaDarius Brown.
Elisha Olabode intercepted Gilbert and returned it 51 yards down to the 8. Three plays later, Pachall found a wide open Tucker on a 2-yard scoring toss.
After picking up only 4 yards of offense in the first quarter, the Mustangs put together their only substantial drive.
Gilbert hit 4 of 5 passes for 56 yards and Line finished off an 86-yard drive with his touchdown. The big back broke three TCU tackles and then skipped over another on the way to his third score of the season.
Skye Dawson returned a punt 64 yards down to the 4, and Tucker scored on the next play to extend TCU's advantage to 21-7 with 2:11 left in the first half.
Chase Hover kicked a 29-yard field goal just before halftime to bring SMU within 21-10.
The rain caused problems for both teams as TCU head coach Gary Patterson braved the elements without any kind of rain jacket or slicker.
SMU receivers had three drops on its first two possessions of the game.
Tucker slipped twice making cuts on consecutive running attempts, and TCU's holder couldn't handle a snap on a field goal attempt in the third quarter.
The Mustangs had a scoring chance early in the fourth when Perry mishandled a snap, and SMU's Austin Fuller picked up the loose ball at the 1. After Line was stuffed and Gilbert was sacked, the Mustangs threw two incompletions into the end zone to squander the opportunity.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.