he Horned Frogs (6-0 overall, 2-0 Mountain West) are the only unbeaten team left in the conference and are trying to remain in contention for a Bowl Championship Series berth, knowing it takes one loss to knock them out of the running.
PROVO, Utah — TCU can’t reach the BCS without a victory over BYU.
With all those letters, it almost sounds like an algebra equation with an answer that might not be reached for another month. But at least part of it will be solved today when No. 10 Texas Christian visits 16th-ranked Brigham Young.
The Horned Frogs (6-0 overall, 2-0 Mountain West) are the only unbeaten team left in the conference and are trying to remain in contention for a Bowl Championship Series berth, knowing it takes one loss to knock them out of the running.
Sound familiar? BYU was in a nearly identical position a year ago entering a highly anticipated showdown that ended up being a 32-7 rout for TCU.
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The Cougars (6-1, 3-0) haven’t forgotten the humbling trip to Texas and how it derailed BYU’s best start in seven years.
“I learned a lot of things,” Cougars coach Bronco Mendenhall said. “I remember how I was feeling going into the game that some of the attention was starting to affect not only myself as a coach, but our players. And I think we had maybe a false sense of security that we were a little better than what we were.”
The game was on a Thursday night, so the Cougars’ poor performance and the way the Horned Frogs dominated got plenty of airtime. The rematch has been widely tabbed as the game of the week — nationally, not merely in the Mountain West.
“I won’t even have to talk about how important BYU is. They know what this game is about,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “Our job will be to keep them more grounded than it will be to get them fired up.”
BYU is welcoming the exposure and chance to atone both for last year’s loss at TCU and the Cougars’ lone blemish this season, which was a big one. Florida State essentially ended the Cougars’ BCS aspirations with a 54-28 victory in Provo on Sept. 19.
“We’ve had games in the past when we’ve played well in the spotlight and we’ve had games when we haven’t played well. We’re trying to build a great program where we consistently can win big games and constantly compete and win conference championships,” BYU quarterback Max Hall said. “This game is a big step in both of those directions. I don’t think it’s kind of like a do-or-die for us right now but it is a big game.”
It is especially big for Hall, a senior who wants to end his college career with a second Mountain West title in three years. The Frogs flustered Hall last year, sacking him six times and intercepting two of his passes. He also fumbled on the opening drive and TCU converted the turnover into a touchdown.
• Joe Martinek had 139 yards rushing and scored two touchdowns on short runs, linebacker Steve Beauharnais scored off his own blocked punt and Rutgers beat Army 27-10 Friday at rainy Michie Stadium in West Point, N.Y.
It was the sixth consecutive victory for Rutgers (5-2) over Army (3-5) and evened the series at 18-all. The Black Knights have lost 12 consecutive games against Big East teams since beating Rutgers 37-35 in 1997.
Tom Savage finished 10 of 20 for 164 yards to become the second freshman quarterback in Rutgers history to win a road game. Ryan Cubit won his first road game at Buffalo in 2001 in his first career start.
• University of Connecticut police say witnesses to the killing of Huskies cornerback Jasper Howard last weekend are being threatened with violence if they come forward with evidence.
Maj. Ronald Blicher tells the student newspaper, The Daily Campus, that the threats are being made in Internet postings and police are looking into them. He said authorities are still urging people to submit videos, photos or other information.
Howard, 20, was stabbed outside a university-sanctioned dance early Sunday, hours after helping his team to a victory over Louisville.
• Although Illinois athletic director Ron Guenther remains silent publicly on the status of coach Ron Zook, Guenther has “strongly indicated” he will not make a coaching change next season, according to Illinois spokesman Kent Brown. The Illini are 1-5.