FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Brandon Carter had a 68-yard touchdown on one of his one-handed catches, linebacker Kenny Cain recovered a fumble along with two interceptions and 17th-ranked TCU beat Virginia 27-7 Saturday for its 11th consecutive victory.
Casey Pachall threw for 305 yards and three touchdowns for the Horned Frogs (3-0), whose winning streak is the longest among FBS schools.
Josh Boyce had his TCU-record 18th career touchdown catch. Freshman Jaden Oberkrom had field goals of 46 and 47 yards, the second field goal set up by Cain’s 40-yard interception return.
The Frogs hadn’t allowed a touchdown this season until Virginia (2-2) finally scored with 4½ minutes left, when backup quarterback Phillip Sims threw a 5-yard TD to E.J. Scott to make it 20-7.
Carter put TCU ahead to stay on its first drive when he made a one-handed grab while leaping with his right hand fully extended near midfield behind safety Brandon Phelps. Carter sprinted untouched to the end zone, capping a 94-yard drive after a punt that Virginia’s Anthony Harris slapped back from the goal-line to prevent a touchback.
Carter had five catches for 128 yards, his second consecutive 100-yard receiving game.
Cain is the first TCU linebacker with two interceptions in a game since Chad Bayer on Nov. 20, 1999, the same day LaDainian Tomlinson set an NCAA record with 406 yards rushing for the Frogs against UTEP.
Late in the first half, Carter reached up with his right hand for another big play, turning a short pass into a 43-yard gain to the Virginia 3. The Frogs failed to convert that one when Pachall, with plenty of time to throw, tried to force a ball to Boyce that was intercepted by Maurice Canady.
It was the first pick of the pick of the season for Pachall, the nation’s most efficient passer so far this season. He completed 21 of 32 passes.
Matthew Tucker, now the primary running back for TCU, ran 15 times for 52 yards. Leading rusher Waymon James is out for the season after a left knee injury, which he sustained in last week’s 20-6 win at Kansas.
Boyce’s TD catch put the Frogs up 14-0 in the second quarter. The play ended with Pachall emphatic fist-pumping and Boyce cradling the record-setting football to the sideline.
That seven-play drive was set up by Cain’s fumble recovery at the Virginia 42. Kevin Parks, who had 84 yards on 12 carries, lost the ball after being hit by Elisha Olabode.
Cain’s first interception came later in the second quarter on a ball that deflected off the intended receiver. In the second half, Cain reached out and grabbed Michael Rocco’s pass that was thrown behind a receiver.
Rocco finished 13 of 28 for 126 yards.
TCU had two turnovers a week after four fumbles at Kansas in its first Big 12 league game. But for the second game in a row, the Frogs had a fumble roll through the end zone to wipe away a likely score.
Skye Dawson had a 27-yard catch in the fourth quarter and was at the 2 when linebacker Daquan Romero hit him from behind, knocking loose the ball. It rolled through and out of the back of the end zone for a touchback.
The closest Virginia came to scoring before their touchdown was late in the third quarter when Michael Rocco threw a pass to Darius Jennings near the goal-line before a jarring hit by Chris Hackett knocked the ball loose for an incompletion.
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