December 28, 2007

TCU wins 20-13

HOUSTON, Texas -- TCU employed its best sieve-I-mean-prevent defense late in the fourth quarter, allowing UH to drive 78 yards before denying the Cougars on three consecutive plays, the last coming as time expired.

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Cougars pull within one score

HOUSTON, Texas -- If UH comes back to win this game, it will be because of Case Keenum's heroic efforts.

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UH misses long field goal

HOUSTON, Texas -- The UH offensive line has struggled somewhat against TCU's very powerful defensive line, as they bear some of the responsibility for Anthony Alridge's lack of success today.

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TCU threatens, settles for field goal

HOUSTON, Texas -- Beginning with a 30-yard completion to Ervin Dickerson, TCU methodically drove down the field against a UH defense that was looking a bit worn out.

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Big third-down conversion helps TCU to touchdown

HOUSTON, Texas -- Facing 3rd-and-12 from the UH 38, the Cougars got pressure to TCU quarterback Andy Dalton, but Dalton slipped one tackle before finding Jimmy Young for a 15-yard completion. Now the third quarter has ended, with TCU now facing 3rd-and-3 at the UH 16.

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TCU ties it up

HOUSTON, Texas -- After a great punt return gave the Horned Frogs excellent field position, TCU mounted a 30-yard drive before Chris Manfredini tied the game at 10-all with a 29-yard field goal.

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Another fourth down dilemma

HOUSTON, Texas -- The situation: TCU has the ball, facing 4th-and-1 at midfield. I don't have to tell you what happens next, do I?

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Halftime news and notes

HOUSTON, Texas -- One thing about college football I doubt I will ever understand: the appeal of wearing one of those God-awful hats the marching bands have.

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More broken play success

HOUSTON, Texas -- This time, Chris Thurmond's gusty fourth-down decision paid off.

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Miscues mar TCU drive

HOUSTON, Texas -- With the momentum in hand after tying the game, TCU squandered some of it on the subsequent drive.

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Workmanlike drive ties game

HOUSTON, Texas -- There wasn't anything spectacular about TCU's scoring drive that tied the game at 7-all, just a bunch of solid plays strung together.

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Broken play...touchdown Cougars

HOUSTON, Texas -- With the first quarter all but over (eight seconds left), UH quarterback Case Keenum showed why he won the starting job despite being just a freshman.

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A stark contrast

HOUSTON, Texas -- The early coaching edge goes to Chris Thurmond, at least in my book.

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As good as advertised

HOUSTON, Texas -- Gary Patterson's TCU teams have a reputation for playing very tough defense, and so far tonight they have lived up to it.

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Thurmond gusty early

HOUSTON, Texas -- The game opened on a good note for UH, with star running back Anthony Alridge returning the opening kickoff 31 yards to the 41.

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Texas Bowl pregame notes

HOUSTON, Texas -- Well, it's a beautiful evening here on the Texas Gulf Coast, not that we're enjoying it at Reliant Stadium.

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Texas Bowl preview

HOUSTON, Texas--To national observers, it looks like a matchup of a perennial mid-major powerhouse and another one on the rise. But Texans versed in the state's college football history and politics and history know no love is lost between two-time conference rivals Texas Christian University and the University of Houston.

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December 23, 2007

Thrilling Finish

LAS VEGAS - BYU added another miracle finish to its memory book this season.

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December 22, 2007

Missed Opportunity

LAS VEGAS - UCLA missed a crucial conversion while trying to drive for the lead.

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Forbath Comes Through Again

LAS VEGAS - Kai Forbath kicked his second field goals of 50 yards or longer tonight to pull UCLA within a point of BYU.

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Injuries, but no scoring

LAS VEGAS - BYU junior right guard Travis Bright broke his right leg in the third quarter and was carted off the field.

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Big Mistake By BYU

LAS VEGAS - The BYU coaching staff is kicking itself in the locker room right now.

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Collie Drawing Flags

LAS VEGAS - BYU wide receiver Austin Collie is making an impact in his bowl debut without even making a catch.

