Well, it was the Alamo Bowl. This game is becoming synonomous with drama and suspense for TCU. Tonight had its ups and down for sure, and in the end, TCU won with a final score of 39-37.
The first quarter started out rough, with the Frogs down early 7-0. Adam Nunez tried to fake a punt on the Frogs’ first possession of the game, but he failed to get the 5 yards the Frogs needed. Stanford actually missed a field goal right after that, but Kenny Hill was nice enough to hand it back to them by throwing an interception. Bryce Love took advantage with a touchdown on Standford’s ensuing possession. TCU answered with a field goal to make it 7-3, but they continued to play catch-up to Stanford. Stanford was ahead 21-3 nearing the end of the second quarter, giving Frog fans a little deja vu from 2 years ago.
Kenny Hill struggled with passing, for the first 1.5 quarters. Midway through the 2nd quarter, someone told Kenny he had feet and could run the ball. With the help of Sewo Olonilua, Jalen Reagor, KaVontae Turpin, and John Diarse, the Frogs managed a solid series of runs and short passes that took the Frogs into the red zone. Hill ran it into the endzone to make it 21-10. A weird run-the-clock-down-and-attempt-a-Hail-Mary by Hill with :06 left in the 2nd quarter was intercepted in the endzone made Frogs wonder a bit, but hey, there were points on the board going into the locker room, so we were all feeling okay.
Then came the 3rd quarter, and holy moly what a 3rd quarter it was! The Frogs put together a drive that ended with a trick play that went Hill—>Desmon White—>Hill for a 27 yard touchdown reception that made us all hail Desmon White as our new backup QB (sorry, Shawn). We missed the extra point, which was a bummer. But the Frogs were far from finished. Stanford answered with a 79 yard drive of their own, making it 28-16. TCU answered back with a 75 yard drive and a touchdown that went Hill—>White this time. The Frogs held the Cardinal to a field goal, which was huge for the momentum of the Frogs’ offense (and the Stanford team mojo). With just over a minute left in the 3rd quarter, White had an 11-yard reception but fumbled. The ball was recovered by Stanford, and the TCU D stepped up again and forced a punt. Turpin took a knee with the ball at the TCU 7. Then Hill hauled off and THREW THE DAMN BALL to Jalen Reagor, who ran past two defenders like they weren’t even on the field. A 93 yard touchdown reception, folks. 93. FREAKIN. YARDS. The two-point conversion attempt failed, but we were only down by 2, which was the closest we had been to a lead all night.
With just over 11 minutes left in the game, TCU kicks off to Stanford. The defense forces a 3-and-out, and Stanford punts it to—none other than—Desmon White, who promptly returns it 76 yards for another touchdown. That put TCU up 36-31. Stanford was clearly PISSED and managed to put together a painfully-long 76 yard drive that took 10 plays and over 5 minutes off the clock. They got the touchdown, but missed the conversion attempt, so it was 37-36 with 6:42 left in the 4th quarter.
Sewo Olonilua carried the team down the field on his back to get TCU into field goal position with 3:07 remaining in the game. Bunce made the 33 yard field goal to put the Frogs up 39-37. Stanford had a delay of game that put them 2nd and 15 at their own 20. They got 5 yards back, but got a false start call against them that made it 3rd and 15 from their own 20 (again). K.J. Costello was clearly rattled and threw a 24-yard pass straight into the hands of Innis Gaines to give TCU the ball back with 2:01 remaining. The Frogs took their time and ran out the clock to finish off the comeback win (again!), with a final score of 39-37.