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10 Takeaways from TCU’s comeback Alamo Bowl win over Stanford

TCU mounted another second-half comeback to beat a PAC-12 team in the Alamo Bowl.

Valero Alamo Bowl - Stanford v TCU Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

TCU knocked off Stanford 39-37 in a back-and-forth Alamo Bowl affair on Thursday night. On the back of second-half Kenny Hill, who was incredible, the indescribable speed of Jalen Reagor, the shiftyness of Desmon White, and the brute force of Sewo Olonilua, TCU overcame an early 18-point deficit, and a 28-16 deficit in the third quarter, to earn their 11th win of the season.

It was a great way to cap off TCU’s season, the 10th 11+ win season TCU has had under Gary Patterson.

And with that, let’s get to the takeaways.

  • Kenny Hill goes out on a high note. It was a terrible first half for Kenny. Outside of a rushing touchdown, the senior quarterback couldn’t do anything right. He made poor decisions with the football, his accuracy wasn’t there, and he seemed hesitant to take off and run. But then, the second half got underway.

As bad as Hill was in the first half, he was absolutely fantastic in the second half. He finished the game with 401 total yards of offense, including 314 passing yards and two passing touchdowns, 60 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown, and a 27-yard touchdown reception. It’s the second time this season that Hill has scored a touchdown three different ways in the same game. He’s the only player to do it twice this season, and only one other player has done it once.

  • Desmon White finished his career in spectacular fashion. A passing touchdown. A receiving touchdown. A brilliant 76-yard punt return touchdown. The senior from DeSoto left his mark on this game in so many ways. White finished with 116 all purpose yards on the night, and a passer rating of 656.8.
  • Jalen Reagor is fast. We already knew this, but he put his speed on full display as he dusted Stanford’s entire secondary on a 93-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter, which pulled TCU to within two points. Reagor finished with 169 receiving yards on the night, and has solidified himself as a home run threat for the next several years.
  • Sewo ran angry. He’s 6-3, 235 pounds. And he showed it all off tonight as he just hammered Stanford when he had the ball. Olonilua had five carries for 58 yards, and four receptions for 31 more yards, as he helped pace TCU’s offense, and seal the game late. If he can do that again next season, and be the thunder to Darius Anderson’s lightning, TCU might never even need to throw the ball.
  • Gary Patterson gets his 160th win at TCU. He was already the winningest coach in TCU football history, and now he’s creating some distance from the field. The win tonight marked Patterson’s 10th 11+ win season at TCU, and his third since joining the Big 12. He’s a living legend.
  • Bryce Love is the real deal. He ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns before being forced to exit with a gruesome thumb injury. Let’s not forget that Love was already playing on a bum ankle, but it didn’t show when he had the ball, as he flashed every move in his arsenal. He was every bit as advertised, and then some.
  • TCU’s defense held when it mattered. Love ran for 145 yards, but TCU’s defense kept him well below his 8+ ypc average, at 5.6 yards per carry. They also forced key turnovers, and made big stops when it mattered. Nick Orr’s interception in the first half kept TCU from getting run out early, while Innis Gaines’ interception put Stanford to bed in the waning minutes of the fourth quarter. Not to mention, guys like Ross Blacklock, Ben Banogu, and Mat Boesen all stepped up along the defensive line to create problems for Stanford’s offense.
  • Travin Howard led the Frogs one last time. The all-time leading tackler for TCU recorded 10 tackles against Stanford, pushing him to 118 tackles on the season, his third straight 100+ tackle campaign. He now has 343 total tackles in his career at TCU.
  • Shoutout to the seniors. To Kyle Hicks, John Diarse, Desmon White, Kenny Hill, Austin Schlottmann, Patrick Morris, Matt Pryor, Joseph Noteboom, Travin Howard, Mat Boesen, Ranthony Texada, Nick Orr, Ty Slanina, and all the other seniors, thank you. Thanks for leaving TCU a better place than you found it, not only on the field, but off it as well.
  • The future is bright for TCU football. Guys like Jalen Reagor, Shawn Robinson, Omar Manning, Darius Anderson, Sewo Olonilua, Ross Blacklock, and many more are ensuring that TCU is still on the rise as a program. Plus, with recruits coming in like Justin Rogers, Tevailance Hunt, and Atanza Vongor, the Frogs are in great shape. I’m excited to see where these kids take the program next.