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Forbath Kick Record Worthy

LAS VEGAS - UCLA kicker Kai Forbath put his name in the Las Vegas Bowl record book with a 52-yard field goal.

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BYU Forges Ahead

LAS VEGAS - The turnover bug just came back to bite UCLA.

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BYU Kick To Tie

LAS VEGAS - BYU has tied the game at 3-3 on a 29-yard field goal by Mitch Payne near the end of the first quarter.

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New Mexico Dominates Nevada

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- New Mexico sotphomore quarterback Donovan Porterie was the offensive MPV of the New Mexico Bowl. He was 20-for-36 in passing for 354 yards and two touchdowns with one interception.

UNM senior linebacker Brett Madsen was the defensive MVP with 2.5 tackles for loss for eight negative yards. He finished with four tackles.

Quotes from University of New Mexico coach Rocky Long:
``I thought it would be be very, very close, but our team played as well as they have all year long. It we had scored in the red zone, it wouldn't have been as close as it was.

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BYU Turns It Over

LAS VEGAS - After making it a point to cut down on turnovers in the rematch with UCLA, BYU turned the ball over on its first possession when quarterback Max Hall was hit by UCLA defensive end Bruce Davis and fumbled and the Bruins recovered.

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Rematch About To Begin

LAS VEGAS - Kickoff is just a few minutes away here at Sam Boyd Stadium for the Las Vegas Bowl game between BYU and UCLA.

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December 21, 2007

There's No Quit in Navy

SAN DIEGO - There was a time when Air Force ruled the roost among service academy football programs. In fact, it was earlier this decade. That was before Paul Johnson came to Annapolis and turned Navy into a premiere non-BCS conference program. Johnson may not have been on the sideline Thursday at Qualcomm Stadium, but the players that won 17 games the last two seasons, dominated the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy and beat Notre Dame were. And they fought until the bitter end.

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Johnson a Gem in Poinsettia Bowl Win

SAN DIEGO - Brian Johnson has had expectations to deal with throughout his tenure at Utah. He took the quarterback reins from Alex Smith, a No. 1 NFL Draft pick and leader of the unbeaten 2004 Utes. In his first season, Johnson posted more total yardage than Vince Young, Matt Leinart or Reggie Bush. So in '06, Johnson entered with enormous hype, which was deflated by injury. The Johnson of '07 never quite reached the level Johnson '05 attained -- until tonight.

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December 20, 2007

Gutsy Play Calling Critical for Utes

SAN DIEGO - Kyle Whittingham lived the adage "save the best for last" in the third quarter. With literally no tomorrow, the Utes pulled out all the stops on a critical scoring drive. First a Darrell Mack four-yard rush on fourth down deep in Navy territory kept Utah's clock-eating drive alive. On the very next play, Jereme Brooks took the pitch for a 23-yard score on an end-around.

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Navy Leads, But Edge Could Be Utah's

SAN DIEGO - Surely Navy and interim head coach Ken Niumatalolo is happy to lead Utah at halftime of the Poinsettia Bowl, but a 10-7 score plays into Utah's hands. The Utes are on pace to hold one of the nation's most prolific offenses to nearly half its season average, and though Utah has only seven points to show for it, the offense has sat on the ball nearly 17 of the first 30 minutes.

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Utah Breakthrough

SAN DIEGO - It took over 100 minutes, but finally an opposing offense found paydirt against a suddently stingy Navy defense. Utah broke the scoreless tie with a clock-consuming, rush-heavy drive that culminated in a Darrell Mack two-yard scoring jaunt on third down.

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Poinsettia Bowl First Quarter

SAN DIEGO - Uncharacteristic mistakes were the story of a scoreless first quarter. Navy started off with a bang when Reggie Campbell returned the kickoff 39 yards, which was the first of a specatular play bookend. The Midshipmen also ended the quarter in style with Campbell rushing for 44 yards. That Mids' opening drive stalled out about where it started, however.

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Poinsettia Bowl Kick-Off

SAN DIEGO - An offensive juggernaut and one of the top 40 defenses in the nation: Navy and Utah could not be any more different on the stat sheet, but tonight each has the same goal -- win the 2007 Poinsettia Bowl.

