FORT WORTH, Texas — Louie Sakoda came through again for the Utes with a clinching field goal in a big road game.
At Louisville two weeks ago, Sakoda made a 46-yarder to give the Utes a nine-point lead late in a 44-35 win over the Cardinals.
Thursday night, he booted a 41-yarder to put the Utes up 27-17 with 7:51 left.
Sakoda, who is now 13-of-14 on the year after making two field goals Thursday, was a bit anxious because the play clock was about to run out as he kicked it.
"I was getting a little nervous and I had to rush it," he said.
However the ball split the uprights, giving the Utes some needed breathing room.
Earlier, Sakoda had his first career blocked punt that was turned into a touchdown for TCU. After the punt was blocked by Daryl Washington, it went straight up in the air about 30 feet and landed right next to Sakoda.
"I couldn't find it," Sakoda said.
However, TCU's Stephen Hodge spotted it, picked it up and ran 31 yards for a score to make it 10-7 Utah.
"I took a little too much time, that along with the fact that they had about half the team coming," Sakoda said.
UTES GET FOOLED AGAIN: For the second straight week, the Utes were burned on a trick play with a "throwback" pass to the quarterback.
San Diego State executed a 35-yard play with a pass from a tight end to the quarterback.
The Horned Frogs' play was a 27-yard pass from wide receiver Jeremy Kerley to Dalton. Kerley took the ball on a reverse to the left, stopped, turned and threw to the right, where Dalton was wide open before getting knocked out at the 1-yard line.
TCU scored two plays later to go up 14-10.
9 UTE TEXANS: Utah has nine Texas players on the roster, including quarterback Brian Johnson, guard Robert Conley, cornerback Brice McCain, receiver Jereme Brooks, safety Joe Dale and special teams player Justin Jones, who all played in the game. The others are Brandon Burton, Louis Finner and Derrick Shelby, none of whom made the trip
Earlier this week, coach Kyle Whittingham said his staff planned to do some recruiting Thursday afternoon and that he hopes to eventually have between 20 to 25 Texans on the roster.
CHANGE OF LUCK: Twice this year, the Horned Frogs have lost when a last-minute field goal bounced off the uprights and missed. Thursday night, Chris Manfredini's attempt at the end of the first half hit the left upright again. However, this time it dropped over the crossbar for three points.
TCU TRADITION: The Amon G. Carter Stadium was built in 1930 as a 22,000-seat facility. It was expanded in 1948 and 1951, when it received its name after the publisher of the Fort Worth Star Telegram. It was further expanded in 1953 and 1956 to its present capacity of 44,008. The tradition for TCU football dates back to the days of Sammy Baugh and Davey O'Brien, two all-American quarterbacks from the 1930s. The most famous alum in modern times is San Diego running back LaDainian Tomlinson
GAME NOTES: Attendance was 25,391, the lowest of the year at TCU. A solid group of red-clad Ute fans sat in the northeast corner and celebrated with the Ute players afterward. ... Utah ended up with just 52 yards of offense in the second half and was outgained by TCU 285 to 227. ... Utah won the possession battle with 37 minutes to 23 for TCU. ... This marked the third straight year the Utes have played at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Last year, the Utes played in the Armed Forces Bowl, defeating Tulsa, 25-13. ... The Utes now own a 4-1 edge in the series that began in 1996. The Horned Frogs' only win came in 2005 with a 23-20 victory in overtime. ... After going all-white in their first two road games, the Utes wore their red pants Thursday as they did for the Louisville game. ... The Utes' leading receiver, Bradon Godfrey, didn't play on offense because of a sore back, but did the holding for Sakoda. ... Marquis Wilson led the Utes with five catches. ... Scouts from the Bengals, Saints, Browns, Titans, Colts and Vikings were on hand for the game. ... At game time it was 79 degrees, but the humidity was only 17 percent, making for comfortable playing conditions. ... Current Miss America Laura Nelson sang the national anthem.