Bonesville: The Authoritative Independent Voice of East Carolina
Daily News & Features from East Carolina, Conference USA and Beyond

Mobile Alpha Roundup Daily Beat Recruiting The Seasons Multimedia Historical Data Pirate Time Machine SportByte™ Weather

Frogs' BCS run survives by a crossbar

By The Associated Press

FORT WORTH, TX — Texas Christian did just enough one more time to remain undefeated and continue the debate about whether it deserves to be part of the Bowl Championship Series.

Brandon Hassell threw for 251 yards and a touchdown, ran for 61 yards and another score, and the 13th-ranked Horned Frogs beat Louisville 31-28 Wednesday night. It was their fifth three-point win this season.

A 44-yard field goal attempt by Louisville's Nate Smith on the final play of the game bounced off the crossbar. Smith had also missed a 47-yard attempt with 2:36 left, and failed on a 22-yard kick in the third quarter.

TCU (9-0, 6-0 Conference USA) and Oklahoma (9-0), the No. 1 team in every poll, are the only undefeated teams left in major college football. Both have 11-game winning streaks.

Louisville (7-2, 3-2) got its last chance after TCU was unable to run the clock out following Smith's 47-yard miss that was well short.

The Cardinals got the ball back at their 20 with 55 seconds left and no timeouts. Stefan LeFors completed passes of 10 and 19 yards to J.R. Russell, then on fourth-and-15 scrambled away from pressure to find Robert Haskins for 29 yards to the TCU 27 to set up Smith's attempt.

LeFors finished 31-of-46 for 459 yards with a touchdown. Lionel Gates had nine catches for 134 yards, and Russell caught eight passes for 119 yards.

TCU is 9-0 for the first time since 1938, when the Frogs went undefeated and won their only national championship with quarterback Davey O'Brien.

The Horned Frogs are ninth in the BCS rankings, the same spot they reached in 2000 after a 7-0 start. They will have to finish three spots higher to be guaranteed a berth in one of the four lucrative BCS games.

Kenny Hayter's 1-yard TD run early in the fourth quarter gave TCU a 31-21 lead, capping an 11-play, 80-yard drive after Smith pushed his 22-yard attempt just right.

Smith had made 13 of 14 field goals, including 21- and 26-yarders in the first half before his three misses. His only miss before Wednesday had been a blocked 47-yard attempt against South Florida.

Louisville piled up 580 yards against a suddenly porous TCU defense, which has allowed 1,657 yards and 110 points its last three games. The Frogs were coming off a 62-55 win over Houston.

Hassell completed 17 of 27 passes and ran 11 times, improving to 5-0 as a starter. The junior had never thrown a pass before this season, but is now in his second stint filling in for injured starter Tye Gunn.

Reggie Harrell had eight catches for 128 yards for TCU.

LeFors' 12-yard TD pass to Ronnie Ghent and 2-point conversion pass to Dolby Smith capped the opening Louisville drive of the second half to tie the game at 21. Ghent finished with seven catches for 78 yards, and the tight end has catches in 34 straight games.

LeFors completed all five of his passes on that drive for 82 yards, including gains of 37 and 24 after a holding penalty on the first play pushed the ball back to the 10.

The Frogs then went back ahead to stay on Nick Browne's 44-yard field goal.

TCU scored on its first two offensive possessions, building a 14-3 lead in the first quarter after Cory Rodgers had a 7-yard TD run and Hassell threw a 30-yard TD pass to Quentily Harmon.

Louisville moved the ball from the start of the game, gaining 56 yards on its first three plays to the TCU 21. But the Cardinals didn't score then, taken out of field goal range after LeFors was sacked for a 12-yard loss on third down before a personal foul penalty.

©2003 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

02.23.07 10:48 AM

©2001-2002-2003-2004-2005-2006-2007-2008-2009-2010-2011-2012-2013 All rights reserved.
Articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files and other content originated on this site are the proprietary property of
None of the articles, logos, graphics, photos, audio files, video files or other content originated on this site may be reproduced without written permission.
This site is not affiliated with East Carolina University. View's Privacy Policy. Advertising contact: 252-349-3280; Editorial contact:; 252-444-1905.