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TCU 34, Texas Tech 24: Still Standing

Derius Davis’ 2 TDs & another masterclass from Kendre Miller propel Horned Frogs to victory in the Battle for the Saddle

NCAA Football: Texas Tech at Texas Christian
The Horned Frogs will continue to hold the Saddle Trophy with Saturday’s win over Texas Tech
Raymond Carlin III-USA TODAY Sports

The TCU Horned Frogs remain undefeated and the West Texas Championship Saddle will remain in Fort Worth thanks to a two-score home victory to defeat the Texas Tech Red Raiders for the fourth straight season. Although the Frogs briefly trailed, TCU always had an answer and was eventually able to run away with the game in the 4th Quarter for a final score of TCU 34 - TTU 24.

The Frogs opened the game with about as perfect a start as you could get: the defense forced a quick 3-and-out to set up a punt return opportunity for Derius Davis. Red Raider punter Austin McNamara smashed the kick booting it 54 yards and inside the 20, out kicking his coverage and allowing Davis to bring it back for six. It was Davis 6th career return TD (1 kickoff, 5 punt) and his 2nd punt return of the season to give TCU the early lead

TCU star wide receiver Quentin Johnston went down early in the contest and the Horned Frogs’ offense struggled for some time in his absence, unable to score an offensive touchdown until the 4th quarter. The offenses struggles were especially pronounced once the Frogs had a scoring opportunity across the opponent 30, as the Frogs’ first four such situations produced just 6 total points with two turnovers on downs and two field goals.

The Frogs would finally break into the endzone just after the start of the 4th quarter as a 4+ minute, 10-play 81-yard drive that featured 6 first downs culminated in Kendre Miller powering his way into the endzone to give TCU a lead that it would never relinquish.

The Horned Frog running game was dominant on Saturday, Miller finished with 158 yards on the ground while Demercado & Bailey combined for another 74 yards. It’s Miller’s sixth game surpassing the 100-yard mark in the last seven games; he’s scored in every game this season and became the first TCU back to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season Kyle Hicks in 2016.

The TCU defense stood up strong all game to allow enough time for Max Duggan and the offense to get rolling. This was despite the unit losing its leader Dee Winters early in the 3rd quarter due to a targeting foul that will keep him out for the first half in Austin next week. TCU forced 6 punts, two turnovers on downs, and an acrobatic interception by Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson that essentially sealed the game, with the Frogs up 17 and only 5 minutes remaining.

Texas Tech falls to 4-5 on the season and 2-4 in the Big 12 and will need to win two of its final three games to earn bowl eligibility, starting next week back in Lubbock against the Kansas Jayhawks.

The Horned Frogs improve to 9-0 and 6-0 in conference play with a remaining schedule that still includes two of the top four teams in the Big 12 standings, beginning with the #24 Texas Longhorns on November 12th in Austin.