FORT WORTH, Texas – The football fortunes for TCU and Baylor have been drastically different since going their separate ways. The ever-widening gap was evident in one of their rare games since the end of the Southwest Conference.
"It's just embarrassing," Bears quarterback Robert Griffin said after Baylor's 45-10 loss to the fourth-ranked Horned Frogs on Saturday. "I've never been more embarrassed in my life. ... None of us wanted to come out here and have a showcase like this."
It was never even close.
TCU (3-0) scored touchdowns on its first five drives to build a 35-3 lead before halftime. Ed Wesley ran 19 times for 165 yards with two touchdowns and Andy Dalton hit 21 of 23 passes for 267 yards with two TDs to Jeremy Kerley as the Horned Frogs stretched their home winning streak to 16 games.
"We came out with a lot of emotion, we knew a lot was riding on this game, them being an instate rival and everything," Dalton said. "I think we made a statement."
The Frogs, who finally became BCS busters last year and want to do so again this season, have won 15 of their last 18 games against teams from conferences with automatic BCS bids. After a season-opening 30-21 victory over Oregon State of the Pac-10, TCU beat FCS team Tennessee Tech 62-7 in its home opener a week ago.
"We played a Pac-10 team and played a Big 12 team, we did all right," Frogs coach Gary Patterson said. "And we treated a I-AA team like we were supposed to."
Dalton, whose 91-percent completion rate was a single-game TCU record, hit his first 11 passes for 155 yards on way to his 32nd career victory, most among active FBS quarterbacks. His first incompletion didn't come until 4 minutes into the second quarter, on a ball that he purposely overthrew since his intended receiver was covered in the end zone.
"In NCAA Football, the video game, I've been pretty good," Dalton said, when asked if he'd ever had a game like that. "Other than that, that's how you want to play, and we were able to do that."
The 11 consecutive completions to start the game were a career high for Dalton, and the second-best in TCU history.
After his first miss, Dalton hit Jimmy Young for an 11-yard pass to the Baylor 12 on the next play. Wesley needed two runs from there to score, his 5-yarder for his second touchdown capping an 11-play, 90-yard drive for a 28-3 lead.
Baylor (2-1) missed a chance for only its second 3-0 start since 1996. The Bears haven't had a winning season since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996 and are 2-48 against ranked teams during that span — 0-19 vs. top-five teams.
"The thing that bothers me is we didn't challenge them much. We never got in a situation to where we could put pressure on them," third-year Baylor coach Art Briles said. "You gotta play good early. Momentum is the greatest player, the greatest coach on the field, and they had it. If you're fighting momentum, you're in trouble."
This was only the third meeting between the private Christian schools less than 90 miles apart since 1995, the last season of the SWC. BCS-busting TCU has won the three games by a combined score of 89-17, and now has a 50-49-7 series lead.
The Frogs have won or shared conference titles in three different leagues since being left out when Baylor and three other Texas schools from the old SWC merged with the Big Eight to form the Big 12. Even without automatic access into the Bowl Championship Series like those other schools, TCU reached the BCS last year after an undefeated regular season.
On the opening series of the game, Dalton hit a wide-open Kerley streaking down the middle of the field for a 28-yard score.
After Griffin was stuffed for a 5-yard loss on his first snap and the Bears went three-and-out, Wesley took a handoff over the left side, busted through the line and had a clear path to the end zone on a 49-yard run for a 14-0 lead less than 7½ minutes into the game.
Griffin threw a 53-yard TD pass to Josh Gordon in the third quarter, but was frustrated most of the day by TCU's stifling defense. Griffin finished 16-of-28 passing for 164 yards and ran 14 times for only 21 yards.
"Our game plan was to keep him in there and not let him get outside or make any big plays with his legs because we all know how fast and dynamic, explosive Robert Griffin is," defensive end Wayne Daniels said.
"Except for a couple of plays we did that," said Patterson, the defensive-minded coach.
Kerley had six catches for 69 yards, plus a 45-yard punt return in the second quarter that set TCU up at the Baylor 25 for Luke Shivers' 2-yard run that made it 35-3. Kerley broke free toward the left sideline after Greg Burks' crushing block on Mike Hicks, who was flattened when it appeared he might be able to get to Kerley.
Asked about the block, Kerley replied, "I heard it."