Scores

Final

(19) TCU 62

(8-0, 5-0 Big 12)

Houston 55

(5-3, 2-2 American)

8:00 PM ET, October 25, 2003

Robertson Stadium, HOUSTON, TX

1 2 3 4 T
#19TCU 21 7 17 1762
HOU 3 21 16 1555

TCU wins, but gives up 684 yards

HOUSTON (AP) -- TCU stayed perfect without looking it.

Brandon Hassell threw for 375 yards and four touchdowns as the No. 15 Horned Frogs (8-0, 5-0 Conference USA) remained one of Division I-A's three undefeated teams despite allowing 684 yards, committing 12 penalties and letting a freshman quarterback run roughshod over them.

"A lot of people probably think I'm going to be down because we didn't play well defensively," coach Gary Patterson said. "But I'm really excited about our offense. I've been saying all along if we could get everybody healthy our offense would be OK."

Not quite everyone was healthy. Quarterback Tye Gunn missed the game with a strained groin, but backup Hassell replaced him in style. Along with Robert Merrill, who rushed for 204 yards and a touchdown, Hassell led TCU to a school-record 782 yards against the Cougars (5-3, 2-2).

Hassell, who has started before, said he didn't feel much pressure to perform.

"I didn't figure we'd have to score 62, but I figured we had to put points on the board because everybody had talked about Houston's offense," he said.

Indeed, TCU's victory overshadowed the effort by Houston's Kevin Kolb, who went 17-of-36 for 434 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 144 yards and another score. He became at least the fourth player in Division I-A history to throw for 400 yards and run for 100 in a game.

His favorite target, Brandon Middleton, had six catches for 232 yards and two TDs.

"We think we can hang with anybody as long as we play like we did tonight," Kolb said. "We play as a team and I think we're still coming together as a team."

The Horned Frogs joined top-ranked Oklahoma and No. 2 Miami as the only Division I-A teams to emerge from the weekend unbeaten. They also kept alive their slim chances for a major bowl bid out of a minor conference -- unlike No. 12 Northern Illinois, whose record got its first blemish earlier in the day with a 34-18 loss to No. 23 Bowling Green.

The TCU fans in attendance began chanting "BCS! BCS!" at game's end, referring to the Bowl Championship Series that determines participation in the major postseason games.

"All I know is we're 8-0," Patterson said. "I'll let everybody else tell you about that stuff."

Each side alternated scoring on the first seven possessions of the second half, with TCU taking a 52-40 lead early in the fourth quarter on a 2-yard run by Kenny Hayter.

The Frogs finally got some breathing room when Kolb fumbled to start a drive and Bo Schobel recovered for TCU. Hassell made the Cougars pay on the next play, finding Quentily Harmon for a 20-yard scoring pass and a 59-40 lead.

The Cougars made a late push when Vincent Marshall ran a lateral 36 yards down the right sideline and Jackie Battle punched in the 2-point conversion with 1:22 left. TCU bobbled the ensuing onside kick but recovered at the bottom of a pile on the wet field, and the offense ran out the clock.

"In the six years I've been here, this is probably the worst defensive effort I've had," Patterson said. "But I blame it on me. I didn't get them ready."

TCU's onslaught surpassed the previous team record of 736 yards the Frogs put up at the Astrodome in 1990 during a 56-35 loss to Houston. That also had been the most yardage Houston had given up until Saturday.

Lonta Hobbs ran for 102 yards and a score for TCU and Cory Rodgers caught six passes for 171 yards and two touchdowns and added a 1-yard TD run. Hassell, who was 17-for-27, also ran for 66 yards.

Marshall had five receptions for 106 yards and a score for Houston.

The Frogs shot to a 21-3 first-quarter lead, highlighted by Hassell-to-Rodgers scoring connections of 48 and 60 yards and a juggling catch by Reggie Harrell in the end zone.

But Kolb, a freshman whose numbers all were career highs, kept Houston alive and his 48-yard scoring pass play to an uncovered Middleton down the left side late in the second quarter cut TCU's lead to 28-24 at halftime.

