FORT WORTH (AP) — Darrell Mack pounded his way for 100 yards rushing with a touchdown and Utah won its fourth straight game since starting quarterback Brian Johnson returned from injury, beating TCU 27-20 on Thursday night.
Mack’s fourth straight 100-yard game — on 32 carries — and Johnson’s return coincide with the winning streak that has kept the Utes (5-3, 2-2 Mountain West) on the fringe of contending for the conference title.
Johnson, who missed three games after separating his shoulder in the season opener, completed 13-of-20 passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. His only interception didn’t hurt the Utes.
TCU (4-4, 1-3), with three 11-win seasons the past four years, already has three losses to teams ahead of the Frogs in the Mountain West standings.
Chris Manfredini kicked a 41-yard field goal for TCU with 2:07 left and the Horned Frogs thought they had the ball back when David Hawthorne recovered an onside kick. But officials ruled Hawthorne touched the ball before it went 10 yards, and confirmed that after a lengthy replay review.
TCU’s Andy Dalton, the redshirt quarterback who won the starting job in preseason drills, was 20-of-45 for 159 yards with four interceptions. He had been picked off only four times the first six games and was coming off a 344-yard game in a win at Stanford.
Martail Burnett, Utah’s 262-pound senior defensive end, returned one of the interceptions 55 yards for a touchdown with 54 seconds left in the first half. It was Burnett’s first career interception and put Utah up 24-14.
Mack’s 1-yard TD run capped an game-opening 58-yard drive.