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.

Two workers injured by falling beams at Bryant-Denny Stadium renovation

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Two workers were injured Saturday by falling beams at Bryant-Denny Stadium.

The workers were laboring on a manlift when a pair of beams fell and struck the lift, trapping the workers, who were not named.

Firefighters responded around 5 p.m. Saturday to extract the workers, who were “seriously injured,” according to AL.com. After they were extracted, the workers were transported to DCH Regional Medical Center. Their condition was not known as of press time.

The workers were working on a $92.5 million phase of renovation to Bryant-Denny Stadium, announced in last fall. Crimson Tide AD Greg Byrne said in September that construction would be expedited to meet an aggressive schedule.

“We realized this is an aggressive construction schedule we are going to be talking about. However, our contractors are confident. They have expressed they will deliver this on time,” he said at the time.

Mizzou adds Va Tech’s second-leading receiver

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Missouri’s passing game received a boost this weekend in the form of a new receiver. Damon Hazelton, Jr., has joined the team as a graduate transfer.

Hazelton arrives via Virginia Tech, but announced over earlier this month he would leave Blacksburg. This is the second transfer of his career; the Towson, Md., native signed with Ball State out of high school.

Hazelton made the announcement Saturday through a social media post.

After sitting out 2017 as an undergraduate transfer, Hazelton led the 2018 Hokies with 51 grabs for 802 yards and eight touchdowns. His production dipped a bit in 2019, registering 31 catches for 527 yards but still collecting eight touchdowns.

He joins a Mizzou receiving corps where no player caught more than 31 passes in a Kelly Bryant-led offense. With Bryant out of eligibility and Eli Drinkwitz now running the show, expect Hazelton to be the focus of the Tigers’ re-tooled passing game.

2020 Notre Dame signee arrested on burglary charges, no longer welcome as part of Fighting Irish football team

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The Notre Dame football team has seen its most recent recruiting class thinned thanks to an off-field incident.

During the Early Signing Period last month, Landen Bartleson signed on as a member of the Notre Dame football team’s 2020 recruiting class.  Bartleson had been expected to enroll at the university this coming summer.

Instead, Bartleson is one of three individuals arrested and charged with burglary, criminal mischief and receiving stolen property.  Bartleson, 18, and two 16-year-old juveniles were taken into custody Friday by Danville, Kentucky, law enforcement officials.

The particulars, from WKYT-TV:

Danville police say officers were called to check out a burglary that happened overnight at a store on Westridge Drive.

Police say the suspects smashed a window and stole multiple weapons.

As a result of the off-field incident, the Notre Dame football program has cut ties with Bartleson.  A statement from head coach Brian Kelly confirmed the development.

After reviewing all of the facts available to us and speaking with the Bartleson family, we informed them that Landen will no longer be welcomed as a member of our football program.

“This incident is very much out of character for the man we have come to know and we wish Landen and his family well.

Bartleson is a three-star 2020 prospect, rated as the No. 6 player regardless of position in the state of Kentucky.

Iowa State QB Re-al Mitchell latest to enter name into transfer portal

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The portal has claimed another name and Iowa State’s quarterback depth will suffer as a result.

Cyclones signal-caller Re-al Mitchell became the latest enter the NCAA Transfer Database this week and confirmed on social media that he was leaving Ames for another opportunity elsewhere.

The move is fairly unsurprising given that Mitchell arrived on campus in the same recruiting class as current starter Brock Purdy. With a pathway to significant playing time blocked by one of the best young QB’s in the sport, a ticket out of town seemed like it was coming sooner or later for the team’s No. 2 on the depth chart.

A dual-threat known for his speed, Mitchell was originally ranked as a three-star prospect coming out of high school who picked ISU over Arizona, Illinois, Kansas State, South Carolina and others. He wound up playing in six games under Matt Campbell over two seasons and threw for an even 100 yards and one touchdown.

A Southern California native, it’s possible a move back West could be in the cards for Mitchell. He appears to be insistent on playing under center but did see spot duty as a wide receiver during his stint in Ames.

Following the departure of Mitchell, Campbell will quite a bit of youth behind Purdy on the team’s depth chart. Freshman Aidan Bouman enrolled early for spring practice while fellow Class of 2020 QB and four-star recruit Hunter Dekkers will arrive later as they battle it out for backup reps. Iowa State opens the season at home against FCS South Dakota before heading to Kinnick Stadium to take on rival Iowa in Week 2.