3:00 PM ET, October 8, 2005
War Memorial Stadium, LITTLE ROCK, AR
LARAMIE, Wyo. (AP) -- Wyoming coach Joe Glenn worried all week about TCU's ability to create turnovers, then turn short-yardage situations into easy points.
Turns out, he had reason to worry.
Robert Henson returned a fumble 22 yards for a touchdown and TCU (5-1, 3-0 Mountain West) beat the Cowboys 28-14 on Saturday despite just one scoring drive of more than 19 yards.
"I give this win to the defense -- they were awesome today," TCU quarterback Jeff Ballard said.
Wyoming (4-2, 2-1) turned the ball over seven times -- all by Corey Bramlet, who threw four interceptions and fumbled three times.
Brian Bonner intercepted Bramlet on the third play of the game, giving the Horned Frogs the ball on the Cowboys 19-yard line and setting up Robert Merrill's 1-yard touchdown run. Chris Manfredini's kick was wide right, making it 6-0 with 11:26 left in the first quarter.
"We knew coming in that we were going to have a dogfight, and we had to jump on them early," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "We did that, and our defense was swarming."
A short Wyoming punt gave TCU another short field, setting up Manfredini for a 32-yard field goal late in the first quarter. Three plays later, Quincy Butler intercepted Bramlet, setting up a 34-yard Manfredini field goal that made it 12-0 early in the second quarter.
"Today, we had to defend a short field quite a bit," Wyoming safety Ron Rockett said.
Jovon Bouknight pulled the Cowboys within 12-7 on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Bramlet midway through the second quarter.
But Corey Rogers' 17-yard punt return gave TCU another short field, setting up Jeff Ballard's 13-yard touchdown pass to Aaron Brown for a 19-7 lead with 1:42 left in the half. Henson's touchdown came just 39 seconds later, but Manfredini missed the kick again, making it 25-7.
"It don't get no better than that," Henson said. "We practice that -- we have takeaway drills in practice, and that's the same the drill, 'scoop-and-score."
Peter LoCoco kicked a 52-yard field goal as time expired to make it 28-7 at halftime.
Bouknight's second touchdown catch, an 11-yarder late in the third quarter, pulled Wyoming within 28-14. But three drives into TCU territory in the fourth quarter ended in Bramlet turnovers.
"We just did a couple things that just shocked me, and we threw the ball to a couple guys that, evidently, we didn't see them. And -- wow," Glenn said. "Then we get down to the goal line a couple times late in the game and put the ball on the ground.
"It's not like us. We haven't done that in practice, so I guess you've got to credit their defense -- their speed, their ability to strip you."
With a 16-yard catch in the first quarter, Bouknight moved past Marcus Harris into first place on Wyoming's career all-purpose yards list. Bouknight extended his NCAA-leading streak to 42 consecutive games with at least one catch, finishing with 11 catches -- a career high -- for 157 yards and two touchdowns and giving him 4,861 all-purpose yards for his career.
"Jovon comes out every game, and he's tough, competitive," Glenn said. "I'm glad he's on my team."
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||7-19||2-14|
|4th Down Conversions||0-0||2-2|
|TD||11:26||ROBERT MERRILL 1 YD RUN (MISSED KICK)|
Drive info: 5 plays, 19 yards.
|FG||1:53||CHRIS MANFREDINI 32 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 19 yards.
|FG||13:40||CHRIS MANFREDINI 34 YD FG|
Drive info: 6 plays, 15 yards.
|TD||6:18||JOVON BOUKNIGHT 31 YD PASS FROM COREY BRAMLET (DERIC YAUSSI KICK)|
Drive info: 1 plays, 31 yards.
|TD||1:42||AARON BROWN 13 YD PASS FROM JEFF BALLARD (CHRIS MANFREDINI KICK)|
Drive info: 4 plays, 36 yards.
|TD||1:03||ROBERT HENSON 22 YD DEFENSIVE FUMBLE RETURN (MISSED KICK)||25||7|
|FG||0:00||PETER LOCOCO 52 YD FG|
Drive info: 3 plays, 17 yards.
|TD||3:36||JOVON BOUKNIGHT 11 YD PASS FROM COREY BRAMLET (DERIC YAUSSI KICK)|
Drive info: 8 plays, 80 yards.