FORT WORTH, Texas – No. 20 TCU wrapped up its first outright conference title in nearly 50 years by beating Colorado State 33-6 Saturday night to clinch the Mountain West.

Robert Merrill and Aaron Brown combined for 178 yards on 29 rushes to lead the league’s highest-scoring offense. The TCU defense, which leads the conference in points allowed, shut down the Rams, intercepting four passes and sacking Justin Holland five times.

TCU (9-1, 6-0), playing its first season in the MWC, last won an outright league title in 1958 when it was in the Southwest Conference.The Horned Frogs shared SWC titles in 1959 and 1994 and won a piece of championships in the Western Athletic Conference (1999, 2000) and Conference USA (2002).

Saturday’s victory left TCU two games ahead of Colorado State (5-4, 4-2) and Brigham Young with one league game to go.

The Horned Frogs rolled up 302 total yards before halftime and scored touchdowns on three of their first four possessions, while holding the Rams to 87 yards and no TDs in the first half.

Jeff Ballard passed for 160 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score as TCU led 24-6 at the half. TCU tacked on a third-quarter safety when Brian Bonner and Chase Ortiz sacked Holland in the end zone, and Cory Rogers added a 6-yard touchdown run to his earlier TD reception.

Bonner had two interceptions for TCU, which leads the nation with 23 picks.

TCU held Colorado State to just 198 total yards and 13 first downs. The Rams had 35 rushing yards.

AP-ES-11-05-05 2239EST

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