FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Jeff Ballard and TCU couldn't pull off
another comeback against BYU. John Beck made sure of it with
another impressive game against the Horned Frogs.
Beck threw for 321 yards and three second-half touchdowns and
this time the Cougars held on for a big victory, 31-17 on Thursday
night to end No. 17 TCU's winning streak at 13 games. The streak
was the longest in NCAA Division I-A.
"There wasn't much that didn't go right," BYU coach Bronco
Mendenhall said. "This is a big-time win. It was on the road
against a ranked team in a short week."
BYU (3-2, 1-0 Mountain West) beat a Top 25 team for the first
time since 1999, a stretch of 12 games since a victory over
Colorado State. The Cougars went to double overtime at then-No. 23
Boston College earlier this month before losing 23-20.
Beck completed 23 of 37 passes just five days after sitting out
a 38-0 victory over Utah State to rest both of his sore ankles. He
threw a 40-yard TD strike to Michael Reed to start the second half,
added a 26-yarder to Matt Allen, and got the third score on Jonny
Harline's one-handed, 4-yard grab with a defender on his back.
There was no repeat of last September, when BYU blew a 16-point
lead late in the third quarter at home against the Frogs and lost
51-50 in overtime.
"That was in the back of our minds," Harline said. "We just
got up and said, we're not letting this one get away."
TCU (3-1, 0-1) hadn't lost since a 21-10 defeat at SMU in the
second game last season, a week after the Horned Frogs opened the
2005 season with an upset victory at Oklahoma.
Ballard, who was 26-of-49 for 296 yards with a touchdown and an
interception, lost for the first time in 12 starts as TCU's
quarterback. He has started every game since coming off the bench
and leading the comeback against BYU last season.
"We've just got to take it as one game and not let this ruin
our season," Ballard said.
"For some reason in this program, we don't seem to be able to
handle success," coach Gary Patterson said. "This was the most
important game on our schedule to this point. ... They were more
physical than us and that doesn't happen very many times."
The Cougars went ahead 10-0 in the first half on consecutive
long scoring drives, with a fumble by Ballard in between, and never
trailed in the rematch.
It was the first Mountain West loss for the Frogs, who made
their debut in the conference by sweeping through eight league
games last season. They play again next Thursday against Utah,
another team they beat in overtime last season.
TCU came one game short of tying the school record of 14
consecutive wins that included its undefeated national championship
team in 1938, when Davey O'Brien won the school's only Heisman
Trophy. O'Brien started all of those games, the longest winning
streak by a quarterback.
No. 1 Ohio State and No. 4 West Virginia both have won 11 games
in a row, now the best in I-A. The NCAA's longest streak is 17 by
Division II Grand Valley State.
Beck threw for a MWC-record 517 yards and five touchdowns last
season against TCU, which allowed only nine TDs passes in its other
11 games. The Frogs had allowed only one passing TD in its first
three games this season, and held pass-happy Texas Tech to only a
field goal in its last game Sept. 16.
"Our guys weren't wide open. They had coverage on them, but
they just made plays and went and got the ball," Beck said.
On BYU's first possession after halftime, Beck converted two
third downs before the 40-yarder to Reed, hitting the receiver in
stride inside the 5 on a third-and-10 play for a 17-3 lead.
Ballard threw a 2-yard TD pass to Brent Hecht, but TCU didn't
get any closer. Beck responded with consecutive scoring passes in
the fourth quarter.
"John was awesome," Harline said. "He made every pass right
After Jared McLaughlin's 21-yard field goal ended a 15-play,
75-yard drive to put BYU up 3-0, TCU got to the 10 before David
Nixon's blind-side sack that led to a fumble by Ballard.
The Cougars then went 82 yards, Beck converting fourth-and-1
from the TCU 33 with a 16-yard pass to Allen just two plays before
Manase Tonga's 8-yard TD run.
Chris Manfredini kicked a 36-yard field goal just before
halftime to make it 10-3. He missed for the first time in 20 career
attempts for TCU when he was well short on a 39-yarder earlier in
the second quarter.
Top 25 Overview
It was over when... the Cougars posted 14 points in the fourth quarter to take a 31-10 lead.
Gameball goes to... John Beck, who threw for 321 yards and three TDs in BYU's first win over a Top 25 team since 1999.
Stat of the game... 13: The Cougars stopped TCU's 13-game win streak -- and probably ended the Frogs' BCS hopes.