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TCU 37, Texas 27: The day the Frogs got their swagger back

Max Duggan grew up Saturday in a big way.

NCAA Football: Texas at Texas Christian Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The TCU media department delivered a stirring series of videos building up to game day. The TCU fans showed up. The TCU team showed out.

Saturday’s matchup with the Texas Longhorns was everything we could have hoped for it to be.

After back to back disappointing results on the road the Horned Frogs returned to the friendly confines of Amon G. Carter Stadium to take on their in-state nemesis, the Texas Longhorns. Coming off of a close victory over Big 12 “power” Kansas — whom they allowed 48 points to — Texas was primed to defend their title as conference contender against the team that had given them more trouble than anyone not named Oklahoma the last several seasons.

But TCU was not here to be their whipping boy. The Frogs turned four Texas turnovers into 13 points on their way to a 37-27 win that ***potentially*** got their season back on track.

There was so much positive buildup to this matchup, as a new uniform drop was bolstered by a series of emotion-laden videos by the exceptional TCU media team to celebrate the school’s 2019 Homecoming. TCU Football, frankly, had to show up and make some magic.

And they did.

Texas, ranked #15 coming into the meeting, wasn’t going to roll over either, of course, and quarterback Sam Ehlinger certainly wasn’t going to not keep his team in the ball game. The Frogs never led by more than ten points, but did just that in the third quarter when they took a 30-20 advantage after scoring back to back touchdowns in a less than 90 second period bracketing an Ehlinger interception by Ar’Darius Washington. The Horns responded as Ehlinger led an exceptional drive of his own to make it a three point contest with around eight minutes to play.

But at the end of the day, it was true freshman Max Duggan’s day, as the quarterback clearly learned from his final drive failures against SMU and Kansas State to engineer a brilliant nine play, 75 yard touchdown drive to put the Horns away late in the fourth quarter. On that final drive, Duggan rushed twice for 25 total yards and threw a pair of absolute dimes - one to John Stephens Jr. from the far hash for a first down on third and long and another deep to Taye Barber on third and VERY long that got the Frogs into the red zone and set up Max’s 11 yard touchdown run.

It was the kind of drive that TCU fans will look back on for years to come — the moment the kid arrived. Not back for a not good quarterback, wouldn’t you say?

TCU has owned the Longhorns since joining the Big 12, winning five out of the last six contest. Saturday reminded fans why; though it was far from a perfect game for the Horned Frogs, they moved the ball effectively against a banged up Texas defense and made critical stops against a potent Texas offense, flummoxing Sam Ehlinger despite struggling to generate a pass rush once again. Ehlinger unfathomably had four interceptions to four different Frogs (Wallow, Washington, Moehrig, and Gaines), while Duggan looked like a veteran all day, despite throwing the first pick of his career. Max finished 19-27 for 273 yards and two scores through the air, adding another 72 yards and the dagger on the ground. He was the Frogs’ leading rusher for the second straight game, as Sewo Olonilua and Darius Anderson combined for just 25 carries and 75 yards on the day.

We will have much more for you on TCU’s big win over Texas, but for now — GO FROGS!