FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — The long-awaited Big 12 era for TCU is off to a nearly flawless start with a new stadium, an FBS record and the winningest coach in school history.
Oh, and another shutout.
Casey Pachall and Trevone Boykin combined to complete all 17 passes for TCU — the most in FBS history without an incompletion — and the 20th-ranked Horned Frogs scored on special teams and defense in a season-opening 56-0 victory over FCS team Grambling State on Saturday night.
"I guess if you were going to script a first ball game, this is the way we'd want to do it," coach Gary Patterson said.
After the game, Patterson was presented a crystal ball in recognition of his 110th career victory — one more than Dutch Meyer, who led the Frogs to their only AP national championship in 1938. Patterson is 110-30 overall with 10 shutout victories one game into his 12th season.
"To be here is kind of amazing, to be a part of where you're going into a new conference and the opportunity to be a part of a new stadium," Patterson said. "And to get a chance to follow a legend and break that record is obviously pretty neat. It may not sink in, we've got too much in front of us."
After being one of only four FBS teams that didn't play on college football's opening weekend, TCU got off to a fast start in its first game as a Big 12 Conference member and debut of its $164 million completely redone stadium.
Deante' Gray, one of 12 true freshmen to play for TCU, returned a punt 70 yards for a touchdown only 2 minutes into the game. Wayman James had a 1-yard TD run on the Frogs' first offensive possession before Elisha Olabode returned an interception 28 yards to make it 21-0 with 7:54 still left in the first quarter.
"Coming out all week, we were talking about how we can't play down to other teams' levels, and we knew that coming in," Pachall said. "Everybody from the get-go, in the locker room, had the right mindset and the right focus about them, and we were able to do what we did."
Pachall played only the first half, completing all nine of his passes for 201 yards and three touchdowns, two to Josh Boyce, while the Frogs jumped out to a 42-0 lead.
Boykin, a redshirt freshman, took over after halftime. He 34 yards for a score and threw a 7-yard TD to David Bush while hitting all eight of his passes for 75 yards.
After Gray fielded the ball, his first touch in college, he broke two tackles on the near side of the field, cut toward the middle and sprinted to the end zone. The Frogs were off and running.
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