Aaron Green

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


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.

No. 7 OU survives surge from No. 18 TCU to move one win shy of Big 12 title

Associated Press

Across the state, No. 10 Baylor rode a strong second half performance from its third-string quarterback to an important win. That same formula nearly worked to perfection for No. 18 TCU, but Bram Kohlhausen‘s go-ahead two-point pass was batted away by Oklahoma’s Steven Parker and the 7th-ranked Sooners survived, 30-29.

TCU jumped out to an early lead on a pair of long passes from freshman starter Foster Sawyer to Kolby Listenbee, but Oklahoma’s defense and running game dominated the rest of the half as the Sooners cruised to a 23-7 lead.

But OU quarterback Baker Mayfield sustained a head injury after taking a blow to the helmet from TCU’s Ty Summers in the first half, and team doctors pulled the Sooners’ quarterback from the game over halftime.

The complexion of the game completely changed from that moment on.

Oklahoma’s offense ground mostly to a halt with 2014 starter Trevor Knight back under center, producing six punts, an interception, a missed field goal and a turnover on downs on all but one drive. The other? A 72-yard Samaje Perine scoring dash.

Perine’s run pushed Oklahoma’s lead to 30-13 with 7:55 to play in the third quarter, and the score remained that way until Kohlhausen hit Kavontae Turpin for an 86-yard touchdown pass with 8:59 remaining.

The Frogs added a 43-yard Jaden Oberkrom field goal with 6:27 remaining, then a 14-yard scoring toss from Kohlhausen to Emmanuel Porter with just 51 ticks remaining. Instead of playing for overtime, Gary Patterson opted to go for two and the win, and Kohlhausen’s scrambling toss was deflected by Parker.

Sawyer started the game for TCU and played like a freshman making his first start on the road, completing 8-of-18 throws for 107 yards with the early touchdown and three interceptions. Kohlhausen hit 5-of-11 passes for 122 yards with two touchdowns while rushing twice for 10 yards. Aaron Green rushed 23 times for 126 yards and a score.

Mayfield completed 9-of-20 attempts for 127 yards and two scores while rushing 10 times for 42 yards before giving way to Knight. Knight’s performance validated Mayfield’s position as a starter, as he hit only 5-of-16 throws for 76 yards and an interception.

Perine led the way for Oklahoma with 188 yards and a score on 26 carries. As a team, Oklahoma out-rushed TCU 333-161.

The win pushes Oklahoma (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) into a game with Oklahoma State in Stillwater where the Sooners can clinch a Big 12 title and (at worst) Sugar Bowl berth with a victory. In addition to threats from Notre Dame and others, the Sooners will have to battle style points questions after nearly blowing a big lead against a TCU team playing without Trevone Boykin and Josh Doctson.

TCU (9-2, 6-2 Big 12) is eliminated from conference championship contention with the loss, resorting to spoiler status against Baylor’s quest for a third straight Big 12 title Friday in Fort Worth.

Trevone Boykin fuels furious rally as No. 2 TCU survives K-State scare

Associated Press

With the potential for a seismic shift in the postseason landscape at hand, Trevone Boykin was having none of it.

No. 2 TCU was put on upset alert early on as Kansas State built a stunning 35-17 lead at the half in Little Manhattan.  However, an equally stunning comeback lifted the Horned Frogs to a come-from-behind 52-45 win that kept their playoff hopes very much alive.

The third quarter saw a significant shift in momentum as the Horned Frogs were able to simultaneously take the crowd out of the game and put themselves right back in it.

A pair of third-quarter touchdowns, one on Derrick Kindred‘s 60-yard interception return and the other an Aaron Green eight-yard touchdown run, sliced the Wildcats lead to 35-32 to start the fourth.  A Joe Hubener touchdown run from a yard out, though, pushed the lead back out to 42-31 with 12:21.  And then, Boykin did as Boykin does.

On back-to-back possessions, the Heisman-candidate quarterback scored on touchdown runs, the first a 14-yarder and the second a 69-yard thing of beauty that, along with a successful two-point conversion, gave the Horned Frogs their first lead since early in the first quarter at 45-42 with 6:07 remaining.

The Wildcats weren’t done, though, as kicker Jake Cantele connected from 37 yards out to tie the game with 1:47 left at 45-all.  Boykin, however, wasn’t done either.

While you can debate the merits of the decision, Bill Snyder opting to kick the field goal on fourth-and-one from TCU’s 20 left Boykin with nearly two minutes to work his magic.  Boykin, as it turned out, needed less than 30 seconds of that time as he connected with Josh Doctson for a 55-yard touchdown pass two plays after that three-pointer for a 52-45 lead.

For the game, Boykin totaled 425 yards of offense, 301 passing and 124 rushing.  He had a hand in four touchdowns as well, two each between rushing and passing.  Doctson caught 155 of Boykin’s passing yards, the fourth straight game he’s gone over the century mark.

Hubener accounted for four rushing touchdowns in a losing effort.

No. 3 TCU survives a thriller in Lubbock, topping Texas Tech 55-52

AP Photo

TCU is down seven starters from an already inexperienced defense. But the Frogs do have quarterback Trevone Boykin and wide receiver Josh Doctson. And for one wild afternoon-turned-night in Lubbock, that was enough. Boykin threw for 485 yards and four touchdowns and Doctson racked up 267 yards and three of those scores as the third-ranked Horned Frogs outlasted Texas Tech, 55-52.

Doctson tied a Big 12 single-game record with 18 catches but, typical of this game, it was the one he didn’t make that secured the win for TCU. Facing a do-or-die 4th-and-goal from the Texas Tech 4, Boykin’s pass deflected off Doctson’s hand and into the waiting arms of TCU running back Aaron Green, who found himself alone in the back of the end zone for just his third catch of the year and the biggest, by far, of TCU’s season.

The game saw nine lead changes, and it was the first that proved most crucial. With the game tied at 7-7 in the first quarter and Texas Tech at its own 20, a snap sailed past an unsuspecting Patrick Mahomes and into Texas Tech’s end zone, giving TCU an easy safety and a 9-7 lead. Those two points allowed TCU to go for two and take a 48-45 lead with 8:22 remaining. TCU converted even though Shaun Nixon‘s pass appeared to split Boykin’s arms and hit the turf but was ruled complete on the field; the call held up under review.

TCU led 33-28 at the half but Texas Tech claimed two fourth quarter leads, the first on a one-yard DeAndre Washington run that capped a 12-play, 86-yard drive, and the second on a 50-yard pass from Mahomes to Justin Stockton that gave Texas Tech a 52-48 lead with 5:55 remaining. The Red Raiders’ defense forced a three-and-out on TCU’s ensuing possession but, with a chance to put the game out of reach with a touchdown, Texas Tech answered with a three-and-out of its own. TCU scored the game’s winning touchdown on the next possession.

The teams combined for 1,357 yards of total offense and 69 first downs on 187 plays from scrimmage. TCU rushed 47 times for 247 yards and three touchdowns, led by Green’s 28 carries for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Boykin added 42 yards on the ground while completing 34-of-54 throws for 485 yards and four scores.

Texas Tech, meanwhile, rushed for 215 yards and five scores on 39 carries. Washington, who extended his lead as the Big 12’s top rusher thus far, racked up 188 yards and four scores on 22 carries. Mahomes connected on 25-of-45 throws for 392 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 36 yards and a touchdowns while fighting through a bum knee. Jakeem Grant led the Raiders with eight grabs for 126 yards and a touchdown.

TCU (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) returns home to face Texas next week, while Texas Tech (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) looks to pick up the pieces of its broken heart against, gulp, No. 5 Baylor next week at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.