FORT WORTH, Texas -- BYU will need a small miracle to reach the BCS. And maybe even just to win the Mountain West Conference.
With an ironic twist of revenge, and a smothering defense, TCU made sure of that.
Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes in his return to the lineup, receiver Jeremy Kerley became a running threat and the Horned Frogs sacked Max Hall six times in a 32-7 victory Thursday night that snapped the ninth-ranked Cougars' 16-game winning streak that was the longest in major college football.
"It just hurts. The BCS winning streak, when you get beat 30-something to seven, that stuff doesn't matter," BYU defensive lineman Jan Jorgensen said. "When you have high expectations like our team has and as hard as we worked to get better, it just feels horrible."
Sort of like how TCU felt two years ago when the Cougars were last visited Fort Worth, and ended the Frogs' 13-game winning streak that was then the nation's longest.
BYU (6-1, 2-1 Mountain West) never had a chance this time. It wasn't even close, as TCU registered its biggest win ever over a Top Ten team.
"Nobody has been able to do that to BYU for a couple of years," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "No way I could have seen it coming."
Even though TCU (7-1, 4-0) had been pointing to this game since January, when a BYU logo was placed on a blocking dummy in the team weight room.
The Frogs scored on their first three drives, twice after turnovers by Hall, for a 17-0 lead -- scoring as many points in 16 minutes as BYU had allowed its last 16 quarters. That four-game stretch for the Cougars included consecutive lopsided shutouts of UCLA and Wyoming.
"It's more disappointing than surprising," BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall said. "We knew they were a very good football team. But when you make mistakes like we made against a team like that, that simply is the result."
Hall, who had been sacked only twice over the first six games, was sacked four times before halftime. His fumble, when he was sacked for the first time, set up TCU's first touchdown and he threw an interception that led to another score.
Hall finished 22-of-42 for 274 yards with two interceptions, and scored the only BYU touchdown when he scrambled to convert a fourth-and-goal from the 2 late in the third quarter. He had thrown 20 TDs with four picks before facing the Frogs.
With the first Bowl Championship Series standings coming out Sunday, the only undefeated team left in the Mountain West is No. 14 Utah (7-0), whose eight-game winning streak is tied with No. 3 Penn State and No. 7 Texas Tech for the longest in the country.
The Utes obviously have the best chance to get into one of the major bowls since no BCS buster has ever lost in the regular season. But they still have to play TCU, which certainly can't be eliminated from that conversation since its only loss was at No. 4 Oklahoma.
"Our kids are going to be excited, I'm way excited," Patterson said, stopping to remind everyone that the Frogs' focus is on the conference title. "The bottom line is we have a lot of football to play."
Utah was the original BCS buster in 2004, then the following season came to TCU and had its 18-game winning streak snapped.
Dalton, who missed the last two games with a knee injury, threw a 25-yard touchdown to Jimmy Young on his first pass. He added a 12-yarder to Walter Bryant just before halftime, the receiver making a nifty grab and getting a foot down in the back corner of the end zone -- a catch confirmed by replay -- for a 23-0 lead.
Dalton finished 12-of-19 for 170 yards and Kerley ran nine times for 77 yards. Jerry Hughes had four sacks for TCU and forced two fumbles.
Austin Collie matched the MWC record with his fifth consecutive 100-yard receiving game (six catches for 116 yards) for the Cougars, who had also won 18 consecutive conference games, a streak that began with their 2006 victory at TCU.
On BYU's opening drive of the game, Daryl Washington dropped a possible interception near the 50 with a wide-open field to the end zone ahead of him. But two plays later, Hughes hit Hall from behind, stripping the ball and TCU recovered at the Cougars 40.
The Frogs quickly went for the end zone. Dalton threw a pass that wasn't caught because of a pass interference penalty, then hit Young on the next play.
Kerley scored on a 16-yard run, avoiding a BYU defender just past the line and then zigzagging through the middle of the field virtually untouched for a 14-0 lead, ending a 72-yard drive on which he also had 24-yard run.
"You want to come with a surprise against a team like this," Kerley said. "We were more explosive, caught them off guard."
TCU led 17-0 on Ross Evans' 21-yard field goal a play after an apparent interception was overturned by replay. That drive included a 21-yard run by Kerley.
Joseph Turner, who ran 19 times for 70 yards, scored on a 5-yard run at the end of the third quarter for the final touchdown.