No. 11 Frogs Fall in Heartbreaker to No. 10 Utes
Nov. 6, 2008
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Brian Johnson threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Freddie Brown with 47 seconds left to cap an 80-yard drive that kept No. 10 Utah's BCS hopes alive with a 13-10 victory over No. 11 TCU on Thursday night.
The Utes, who improved to 10-0 for the second time in school history, were swarmed at midfield by the fans who made Rice-Eccles Stadium shake when Johnson rallied Utah to its first touchdown and saved the Utes' postseason hopes.
Johnson threw for 230 yards for the Utes (10-0, 6-0 Mountain West), who recovered on defense after allowing TCU to gain 202 yards in the first quarter.
The Horned Frogs (9-2, 6-1) missed two field goal attempts in the fourth quarter either of which would have put TCU up by seven.
Ross Evans bounced one kick off the left upright, then with 2:48 left he was wide right on a 35-yard attempt. Utah got the ball back on the 20 and Johnson led the Utes' comeback.
TCU nearly had the drive stopped, but on fourth-and-5 Johnson completed an 11-yard pass to Brown to the Frogs' 15. Two plays later, Johnson found Brown on a slant for the winning score.
Robert Johnson sealed it with an interception in the final seconds and Utah won despite getting outgained 416-275.
Aaron Brown ran for 106 yards on 15 carries and Andy Dalton passed for 251 yards, but the Frogs hurt themselves with penalties and untimely breakdowns. TCU was called for 11 penalties and allowed two sacks on third downs that took the Frogs out of field goal range twice.
TCU was stunned to lose a game that had started like a blowout.
Utah fans wore black to match the uniforms the Utes broke out for the showcase game. The fans were loud and rowdy and didn't faze the Frogs one bit in the first quarter as TCU had 202 yards of offense and took a 10-3 lead.
But the second quarter belonged to the Utes, who held TCU to 6 yards of offense in the period. The Frogs self-destructed with five penalties in the quarter, including three false starts during one possession. Utah sacked Dalton twice in the quarter and Sean Smith returned an interception 37 yards to set up Louie Sakoda's 37-yard field goal at the end of the half that made it 10-6.
Ryan Christian scored TCU's only touchdown on a 3-yard run with 6:16 left in the first quarter.