FORT WORTH, Texas -- The combination of Casey Pachall and a suffocating defense proved more than Virginia could handle, as No. 17 TCU rolled to a 27-7 victory Saturday afternoon at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Pachall, the nation's leader in pass efficiency coming into the game, tossed three touchdowns and nearly had a fourth. The senior quarterback completed 21 of 32 passes for 304 yards.
As has been the case with most Horned Frogs' wins during the Gary Patterson Era, the defense stood out. TCU (3-0) forced four turnovers, with linebacker Kenny Cain coming up with three.
The Cavaliers (2-2) didn't cross midfield until midway through the second quarter. Virginia did score late in the fourth quarter on E.J Scott's short touchdown catch from backup quarterback Phillip Sims.
That's the first touchdown allowed TCU this season.
TCU began its first drive of the day on its 6 after forcing a Virginia punt. The Horned Frogs went the 94 yards in just six plays, the last 68 covered by receiver Brandon Carter. Facing a third-and-10, Carter hauled in a Pachall pass with one hand over the middle and was off the races with his fourth touchdown in three games.
TCU's offense was back in business early in the second quarter thanks to its defense. Cavaliers running back Kevin Jones was separated from the ball by Frogs safety Elisha Olabode. Cain recovered on the Virginia 42.
Pachall connected with Josh Boyce on a 6-yard pass for a 14-0 lead. With the score, Boyce set a new school record with 18 career touchdown receptions. Pachall also had a 17-yard run on the scoring drive.
The Cavaliers were driving in the second quarter, only to get bit by Cain again. Virginia quarterback Michael Rocco's third-down pass was deflected into Cain's waiting arms. The senior picked off another pass in the third quarter, making him the first TCU linebacker with two interceptions in a game since 1999.
TCU managed two field goals in the second half and Pachall's third touchdown with less than two minutes remaining. Pachall could have had another TD pass on his ledger, but receiver Skye Dawson fumbled away a sure score early in the fourth quarter just before crossing the goal line.
Pachall wasn't as sharp as his first two games when he completed 33 of 39 passes for 536 yards and five touchdowns. His 11 incompletions Saturday nearly doubled his total through those opening two wins and he threw his first interception of the season.
TCU is at cross-town rival SMU next week, while Virginia plays host to Louisiana Tech. Both are nonconference games.
Notes: The Horned Frogs played their first game without Waymon James, who led the team in rushing last season. James was lost for the season after suffering a knee last week at Kansas. ... TCU has the nation's longest active winning streak at 11. ... Virginia played in Texas for the first time since 1995 and just the third time in program history. ... TCU leads the all-time series with Virginia 2-1.