FORT WORTH, Texas — After Texas Christian players heard from an irritated coach Gary Patterson at halftime, they quickly took it out on Louisiana-Monroe.
Greg McCoy returned the second-half kickoff 94 yards for a touchdown, and the TCU defense came up with a big play right after that as the 23rd-ranked Horned Frogs finally took control in a 38-17 victory that was Patterson’s 100th win as coach.
“He was pretty intense,” quarterback Casey Pachall said. “He got after all of us in there; we had to step it up.”
Patterson’s rant had nothing to do with him wanting the milestone victory. The 11th-year coach is more concerned about the maturation of his young team after losing so many key players from last year’s Rose Bowl championship season.
Louisiana-Monroe (1-2) piled up 189 total yards in the first quarter, when it scored all its points and had a 17-14 second-quarter lead.
“Hopefully, we’ll learn to get back to a fanatic TCU effort, because when they turned up the knob, good things happened,” a hoarse-throated Patterson said afterward. “But we’ve got to keep turning up the knob. You’ve got to start from the opening bell.”
Despite what Patterson called “terrible” defense in the first quarter and “terrible” offense in the fourth quarter, TCU (2-1) matched a Mountain West Conference record with its 21st consecutive home win. It was also the 10th consecutive home-opening win under Patterson.
The Frogs led 21-17 before McCoy took the second-half kick at the 6, then took one step toward the middle of the field before cutting back toward the sideline. He ran nearly untouched to the end zone, his path completely clear once the kicker was knocked down near midfield.
Three plays after McCoy’s sprint up the sideline in front of the Louisiana-Monroe bench, the Warhawks (1-2) gave back the ball when Jyruss Edwards fumbled after taking a crushing blow from Stansly Maponga. D.J. Yendrey recovered at the 28, setting up Matthew Tucker’s second TD run, a 1-yarder for a 35-17 lead less than five minutes into the second half.
■ San Diego State 42, Washington State 24 — At San Diego, Ronnie Hillman ran for 191 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Aztecs past the Cougars, which gave San Diego State a 3-0 record for the first time in 30 years.
Hillman scored on runs of 13 and 12 yards in the first half before scoring on a 1-yard dash to give San Diego State a 28-24 lead four minutes into the fourth quarter. Hillman then added a 59-yard TD run at the 7:26 mark.
Marshall Lobbestael threw touchdown passes of 80 and 78 yards to Marquess Wilson for Washington State (2-1), which was coming off a 59-7 home rout of UNLV.
■ Colorado 28, Colorado State 14 — At Denver, Tyler Hansen ran for two touchdowns and threw for two, and the Buffaloes handed coach Jon Embree his first victory, over the rival Rams.
Colorado (1-2) overcame a slow start and a rash of penalties to beat its instate rival (2-1) for the fourth straight time in Denver.
■ Texas Tech 59, New Mexico 13 — At Albuquerque, N.M., Seth Doege threw for 401 yards and five touchdowns to lead the Red Raiders past the Lobos.
Doege tied a school record by completing his first 15 passes en route to finishing 40-for-44 — a 90.9 completion percentage, setting a national record for quarterbacks with at least 40 completions.
■ Wyoming 28, Bowling Green 27 — At Bowling Green, Ohio, the Cowboys blocked an extra point in the final seconds to beat the Falcons.
Trailing 28-14 late in the fourth quarter, Bowling Green’s Matt Schilz threw touchdown passes on consecutive drives. The first, a 32-yard strike to Kamar Jorden, and the second, to Ray Huston for 10 yards, drew the Falcons (2-1) within one point. But Wyoming (3-0) blocked the ensuing extra point.
Wyoming freshman quarterback Brett Smith threw for 248 yards and two touchdowns.