Really great start, really crazy finish.
TCU’s offense picked up the necessary first down to run out the clock and keep its once-fledgling bowl hopes alive.
The Frogs (5-5, 3-4 Big 12) are now in position to become bowl eligible for the 17th time in Patterson’s 19 seasons. They have to win one of their final two games. Next up is Oklahoma. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. in Norman.
The Red Raiders (4-6, 2-5), meanwhile, are in a more dire situation — needing to win out.
Credit deserves to go to Scott and TCU’s offense. Yes, the offense came through on a week when most of the headlines centered on co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie’s job security.
Positive signs, but room to grow.
TCU had lost four games by seven points or less this season. Scott said it felt good to finally be on the winning side of a close game.
“It feels so good to win close games. We’ve been in so many close games this year and we just came up short,” Scott said. “Basically before the game Coach Modkins told us there would be about 4-5 plays that will change the game. So that last drive on that one stop when Nook Bradford tackled the running back in the flats that helped us win. It wasn’t just my play that helped us win; it was the plays before that as well.”
Texas Tech was led by Jett Duffey, who threw for 333 yards and 3 touchdowns on the day. Erik Ezukanma led Texas Tech with 4 catches for 91 yards and a score.
Patterson was happy that his defense came up big when it mattered most, but he was not happy with the overall performance; especially in the secondary.
“Found a way to win; that’s it,” Patterson said. “Offense did good. Defense tried to screw it up. I’ve never seen a group try to screw it up, but we found our way to get our stops. The last two stops, that’s what mattered. Offense did a nice job today.”
Duggan continues to show why he earned the job, and he’s only going to get better from here.
“Man, Max has always been a Drew Brees-type guy. He’s a guy that leads,” senior safety Vernon Scott said. “He’s tough, hard-nosed. He’s always been that since he’s come in. He leads the offense and makes plays.”
Duggan set the tone on the opening drive. He scrambled for 26 yards on a third-and-9 play to keep the drive alive, and then scored on a 20-yard run up the middle on a third and 6.
TCU scored a touchdown on its opening drive for just the second time this season, and carried that fast start by scoring on the first four offensive drives for an early 24-3 lead.
Texas Tech rallied back and eventually took the lead, but Duggan and TCU answered when it mattered most.
“He just keeps getting better,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “It’s been season-long.”
It’s another great season for Eric Bell’s squad, one that ended in the NCAA Tournament.
The Wildcats won despite nine corner kicks from TCU, which played the final 20 minutes down a player after being shown a red card. It was Arizona’s second win this season over the Horned Frogs, having beat them 4-3 at home in September.
Arizona (12-6-1) moves on to face No. 4 seed Penn State in the second round on Friday. The game will be played in Palo Alto, Calif., with site host and No. 1 seed Stanford likely awaiting the winner in the Sweet 16 two days later.