FORT WORTH — A 24-point TCU victory over UNLV on Saturday night made the Horned Frogs bowl eligible for the eighth time in the past nine years, although it may take a seventh win next week to earn a bowl invitation. TCU picked up its sixth win during the team’s final home game of the season, defeating the Rebels 34-10.
The Horned Frogs (6-5 overall, 3-4 conference) scored on their first four possessions, opening up a 28-7 half-time lead.
On Senior Night at Amon Carter Stadium, it was a group of underclassmen who led the TCU touchdown-scoring drives. Red-shirt freshman quarterback Andy Dalton and sophomore tailback Joseph Turner combined for a trio of first-half, 3-yard touchdown runs, with Dalton scoring twice. Junior tailback Aaron Brown also scored a first half touchdown on a 10-yard run.
Kicker Chris Manfredini added a pair of second half field goals, including a 45-yarder.
The Rebels scored a second quarter touchdown when wideout Frank Summers caught a 32-yard pass from quarterback Travis Dixon. Sergio Aguayo added a 28-yard field goal in the third quarter.
Red-shirt freshman Bart Johnson, a 2006 graduate of Brownwood High School, was named TCU’s Scholar Athlete of the week and was recognized during the game. Johnson, a slot receiver who also plays on special teams, was in for a handful of offensive plays, and most of the special team plays, in Saturday’s win. On the field this season, he has three touchdowns in the 10 games in which he’s played.
Last week against Brigham Young, Johnson scored his third touchdown of the season on a 7-yard touchdown reception. His other scores came against Wyoming and SMU.
The Horned Frog offense finished the game with just 377 yards, after picking up 272 at half-time. Dalton led all rushers with 73 yards, and passed for the same amount.
James Gleaton, a junior from Early, was also on the Frogs’ sideline for Friday’s game. Gleaton is a backup linebacker on a Frogs’ defensive unit that ranks as one of the nation’s top.
Defensively the Horned Frogs held UNLV to 247 yards of total offense, including just 12 yards on the ground.
TCU is one of five Mountain West Conference teams currently with six wins this season. One more team has the opportunity to join that group next weekend. The conference has four bowl tie-ins. That means the Frogs will probably have to win next week’s final regular season game plus get a little help if they hope to play over the holidays.