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September 08, 2007

Texas wins second half, game

AUSTIN, TX -- Odds are, you won't find another football game this season with more different halves than what we saw here tonight.

19th-ranked TCU rode a dominating performance from its defense to 10-0 halftime lead.

Then 7th-ranked Texas got it all together after intermission, scoring 27 unanswered points and coasting to a 34-13 victory in front of 84,621.

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Texas delivers killshot

AUSTIN, TX -- Two interesting facts about Genus Phrynosoma:

1. No one calls them "horned frogs" in Texas. They're called "horny toads."

2. When threatened by a predator, they can shoot blood from their eyes, up to four feet in distance. Seriously.

TCU might want to try something along those lines, because they're now behind 27-10 and in danger of being squished by Texas

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Attitude Adjustment

AUSTIN, TX -- A different team came out of the Texas locker room after halftime.

The team that entered the locker room had totaled 0 points and 137 yards of total offense. The team that exited has come out and put up 17 points and 176 yards in first 16 minutes of the second half.

Early in the fourth quarter, Texas leads TCU 17-10.

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TCU D dominating in Austin

AUSTIN, TX -- TCU's defense has spent the first 30 minutes of the game befuddling Colt McCoy, shutting down Jamaal Charles, and silencing the huge, burnt-orange sea of a crowd in Royal-Memorial Stadium.

At the half, 19th-ranked TCU leads 7th-ranked Texas 10-0.

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TCU-Texas, just like old times

Here in Austin, TCU and Texas are going throwback. The long-time rivals will meet for the 82nd time, but the first since the Southwest Conference broke up following the 1995 season.

The Horns and the Horned Frogs first battled in 1897, with Texas holding a 60-20-1 lead in the series. With both teams ranked, though, tonight's game will be the biggest matchup in the series since the 1930's.

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July 23, 2007

A Little Gamble

LAS VEGAS - The NCAA might quiver at the very thought, but some of the players here have taken advantage of the media day location to try their luck at gambling.
Colorado State quarterback Caleb Hanie was the big winner among the 18 in attendance.
“I had a decent night last night,” said Hanie, who did not divulge a dollar amount. “Beginner’s luck I guess. I wouldn’t get too excited about it.”
But CSU coach Sonny Lubick is taking it as a team omen, especially after last year’s 4-8 record, including 1-7 in conference.
“Hopefully it’s a good sign to come for the year,” Lubick said.
Aaron Brown didn’t fare as well as Hanie. The TCU running back lost $100 on Sunday night playing blackjack and craps. But Brown plans to go back tonight and try to regain his losses and more.
“As a college student, I don’t need much, just a few hundred - $300, $400 - I don’t need a thousand,” Brown said. “Just enough for some extra shoes or groceries. That kind of stuff.”
BYU’s Bryan Kehl and Matt Allen played it safe and took shelter in their hotel room.
“We may venture out a little bit tonight,” Kehl said. “We will see where the night takes us. Nothing too much, just a little exploring. Coach (Bronco) Mendenhall has all-seeing eyes, so I am too scared to do much of anything.”

****

With the hot weather in Vegas, most of the players opted for casual attire like slacks and a shirt.
The best dressed clearly went to the Air Force players, who were decked out in their blue military uniform shirts sans the jacket.
TCU coach Gary Patterson sported a white shirt from The GAP, a purple tie and a huge, flashy ring from TCU’s Poinsettia Bowl victory over Northern Illinois last year.

The Vegas Scene

LAS VEGAS - The votes are in, and Mountain West Conference media members picked TCU to capture the conference title this year. Several people believe TCU can be this year’s Boise State and reach a BCS game. MWC member Utah was the first non-BCS conference team to crash the BCS bowl party in 2004.

Rank First place votes Points
1. TCU (18) 202
2. BYU (3) 178
3. Utah (2) 165
4. New Mexico 120
5. Wyoming 110
6. Colorado State 107
7. Air Force 62
8. San Diego State 56
9. UNLV 35

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