Gary Patterson knew just what to say when asked if TCU’s rout of Mississippi was a statement the Horned Frogs should have been in the four-team playoff.
“I don’t think I have to say anything,” Patterson said.
No need. The Horned Frogs said it all on the field.
Playing like a team motivated by the playoff snub, No. 6 TCU rode three touchdown passes from Trevone Boykin and a dominant defense to a 42-3 rout of No. 9 Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl on Wednesday.
Josh Doctson had two touchdown catches and Aaron Green ran for a score and added a touchdown reception for the Horned Frogs (12-1).
“We showed Atlanta, the crowd and everyone that we deserve to be in the playoffs competing for the national championship,” said receiver Kolby Listenbee, who threw a touchdown pass and had a scoring catch.
Added Doctson: “I think people around the nation will be talking about us for a while now.”
TCU fans also were thinking of the national championship they can’t win.
Late in the third quarter, when the lead was 42-0, TCU fans targeted the No. 1 seed in the playoff when they chanted “We want Bama!”
Ole Miss (9-4) lost four of its last six games. Bo Wallace threw three interceptions, including one caught in the Rebels end zone by defensive end James McFarland for a touchdown.
TCU looked like a championship contender to Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze.
“TCU is a very good team,” Freeze said. “They deserved every mention they got this year to be in the hunt for one of the four. … I’m glad I’m not on that committee to pick the four. They certainly could compete with any of the four in it, there’s no question in my mind.”
The action was as lopsided as the score. TCU finished with 423 yards and allowed only 129 to Ole Miss. The Rebels were held to 9 yards rushing in the biggest margin of victory in Peach Bowl history.
TCU led 28-0 at halftime.
“The first half was like a straight punch in the mouth,” said Ole Miss tight end Evan Engram.
Ole Miss ranked first in the nation with its average of only 13.8 points allowed. Turnovers and TCU’s quick-strike offense were too much to overcome.
Wallace completed only 10 of 23 passes for 109 yards with three interceptions.
The Rebels avoided the shutout when Gary Wunderlich kicked a 27-yard field goal with 7:18 remaining.
Boykin also had turnover problems, as he completed 22 of 31 passes for 187 yards with three touchdowns and three interceptions. He had 10 carries for 65 yards.
There were a combined five turnovers in the first half, including three by TCU. Boykin threw two interceptions and wide receiver David Porter fumbled when trying to pitch to Green on a trick play.
The Rebels, held to four first downs and 59 total yards in the first half, couldn’t take advantage of the turnovers.
By contrast, the Horned Frogs turned two Ole Miss turnovers into 14 points. On the Rebels’ third snap of the game, a pass from Wallace was picked off by safety Chris Hackett. Two plays later, Listenbee threw a 31-yard touchdown pass to Green.
Late in the half, Wallace tried to avoid a safety when pressured in his end zone by tossing the ball away, but McFarland snatched the ball up before it hit the turf for an instant touchdown and a 28-0 lead.
Wallace was sacked five times — all in the first half.
The rout continued in the third quarter as Boykin threw touchdown passes of 35 yards to Listenbee and 27 yards to Doctson. The scoring catch moved Doctson past Reggie Harrell’s team-record total of 1,012 yards receiving in 2003.
The Rebels finally staged an impressive drive late in the third quarter, when they had a first down at the TCU 8. On fourth down from the 7, the shotgun snap went past Wallace, and running back Jordan Wilkins fell on the ball at the 26.
Ole Miss left tackle Laremy Tunsil, an all-SEC first-team selection, was taken off the field in a cart late in the first half with an apparent right leg injury. Some TCU players walked over to offer encouragement to Tunsil as he waited for the cart.
Attendance was 65,706, ending the Peach Bowl’s streak of 17 consecutive sellouts.
The bowl is sponsored by Chick-fil-A.
SOURCE: The Associated Press