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Team Stat Comparison

 
TCU
HOU
1st Downs3627
Total Yards782684
Passing375434
Rushing407250
Penalties12-937-65
3rd Down Conversions10-167-14
4th Down Conversions0-02-2
Turnovers13
Possession36:3223:28

Passing Leaders

TCUC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTQBR
Hassell17/2737513.940-
HoustonC/ATTYDSAVGTDINTQBR
Kolb17/3643412.140-
Moore0/100.001-

Rushing Leaders

TCUCARYDSAVGTDLG
Merrill222049.3158
Hobbs221024.6119
HoustonCARYDSAVGTDLG
Kolb1414410.3132
Marshall13636.0136

Receiving Leaders

TCURECYDSAVGTDLG
Rodgers617128.5260
Harrell38628.7165
HoustonRECYDSAVGTDLG
Middleton623238.7255
Marshall510621.2157

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERTCUHOU
TD11:30CORY RODGERS 48 YD PASS FROM BRANDON HASSELL (NICK BROWNE KICK)
Drive info: 6 plays, 67 yards.
70
FG9:25DUSTIN BELL 23 YD FG
Drive info: 5 plays, 63 yards.
73
TD6:07CORY RODGERS 60 YD PASS FROM BRANDON HASSELL (NICK BROWNE KICK)
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yards.
143
TD2:24REGGIE HARRELL 6 YD PASS FROM BRANDON HASSELL (NICK BROWNE KICK)
Drive info: 5 plays, 77 yards.
213
SECOND QUARTERTCUHOU
TD12:57BRANDON MIDDLETON 55 YD PASS FROM KEVIN KOLB (DUSTIN BELL KICK)
Drive info: 2 plays, 58 yards.
2110
TD8:41CORY RODGERS 1 YD RUN (NICK BROWNE KICK)
Drive info: 11 plays, 80 yards.
2810
TD4:59KEVIN KOLB 14 YD RUN (DUSTIN BELL KICK)
Drive info: 10 plays, 77 yards.
2817
TD2:22BRANDON MIDDLETON 48 YD PASS FROM KEVIN KOLB (DUSTIN BELL KICK)
Drive info: 4 plays, 61 yards.
2824
THIRD QUARTERTCUHOU
TD12:14ROBERT MERRILL 4 YD RUN (NICK BROWNE KICK)
Drive info: 8 plays, 66 yards.
3524
FG8:10DUSTIN BELL 35 YD FG
Drive info: 11 plays, 65 yards.
3527
TD7:42LONTA HOBBS 1 YD RUN (NICK BROWNE KICK)
Drive info: 2 plays, 66 yards.
4227
TD6:44JACKIE BATTLE 10 YD RUN (FAILED 2PT PASS)
Drive info: 4 plays, 62 yards.
4233
FG2:20NICK BROWNE 19 YD FG
Drive info: 10 plays, 63 yards.
4533
TD1:43HARRISON ARCENEAUX 44 YD PASS FROM KEVIN KOLB (DUSTIN BELL KICK)
Drive info: 3 plays, 71 yards.
4540
FOURTH QUARTERTCUHOU
TD12:50KENNY HAYTER 1 YD RUN (NICK BROWNE KICK)
Drive info: 9 plays, 80 yards.
5240
TD12:35QUENTILY HARMON 20 YD PASS FROM BRANDON HASSELL (NICK BROWNE KICK)
Drive info: 1 plays, 20 yards.
5940
TD9:43VINCENT MARSHALL 8 YD PASS FROM KEVIN KOLB (DUSTIN BELL KICK)
Drive info: 9 plays, 63 yards.
5947
FG6:44NICK BROWNE 20 YD FG
Drive info: 7 plays, 70 yards.
6247
TD1:22VINCENT MARSHALL 36 YD RUN (JACKIE BATTLE 2PT RUSH)
Drive info: 5 plays, 69 yards.
6255