FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) TCU redshirt freshman quarterback Josh Hoover was certainly ready for his first career start, and that was no surprise to his teammates or coach Sonny Dykes.

“Even when he was a backup, he prepared like he was the starter. ... I’m not sure you come around kids of his character and his ability too often,” Horned Frogs receiver JP Richardson said. “He showed a lot of people what he’s capable of today, and I think he might even showed himself a little bit what he can do.”

Hoover completed 37 of 58 passes for 439 yards and four touchdowns, all to different receivers, as the Frogs won 44-11 over Big 12 newcomer BYU on Saturday, a week after starter Chandler Morris sprained the MCL in his left knee.

“Just really proud of the poise that he showed,” Dykes said. “He never got rattled, the game was never too big for him.”

Millard Bradford, a senior defensive back in his first start this season, had a 35-yard interception return for a touchdown that put the Frogs (4-3, 2-2 Big 12) ahead before Hoover had taken his first snap. Their first offensive drive ended on a 42-yard TD pass to Richardson, who ricocheted off a defender at the 20 and scored for a 14-0 lead less than five minutes into the game.

“I’ve worked my whole life for this opportunity, and so the good Lord has blessed me to be here,” Hoover said. “I shouldn’t be here. I mean, I was committed to Indiana, didn’t have any offers like this. And so Coach Dykes took a chance on me, and I just can’t express how grateful I am.”

Coming off its open date, BYU (4-2, 1-2) had a season-low 243 total yards. Kedon Slovis was 15-of-34 passing for 152 yards with that interception and a lost fumble. His 75.8 quarterback rating was a career-low in 44 games that included previous stops at Pittsburgh and Southern Cal.

“If I want to give our guys a chance to be in this game, I’ve got to play better. So it starts with me,” Slovis said.

Morris is expected to miss at least a month after suffering the same injury he did when starting the 2022 season opener. By time he was healthy enough to play again last year, Max Duggan had re-established himself as TCU’s starter and went on to become the Heisman Trophy runner-up after an undefeated regular season before the Frogs made it to the national championship game.

Hoover, who was never sacked, became the first TCU quarterback since Casey Pachall in 2011 to throw four TDs in his first career start. He did have two interceptions, one a leaping one-handed pick and the other on a tipped pass late.

“We threw 60 balls and I had no pressure," Hoover said. “That’s unheard of. So our offensive line played their butt off.”


TCU led 24-0 on tight end Jared Wiley's 7-yard TD midway through the second quarter, when he caught the pass just short of the goal line, bounced off one defender and then another before plunging into the end zone. That followed an exchange of turnovers, with Eddie Heckard's leaping one-handed interception inside the 10 before BYU gave it back three plays later when Slovis fumbled after getting hit from behind.


BYU: The Cougars entered the game last in the 14-team Big 12 Conference with only 319 total yards per game, and couldn't do much in their first trip to Fort Worth since a 31-3 loss in 2010. They had only 47 total yards on 28 plays before Chase Roberts' catch-and-run for 39 yards on a fourth-and-5 to set up itheir only touchdown.

TCU: A much-needed win for Dykes’ squad after back-to-back losses. The Frogs are 5-5 in their last 10 games since their 12-0 regular season last year, when they lost the Big 12 championship game in overtime, and to Georgia in the national title game.

“In a lot of ways this was a gut check. For our guys just to come out and play like they did, I think it shows a lot about who they are,” Dykes said.

“Sonny had his guys playing with a lot of urgency,” Cougars coach Kalani Sitake said. “They couldn’t find a rhythm for some reason this season. They found it today.”


There were 13 different Frogs, led by Jaylon Robinson seven catches for 68 yards. Richardson (104 yards) and Savion Williams (77 yards) both had six catches with TDs, and Warren Thompson had a 14-yard TD catch on the opening drive of the second half.


BYU is home next Saturday for only its second game against Texas Tech. The other was in 1940.

TCU plays Saturday at Kansas State in a rematch of last year's Big 12 championship game.


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