By Maximillian C. Burgos | Staff Writer
The No. 15 Texas Christian University Horned Frogs upset the No. 13 Stanford University Cardinals, 39-37, on Friday night in the Valero Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas. TCU’s special teams and big-play offense ultimately helped them come back in the game and secure the victory.
The last time TCU won a bowl game, it was against the Oregon University Ducks on January 2nd, 2016. In that game, TCU was also the underdog and had to come back from a 31-0 deficit at halftime to win the game 47-41. TCU’s comeback set a record for the best in NCAA history. TCU quarterback Bram Kholhausen had his first start of his career in the game and won offensive MVP.
TCU came back from another deficit against Stanford in this game. Stanford’s Bryce Love had a solid game. The Heisman finalist rushed had 26 carries for 145 yards and scored two touchdowns. Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello also had a decent day through the air passing for 212 yards and three touchdowns, but his two interceptions cost the Cardinals the game.
TCU’s quarterback Kenny Hill was firing on all cylinders, scoring four total touchdowns. He passed for 314 yards, 2 touchdowns, rushed for 60 and another touchdown, including scoring a 27-yard receiving touchdown on a lateral from wide receiver Desmon White.
Hill did throw two interceptions, but his performance in every other area of the game made up for it.
What makes Hill’s performance even more special is the fact that it is the second-time that he has caught a touchdown, rushed for a touchdown and thrown a touchdown this season. No other player in the FBS has done it this year.
Wide receiver Jalen Reagor also had a big day for the Horned Frogs. He caught five passes for 169 yards and a touchdown down. On the particular play, Reagor displayed his elite speed, dashing past a Stanford cornerback as if he was standing still for a 93-yard touchdown reception.
In addition to throwing a touchdown on a lateral, White also caught three passes for 33 yards and a touchdown. His biggest highlight of the night though is easily his 76-yard punt return for a touchdown. He with the help of a few blockers, he blasted past the punt coverage unit for Stanford for a touchdown.
TCU secured the upset with less than three minutes to go. In the closing minutes, Costello threw a wobbly pass into the middle of the field that was picked off by the TCU defender, ultimately ending the game for Stanford.
Throughout the entire game, Costello seemed not to see open receivers and force the ball into double and triple coverage. While having faith in your arm and your receivers is always a good thing, Costello cost his team the game with some of his bad decision making.
The Stanford defense which is usually a solid unit all-around is also to blame for the loss. They allowed too many big plays and allowed the Horned Frogs to stay in the game. With a few stops, Stanford could have ridden into the sunset with another bowl win.
In the end, TCU wins another Alamo bowl in similar fashion to the win against Oregon in the same bowl two seasons ago. TCU is now 16-16-1 in bowl games as a program. TCU head coach Gary Patterson is now 160-57 in his career with TCU and 10-6 in bowl games. TCU ends the season 11-3 while the Cardinals end at 9-5.
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