TCU (6-2, 3-0) exploded for four first half touchdowns and staved off a late BYU (6-3) comeback to put away the Cougars 38-28 Friday night at Cowboys Stadium.
TCU quarterback Casey Pachall finished the game 13-of-23 passing for 147 yards and 2 touchdowns and running back Ed Wesley led the Frogs on the ground with 59 yards on 12 carries.
The Frogs got the scoring started early and often.
Pachall found Skye Dawson wide open for a 48-yard touchdown pass on the second play of the game and backup quarterback Matt Brown ran for a six-yard score on the Frogs' next possession as TCU got out to a quick 14-0 lead.
But BYU responded, notching a 42-yard field goal and a touchdown on its next two drives to reduce the TCU lead to 14-10.
But the TCU defense shut down the Cougar offense the rest of the half and the offense was aided by another Brown touchdown run in the second quarter. Both of Brown's carries in the half resulted in touchdowns.
With :36 left in the second quarter, Pachall hooked up with receiver Josh Boyce for a 33-yard touchdown pass to put the Frogs up 28-10 heading into halftime.
TCU picked up where they left off in the second half.
Waymon James ran for a four-yard touchdown on TCU's first drive of the third quarter that gave the Frogs a commanding 35-10 lead. BYU would cut that lead to 15 after a 44-yard Justin Sorenson field goal and a 64-yard J.D. Falslev punt return.
TCU Head Coach Gary Patterson said his team has to be more cautious on special teams. Punt returns, like Falslev's, can completely change the momentum in a game, Patterson said.
"You've got to be careful on letting them run punts back for touchdowns," Patterson said. "(Falslev's return) almost changed the complexion of the whole game.
And BYU didn't stop there.
Trailing 35-20, quarterback Riley Nelson drove the Cougars into TCU territory down to the Frogs' 17-yard line. But the TCU defense wouldn't let BYU go any further. Pressured by several Frog defenders, Nelson was forced into throwing an errant, backward pass, which fell incomplete and was recovered by TCU defensive end Jon Koontz.
BYU running back Bryan Kariya added a one-yard touchdown run to cut the score to 38-28 with 2:01 left in the game.
Patterson said he was pleased with Friday night's result given it was against a tough BYU team.
"We just wanted to come out of this with a win," Patterson said. "We've watched BYU improving."
Patterson said, overall, his defense did a good job at limiting Nelson, despite the fact that the () scrambled for a game-high 120 yards on 21 carries.
"Their quarterback was hard to handle," Patterson said. "He moved the ball around and really did a good job at times, in scramble situations, but I was really proud of my team. We're glad we came away with a win and got ourselves bowl eligible."
Pachall credited the defense for consistently giving him and the offense good field position and opportunities to score all night.
"The defense did a great job getting us great field position and they had a great game so hats off to them," Pachall said. "That helped us whenever we had short field position, setting us up in the red zone. We're pretty good in the red zone. It helped out getting the ball where we did and we were just able to punch it in."
TCU will be back in action next Saturday at Wyoming. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. CT.