Brian Hernandez (16) hauls in a 32-yard pass (AP Photo)
Oct. 6, 2006
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Brett Ratliff passed for 223 yards and two touchdowns and Utah recovered from an embarrassing loss at home by beating TCU 20-7 Thursday, giving the Horned Frogs their first losing streak in nearly two years.
Just five days after losing at home to Boise State 36-3, the Utes (4-2, 2-0 Mountain West) atoned themselves by beating the defending conference champions on a solid night by Ratliff.
Ratliff completed 19 of 32 passes for 223 yards and threw two touchdown passes to Brent Casteel. Louie Sakoda added two field goals and pinned the Frogs (3-2, 0-2) inside the 20 on his first five punts.
The Utes forced three fumbles in the fourth quarter, converting one into a field goal and ending a huge scoring threat with another after TCU got inside the Utah 20 with 7 minutes left in the game and TCU within two touchdowns of taking the lead.
TCU finished with 310 yards, but 141 came in the fourth quarter as the Frogs frantically tried to rally.
Marcus Jackson was 11-for-19 for 158 yards after relieving starter Jeff Ballard in the third quarter. Ballard hurt his throwing shoulder the week before in a 31-17 loss to Brigham Young, which snapped the nation's longest winning streak at 13 games.
Now the Frogs have their first losing streak since 2004.
Ratliff was coming off a miserable game against Boise State, going 5-for-21 for 30 yards with three interceptions against Boise State. He was on target Thursday night and completed nine straight in the first half.
The Utes kept the Frogs off guard with several trick plays. Defensive back Eric Weddle lined up at quarterback and had five carries for 15 yards. He also stripped the ball from Lonta Hobbs to set up Sakoda's 32-yard field goal that put Utah up 20-7 with 7:45 left to play.
In the second quarter, Ratliff threw a 32-yard pass to Brian Hernandez to set up the Utes at the TCU 4. Ratliff found Casteel for a 1-yard touchdown pass that put the Utes up 10-0 with 9:31 left in the second quarter.
After Hobbs got TCU within 10-7 on a 1-yard run, Ratliff unloaded the longest pass of his career and got a break that turned it into a touchdown. On first down from the TCU 49, Ratliff went for the end zone. His pass was a little short and TCU's Steven Coleman had time to get under it, but he tipped the ball right to Casteel in the end zone and Utah took a 17-7 lead.