FORT WORTH, Tex. (ABC4 Sports) – The last time BYU played at TCU when they were both members of the Mountain West Conference in 2010, they got blown out, 31-3.
13 years later as members of the Big 12 Conference, the result was pretty much the same.
TCU redshirt freshman quarterback Josh Hoover completed 37 of 58 passes for 439 yards and four touchdowns, all to different receivers, as the Frogs won 44-11.
Hoover made his first career start in place of Chandler Morris sprained the MCL in his left knee.
“Just really proud of the poise that he showed,” TCU head coach Sonny Dykes said. “He never got rattled, the game was never too big for him.”
By contrast, BYU quarterback Kedon Slovis struggled mightily, completing just 15 of 34 passes for 152 yards and threw a pick-6 on BYU’s first possession of the game.
BYU had a season-low 243 total yards. Slovis’ 75.8 quarterback rating was a career-low in 44 games that included previous stops at Pittsburgh and Southern Cal.
“If I want to give our guys a chance to be in this game, I’ve got to play better. So it starts with me,” Slovis said.
“When you score 11 points, that’s not going to make anyone happy,” said BYU head coach Kalani Sitake. “But the disappointment isn’t just on the offense, it’s on all three phases.”
Keelan Martin scored BYU’s only touchdown of the game on a 3-yard run late in the second quarter. The Cougars made the 2-point conversion when Slovis found Chase Roberts in the end zone.
Millard Bradford, a senior defensive back in his first start this season, had a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown that put the Frogs (4-3, 2-2 Big 12) ahead before Hoover had taken his first snap. Their first offensive drive ended on a 42-yard TD pass to Richardson, who ricocheted off a defender at the 20 and scored for a 14-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.
“I’ve worked my whole life for this opportunity, and so the good Lord has blessed me to be here,” Hoover said. “I shouldn’t be here. I mean, I was committed to Indiana, didn’t have any offers like this. And so Coach Dykes took a chance on me, and I just can’t express how grateful I am.”
Hoover, who was never sacked, became the first TCU quarterback since Casey Pachall in 2011 to throw four TDs in his first career start. He did have two interceptions, one a leaping one-handed pick and the other on a tipped pass late.
“We threw 60 balls and I had no pressure,” Hoover said. “That’s unheard of. So our offensive line played their butt off.”
TCU led 24-0 on tight end Jared Wiley’s 7-yard TD midway through the second quarter, when he caught the pass just short of the goal line, bounced off one defender and then another before plunging into the end zone. That followed an exchange of turnovers, with Eddie Heckard’s leaping one-handed interception inside the 10 before BYU gave it back three plays later when Slovis fumbled after getting hit from behind.
The Cougars entered the game last in the 14-team Big 12 Conference with only 319 total yards per game, and had only 47 total yards on 28 plays before Chase Roberts’ catch-and-run for 39 yards on a fourth-and-5 to set up their only touchdown.
“They just exposed us in a lot of different ways, and all three phases weren’t clicking,” Sitake said. “And if they’re not clicking, TCU is that type of team that will hurt you.”
BYU will try to rebound at home next Saturday against Texas Tech at 5:00 p.m.