Saturday, December 31, 2005

TCU Defeats Iowa State at Houston Bowl

Photo by Darla Tamulitis
Story by Robert H. Kelly

With less than six minutes left in the game, place kicker Peter LoCoco kicked a 44-yard field gold to give favored the TCU Horned Frogs a three point victory, 27-24 over the Iowa State Cyclone at the Houston Bowl at Reliant Stadium.

TCU scored all but LaCoco’s points in the first half, after leading the Cyclones 24-17 at halftime.

In a game that was clearly affected by errors, both teams combine for twenty penalties, four fumbles, and three interceptions.

The Horned Frogs claimed an early lead when running back Robert Merrill scored on a 20-yard run that culminated a twelve play, 80-yard drive. They increased their lead with a seven yard run by tailback Aaron Brown following a Cyclone fumble.

Iowa State scrambled back in the second quarter to score seventeen unanswered points, followed by an 84-yard pass from Ballard to wide receiver Michael DePriest to allow the Horn Frogs to take back the lead 21-17.

Chris Manfredini kicked a 29-yard field goal with 15 seconds left in the half to make the score 24-17 in favor of the Horned Frogs.

The Cyclones scored again with 1:53 left in the third quarter on a 22-yard pass from Bret Meyer to Todd Blythe, followed by a Bret Culbertson conversion to tie the score at 24.

The Horned Frogs had a total of 410 yard offensively (135 yards rushing and 275 yards passing) along with being penalized fourteen times for a total of 134 yards.

The Cyclones totaled 288 yards offensively (254 yards passing and 34 yards rushing) with six penalties for 51 yards.

The victory extended TCU winning streak to ten games and gave them an 11-1 record for the season. Only Texas and USC have longer winning streaks, with 19 and 34 wins, respectively.

The Horned Frogs had more to prove than just winning a bowl title, after being snubbed by the BCS and locked out of a chance to play for a possible national championship.

TCU had faced the Cyclone twice previously in their long football history. The Horned Frog won both meetings; a 31-17 victory in the 1998 season opener and a 27-10 win in the 1995 season opener.

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