The University of Nevada Las Vegas scored first and was still hanging tough with 18th-ranked Texas Christian University late in the first half. Then came two big returns.
Greg McCoy took a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown and Kris Gardner had a 16-yard interception return for a score in a 12-second span just before halftime and the Horned Frogs went on to a 56-9 victory Saturday to clinch their third consecutive Mountain West Conference title.
If TCU moves up two spots into the top 16 of the final Bowl Championship Series standings Sunday night, it will be virtually guaranteed of going to its third consecutive BCS game, even with two losses. The Frogs likely destination would be the Sugar Bowl.
"We're probably going to celebrate more on winning the conference championship than we are going to be waiting on the BCS," senior linebacker Kris Gardner said. "But definitely fingers crossed."
The Frogs, who are moving to the Big 12 Conference next season, are leaving the Mountain West with a record 24 consecutive conference victories.