(Saturday, September 26th)
Final Score: (15) TCU 14, Clemson 10
Clemson, SC (Sports Network) - Antoine Hicks' 25-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter was the difference, as 15th-ranked TCU edged Clemson, 14-10, in a non-conference clash.
Andy Dalton went 17-of-26 passing for 226 yards and two TDs, and ran for 86 yards on 19 carries for the Horned Frogs (3-0), who also got a touchdown catch from Curtis Clay.
"He (Dalton) ran the football," said TCU head coach Gary Patterson. "We had some stuff we felt like we could do in the read option game and we were able to get him loose. We had some surprises that worked well. We did just enough."
Kyle Parker was 17-for-37 for 192 yards for the Tigers (2-2), who lost their first home game of the season. C.J. Spiller tallied 112 yards and a TD on 26 carries and hauled in three passes for 79 yards through the air.
"Any loss is not good, but we fought, we played hard," said Spiller. "We can't ask for any more. We didn't have too many critical errors. I thought we played probably the best game we've played offensively. You've got to give them credit. That was a tough defense we went up against."
Trailing by three early in the fourth, TCU produced the game-winning drive and took the lead for good.
Starting at their own 44, the Horned Frogs drove all the way down to the 25- yard line before Dalton hit Hicks inside the five. The receiver juggled the ball on the left side of the field before diving into the end zone to make it 14-10 with 12:46 left to play.
Richard Jackson then missed a 34-yard field goal on the following Clemson drive. However, TCU was forced to punt on the ensuing drive.
Clemson embarked on an extended drive that was kept alive by a pair of TCU penalties. Colin Jones was called for a personal foul on Jacoby Ford's 23-yard reception, which moved the ball to the Horned Frogs 13-yard-line. TCU's defense stiffened, though, and forced a 4th-and-13 from the 16 with 2:04 showing on the clock. Parker's pass was incomplete and TCU took over on downs.
A quick three-and-out that netted just five yards allowed the Tigers one more chance from their own 43. But facing 4th-and-7 close to midfield with under a minute left, Parker's deep ball to the end zone fell incomplete and TCU ran out the clock.
Clemson took the game's opening possession 72 yards in 16 plays, but the drive stalled at the TCU eight-yard-line and the Tigers settled for a 26-yard field goal.
TCU responded with a nine-play, 91-yard drive that culminated with Dalton's six-yard TD pass to Clay, which gave the Horned Frogs a 7-3 lead with 3:01 left in the first quarter.
The respective offenses went dormant until Spiller's one-yard touchdown run put the finishing touches on a six-play, 72-yard drive that gave Clemson a 10-7 edge heading to the intermission.
It was an offense-starved third quarter, and the teams headed to the fourth with the score still 10-7.
The two teams met Saturday for the first time in 44 years, with the last matchup being a 3-0 Tigers victory in 1965 at Clemson...Clemson is now 2-1 at home, where it has gone 7-12-1 all-time against non-conference Top 25 opponents...The last time the Tigers hosted a non-league ranked foe was in 2005, a 25-24 triumph of 17th-ranked Texas A&M...TCU has started 3-0 for the fourth time in the last seven years.
09/26 20:45:13 ET