Texas Christian outscored UNLV 10-0 in the second quarter to take a 24-7 lead into halftime at Sam Boyd Stadium.
Andy Dalton threw two touchdown passes in the first half for the 12th-ranked Horned Frogs.
The Horned Frogs have proved their dominance on the defensive side of the ball. UNLV managed just 76 yards on 27 first-half plays.
UNLV’s lone score was set up by a TCU muffed punt at the 12-yard line.
UNLV PASSING GAME STRUGGLES
Rebels quarterback Omar Clayton completed just 5 of 13 passes for 45 yards. He was also intercepted once.
The absence of Phillip Payne could be part of the problem, but TCU is playing some very good defense.
The Rebels have also been held to just 31 rushing yards on 14 carries. Clayton is UNLV’s leading rusher, with eight carries for 30 yards.
WHERE DID THAT COME FROM?
A light breeze was blowing when the game started, making for near-perfect conditions on the field.
All of a sudden, a windstorm came out of nowhere and wreaked havoc on the beginning of the second quarter.
With debris flying all over the place and even the goalposts rattling, an Omar Clayton throw fluttered and was nearly intercepted.
Then, Dack Ishii launched a punt that ended up going out of bounds after just 12 yards.
Ishii had been having a very solid season, but the botched boot set TCU up at UNLV’s 28-yard line and the Horned Frogs turned the good field position into three points.
STREAK IN JEOPARDY
Casey Flair has caught a pass in each of the 43 games he has played for UNLV.
He failed to catch one in the first half, and with the Rebels passing game struggling as much as it has he is not a lock to catch one in the second half.
It is currently the second-longest streak in the nation.
PUNTING STRUGGLES CONTINUE
After the wind-induced 12-yard punt, Ishii got off a 10-yarder later in the quarter.
This time, the line of scrimmage was TCU’s 38 and Ishii was attempting to shorten up on the kick to pin the Horned Frogs.
He hit it way to softly. The ball landed around the 25 and spun back to the 28.
The wind had died down significantly at the time, but it must have still been blowing on the field because his next punt went just 17 yards.
The 17-yarder gave TCU the ball at UNLV’s 39 and set up the late touchdown.
TCU has a huge matchup with Utah on Thursday night.
It will be interesting to see how long the starters play in this game if it starts to get out of hand.
The assumption would be that TCU head coach Gary Patterson would like to build up a comfortable margin so that his top players won’t have to play very much of the second half.