TCU mounts historic comeback, stuns Oregon in triple OT in Alamo Bowl

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They say the clothes make the man, and Gary Patterson was hellbent on proving just that on what turned into a wild and historic Saturday night in San Antonio.

Wearing a black polo in the first half, Patterson watched as his No. 11 TCU squad seemed headed for a blowout loss as they were outscored 31-0 by No. 15 Oregon in the first two quarters of the Alamo Bowl.  Patterson changed into a purple polo in the halftime locker room… and his Horned Frogs proceeded to tie the biggest comeback in bowl history, stunning the Ducks in triple overtime 47-41.  The 31-point comeback ties the FBS bowl record, matching Texas Tech’s reversal of Minnesota in the 2006 Insight Bowl.

TCU outscored Oregon 17-0 in the third quarter as momentum swung wildly their way and the deficit was cut to 31-17.  An Aaron Green touchdown run with under four minutes left in the fourth quarter, followed by a two-point conversion, cut the lead down to just three at 31-28.  On the ensuing possession, the Ducks inexplicably passed on second and third downs; the incompletions stopped the clock and helped lead to Jaden Oberkrom‘s 22-yard field goal with :19 left in regulation that sent the game into overtime.

The two teams traded touchdowns in the first overtime and field goals in the second.  In the third, a Bram Kohlhausen eight-yard touchdown run and failed two-point conversion gave the Horned Frogs a 47-41 lead.  The Ducks, however, could manage just two yards on their next and final possession of the game, with an incompletion on fourth down officially sending TCU into the FBS bowl record books.

The Horned Frogs were left for dead after a first half that saw them outgained 376-142.  Then the Ducks were forced to play the entire second half without their starting quarterback and starting center, and it showed as they were held to just 18 (!!!) yards of offense the last two quarters.  Kohlhausen, playing in place of the suspended Trevone Boykin, was superb, bouncing back from a rough first half to throw for 354 yards and a pair of touchdowns in his first career start.

Then, of course, there was this…

If you were looking for the dictionary definition of a tale of two halves, this was it.

TCU was forced to punt on five of its eight first-half possessions, with another ending on downs and another with an interceptions.  In the second half, Oregon, after scoring on five of their eight first-half possessions, punted at the end of their first four second-half drives before what would’ve been a Hail Mary attempt ended in a sack at the end of the fourth quarter.

TCU ended up with a 545-419 advantage in total offense.

While the loss of quarterback Vernon Adams and center Matt Hegarty certainly hurt those numbers, it had nothing to do with the second-half collapse of the Ducks’ defense.  Oregon simply had no answers for an undermanned TCU offense in the last two quarters and overtime sessions, and the collapse will lead some to wonder, perhaps even head coach Mark Helfrich, whether the tenure of long-time UO coordinator/assistant Don Pellum should come to an end.

TCU finished 2015 at 11-2, and have now won 10-plus games in back-to-back seasons five times the past 13 years. Oregon, meanwhile, finished at 9-4, breaking a streak of seven consecutive 10-win seasons.

VIDEO: UCF head coach Scott Frost shows off wheels running the option as scout team QB

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In terms of accomplishments as a college football player, few coaches have the resume of Scott Frost.

After all, the now-UCF head coach won a national title back in 1997 with Nebraska and compiled a 24-2 record as a starter with the Cornhuskers. What made him so dangerous? Well, he was the perfect fit for the team’s triple option offense and was one of the best in terms of using his arm and his legs in leading the team to all those wins.

“I love option football,” Frost told the Associated Press “I lived it. I feel like option quarterbacks now are kind of like giant pandas, they only exist in zoos and military academies now.”

That’s particularly relevant this week, as his Knights are set to play Navy on Saturday in a huge AAC matchup that will have an impact on who receives this year’s Group of Five bid. Given how well the boss is at running the option, it seems he decided to put on a helmet and run the scout team offense to better prepare his defense for what they’ll see out of the Midshipmen and signal-caller Zach Abey.

From the looks of things, Frost still has it even if he’s got 20 years on his players.

Ohio State reportedly opting for all-gray alternate uniforms for Penn State game

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Recruiting never stops, even for a blue-blood like Ohio State. That’s one reason why the team is reportedly set to go with an all-gray alternate uniform for the team’s biggest game of the year when Penn State rolls into Columbus.

Team site Eleven Warriors posted that they have obtained images of the retail uniforms the Buckeyes are set to wear, which includes a top that is completely gray with only a sliver of scarlet for the team’s logo on the chest:

OSU opting for alternate uniforms in big games is nothing new for the program under Urban Meyer, especially since a new Nike deal kicked in a while back. They donned some for the Michigan game last season and have worn several versions in other contests. This latest monochrome look, which is still a report and subject to change mind you, still seems a bit bland all things considered.

If nothing else, it could make things very hard for the broadcasters despite all eyes being on the horseshoe for one of the most important Big Ten games of the year.

ESPN apologized to Washington over cupcake stunt during broadcast

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It seems that budding feud between ESPN, Washington and Huskies head coach Chris Petersen is starting to die down just a bit.

ESPN has apologized to the school for a stunt on a broadcast two weeks ago during the Washington-Cal game, in which commentators took the team’s weak non-conference schedule to task and used literal cupcakes to represent the Huskies’ opponents during the first few weeks of the season.

“I felt more like that was such a disrespectful move for the people we play,” athletic director Jen Cohen told the Seattle Times. “For those that do this, we do this because we love the kids. These are somebody’s sons, somebody’s brothers. They’re 18- to 22-year-old kids, and so I was more offended, not for us, as I was for our opponents.

“It was a class act (to apologize), and he made the right call.”

According to the Times, Cohen received a call from Peter Derzis, ESPN’s senior vice president of college sports programming and events, offering the apology.

As nice as the mea culpa was from ESPN, Cohen and Petersen were probably even more elated to hear the news that their October 28 game against UCLA was slated to be televised at 12:30 p.m. PT after an oft-criticized string of night games that made the head coach quite ornery last week. It might not make up for the fact that the team lost to Arizona State on Saturday but there are definitely a few baby steps being taken to repair the relationship between the school and one of the Pac-12’s primary broadcast partners.

Athletic director Tom Jurich officially fired by Louisville board

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It’s official: Tom Jurich is out as Louisville’s athletic director.

The Cardinals board of directors voted 10-3 to oust the embattled AD on Wednesday afternoon, completing a pair of sweeping changes in the department following the growing college basketball scandal that has enveloped the school. Once one of the most powerful people in college athletics, Jurich was fighting to remain in his job ever since he was placed on administrative leave after the U.S. Attorney’s office in New York announced details of a wide-ranging investigation.

Vincent Tyra will continue to serve as acting athletic director until a permanent hire is made.

Perhaps the biggest effect on the football program following Jurich’s ouster is on the contract of Cardinals head coach Bobby Petrino. Notably, his buyout is set to be halved if Jurich was ever fired… which means it could be more likely he leaves the school this offseason for another job. Given potential openings such as Tennessee, it’s not out of the question that the halving of the buyout will come into play for some schools if the dominoes fall in the right way to allow somebody to hire Petrino away.

Oh, and for those wondering, yes that is indeed the Papa John of the pizza chain fame who voted to fire Jurich on Wednesday.