Andy Dalton threw for a season-high 270 yards and three touchdowns a week after his worst game of the season and TCU recorded consecutive shutouts for the first time in 55 years in the No. 5 Frogs' 45-0 victory against Wyoming on Saturday. Dalton was 14 of 17 and surpassed last week's passing total on the first play of the second quarter, a 31-yard strike to Bart Johnson that put the Horned Frogs (6-0, 2-0 Mountain West) ahead 21-0.
Wyoming (2-4, 0-2 Mountain West) had to go with backup quarterback Dax Crum because the injured Austyn Carta-Samuels didn't make the trip. Crum completed a 40-yard pass on a handoff-reverse-throwback trick play to start the game but the Cowboys generated just 151 total yards after that. TCU led 31-0 at halftime a week after going to the break up just 6-0 against Colorado State, where Dalton finished 11 of 24 with a late TD pass in a 27-0 win.
But this Dalton was the one Frogs fans remember. In his last home start, he set a TCU accuracy record by going 21 of 23 in a 45-10 rout of Baylor. He's now 50 of 61 for 719 yards with six touchdowns and no interceptions in three home starts. Part of the problem in Colorado was misfiring on deep throws, but Dalton was on target against the Cowboys. He hit Jeremy Kerley in stride for a 50-yard touchdown one play after a nifty 14-yard run on third-and-7, Dalton's 17th rushing first down of the season.
Dalton hooked up with Skye Dawson on another deep ball for 43 yards to set up a highlight-reel run by Ed Wesley, who spun out of a crouch with his knee just inches from the ground and bounced off several more defenders for a 17-yard score that put the Frogs up 28-0. Wesley finished with 115 yards and a touchdown on just 17 carries.
He and Dalton both were on the bench for good early in the fourth quarter after Dalton's 4-yard TD pass to Antoine Hicks, who also had a 2-yard scoring run on his first carry of the season. Wyoming had a chance to ruin TCU's consecutive shutouts when Crum hit Robert Herron for 38 yards on a drive that reached the Frogs' 13.
But TCU's Tyler Luttrell intercepted Crum's pass at the 4 with 7:13 left in the game. The back-to-back shutouts were the first for TCU since 1955, when the Frogs had three straight shutouts against Texas Tech, Arkansas and Alabama. TCU, ranked seventh nationally in total defense coming in at 238 yards per game, held Wyoming to 191.
The Cowboys started the game with the same kind of trickery that helped them win at Toledo last week. The ball changed hands four times on the first play, the last exchange a wobbly 40-yard Crum pass that Travis Burkhalter had to wait for as he stood all alone at the TCU 40. He was tackled on the spot, and the drive went nowhere.
Wyoming gambled again with a fake punt on fourth-and-8 later in the first quarter, but Tashaun Gipson gained just 1 yard to the Wyoming 37. Two plays later, Dalton made his best throw of the day on the 31-yard score to Johnson.