TCU claws back, trails SMU, 17-10 at half

October, 1, 2011
10/01/11
4:30
PM CT
FORT WORTH, Texas -- SMU rode big plays to an early 17-0 lead before the TCU defense found some answers and began to shut down the deep passing lanes.

SMU quarterback J.J. McDermott is 13-of-25 for 182 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. But, he had 136 of those yards and both TDs -- one to Darius Johnson (eight catches, 70 yards) and the other to Terrance Wilkerson (2-78) -- in the first quarter when the Ponies led in the total yards category, 162-39.

The momentum, though, has clearly swung to the Frogs' side. After McDermott's pick, TCU tailback Ed Wesley finally snapped the cap on the offense with a 63-yard run straight up the gut to the SMU 3-yard line. Matthew Tucker scored the touchdown to cut SMU's lead to 17-7.

Since the pick, McDermott has been under duress and the offense has sputtered. Two punts ensued and TCU cashed in a field goal after taking over with 50 seconds left in the first half. Kicker Ross Evans got a second chance after the first field-goal attempt went awry when holder Anson Kelton muffed the snap, picked it up and threw an incomplete pass.

The Ponies started running off the field for halftime with the scoreboard clock showing zeroes, but TCU coach Gary Patterson alertly hounded the refs demanding two seconds remained after the incompletion. The Ponies were called back onto the field and Evans converted the 42-yard field goal to pull within a touchdown.

What had the feel of a breakthrough SMU performance suddenly has a very uneasy feel.

TCU will get the ball first to start the second half.

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