For the first time in fifty years the TCU football team heads into week five ranked as a top 10 team, according to the Associated Press poll.
Moving up one spot in both polls, the Horned Frogs ended up at No. 10 in the AP poll, and No. 9 in the USA Today poll.
This is the first time TCU has been ranked in the top 10 this early in the season since 1959.
With a win against the Southern Methodist University Mustangs, the Horned Frogs have started 4-0 for the second straight season. The game against SMU was the team’s last non-conference game.
Although the Horned Frogs defeated the Mustangs, head coach Gary Patterson was not content with the team’s performance.
“Well, that’s how you play bad and win 39-14,” Patterson said at the post-game press conference Saturday.
Although SMU was the first on the scoreboard, the TCU offense and special teams had strong performances later in the game.
Junior wide receiver Jeremy Kerley was named Special Teams Player of the Week by the Mountain West Conference for his performance against SMU.
Kerley had a 71-yard punt return for a touchdown, the first for TCU since 2002. On Saturday he led TCU in punt return yards with 123, and had 52 kick return yards.
His 123 punt return yards record is the fifth highest in MWC history for a single game and the third highest in TCU history.
The wide receiver also led the Horned Frogs in receiving yards with 48.
Senior linebacker Daryl Washington said, “Jeremy Kerley is always fun to watch. He’s so elusive and quick. He can make anything happen once the ball hits his hands. He is a great player. That punt return was a big part of the game.”
Washington was also honored by the MWC as Co-Defensive Player of the Week.
Kerley’s punt return was helped by a head-to-helmet block made by freshman linebacker Tanner Brock after Brock lost his helmet earlier in the play.
The block and punt return play ranked No. 2 on ESPN Sportcenter’s top 10 plays of the weekend.
On offense, sophomore wide receiver Antoine Hicks scored two touchdowns. The first came on a two-yard run in the second quarter to give the Frogs their score, and the second came on a 28-yard reception from junior quarterback Andy Dalton.
Dalton threw for 189 yards in Saturday’s game for two touchdowns and an interception.
Senior tailback Joseph Turner scored his fifth rushing touchdown of the season on a one-yard dive. Turner led the Horned Frogs in rushing yards Saturday with 79 on 19 carries.
Defensively, the Horned Frogs held the Mustangs to minus 16 yards rushing.
Washington had two sacks on SMU sophomore quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, and caught an interception.
TCU’s junior weak safety Alex Ibiloye led the Horned Frogs’ defense in unassisted tackles with 9.
The Horned Frogs also got help from around the country in their hunt for a BCS bid.
With a loss over the weekend to the University of Texas at El Paso, the University of Houston dropped out of BCS contention and enters the week unranked.
Boise State University, ranked No. 6 in the AP poll, remains TCU’s main competitor for an outside bid to a BCS bowl game.
Brigham Young University is the only team left on TCU’s schedule who is ranked, with a No. 18 spot in the AP poll.