Jalen Reagor

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Leading TCU receiver Jalen Reagor declares for NFL draft

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This is quite a busy time of year with changes flying every which way in college football. From the ongoing coaching carousel to the flurry of players continuing to move through the transfer portal and now the growing list of players who will opt to skip their final year of eligibility to test the NFL draft waters. TCU’s top wide receiver is dipping his toes in the NFL Draft pool. Jalen Reagor announced his decision with a statement on his Twitter account.

“From the time I was 8 years old and got to see up close my dad win a Super Bowl with the Colts, I knew I wanted to play in the NFL and win a championship,” Reagor said. “After much prayer and discussion with my family, I have decided to forego my remaining eligibility and enter the NFL draft. I am looking forward to contributing at the next level.”

Reagor led the Horned Frogs with 611 yards and five touchdowns this season. Reagor also added 212 punt return yards and two touchdowns on punt returns. He will certainly be a player to keep an eye on given his ability to play receiver and special teams.

No. 9 OU wins another nail biter, clinches 11th Big 12 Championship trip for its troubles

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It all started so easy for No. 9 Oklahoma. The Sooners scored on their first three possessions, moving 52, 65 and 81 yards to do so. Jalen Hurts kept from seven yards out for OU’s first score, found Brayden Willis from 20 yards out for their second, and then hit CeeDee Lamb from five for the third. That last touchdown gave Oklahoma a 52-3 run dating back to the second quarter of last week’s Baylor comeback.

And then the Sooners did the best they could to give it away.

It started when Max Duggan, who’d led TCU to all of minus-3 yards of total offense to that point, darted through the Sooner defense for a 62-yard run, taking the ball from his own 32-yard line to OU’s 6. Sewo Olonilua plunged in from 1-yard out two plays later to put the Frogs on the board. Then, a team that has struggled to hold on to the ball saw those struggles continue for another week when Sooner receiver Jadon Haselwood coughed up a fumble at the TCU 45, sparking a 48-yard Frogs drive that resulted in a 24-yard Jonathan Song field goal.

The score remained 21-10 at the half when Lincoln Riley elected to go for a 4th-and-3 at the TCU 42 to open the second half, but Garrett Wallow blew that decision up by corralling Hurts for a loss of nine. Taking over at the OU 49, Duggan led another scoring drive, hitting Darius Anderson for 15 yards, running for seven and then running for an 11-yard score, pulling the Frogs within 21-17 at the 10:15 mark of the third quarter.

Having been shutout on four straight drives, Oklahoma turned to the ground game, running six straight plays for 66 yards, as Hurts’ 8-yard touchdown stopped the bleeding. Momentarily.

After at TCU punt, Oklahoma moved from its own 8 to the TCU 7 — 85 yards, almost exclusively on the ground — but gave that yardage up and then some when Hurts threw for Lamb on 3rd-and-5 but instead hit TCU’s Vernon Scott, who picked up a convoy of Frogs and raced the ball 98 yards for a touchdown, turning a potential 35-17 game to 28-24 with 12:43 to play.

Oklahoma then took the ball, re-committed to the run game and again moved to the TCU 7 as Hurts charged 32 yards, but TCU’s Nook Bradford simply ripped the ball from Hurts’ arm in a play that has to be seen to be believed.

Given the chance to take the lead, TCU did nothing with it — the Frogs went three-and-out and punted on 4th-and-10.

But that just led to another Oklahoma turnover, this one on downs. On a 4th-and-1 from TCU’s 41, Rhamondre Stevenson charged forward but was stuffed for no gain, and TCU took over with a chance to take the lead and 3:16 to do it.

Duggan overshot Jalen Reagor on 1st-and-10, but the Frogs drew a pass interference flag for their trouble, moving them into Sooner territory. They went no further. Duggan threw incomplete on 3rd-and-6 from the OU 40, then threw late and was intercepted by Brendan Radley-Hiles with 1:41 to play.

The offense expired the remaining 101 seconds — though not without a controversial review that gave Hurts a first down on a 3rd-and-1 carry — and a Sooner team that, as the past four weeks have shown us, can not be put away or put anyone else away escaped with a 28-24 win.

Oklahoma (10-1, 7-1 Big 12) has now clinched a rematch with No. 14 Baylor in the Big 12 Championship, the program’s 11th trip all time and third straight since the game was revived in 2017. The Sooners have actually reached the last four title games, dating back to 2010. While Baylor will make its maiden voyage to the title game, OU is 9-1 in such games.

TCU, meanwhile, will need to beat West Virginia on Friday to avoid missing a bowl game for just the third time in 19 seasons under Gary Patterson. Duggan completed only 7-of-21 passes for 65 yards and an interception, but he led the Frogs on the ground with 92 yards on 12 carries.

Though their national-best 20-game streak of at least 30 points came to an end, the Sooners still rolled up OU-type numbers, as Hurts threw for 145 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 173 and two, though he committed one turnover in the air and on the ground. Kennedy Brooks also rushed 25 times for 149 yards.

TCU picks Sam Ehlinger four times to beat No. 15 Texas

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TCU entered Saturday’s game with No. 15 Texas having forced five turnovers in six games. Sam Ehlinger entered with three interceptions in 255 attempts. Naturally, the Horned Frogs picked Ehlinger four times, and true freshman quarterback Max Duggan played a sensational second half to lead TCU to a 37-27 win in Fort Worth.

Ehlinger finished the day 22-of-48 for 321 yards with two touchdowns and four interceptions, while Duggan overcame his early interception to go 19-of-27 for 273 yards and two touchdowns while rushing 13 times for a game-high 72 yards and the game-clinching touchdown.

The win is TCU’s (4-3, 2-2 Big 12) sixth in eight tries over Texas (5-3, 3-2 Big 12) — including three in a row in Fort Worth.

With the score knotted 20-20 with 4:25 to play in the third quarter, Ar’Darius Washington cut in front of a 3rd-and-7 Ehlinger pass at the Texas 44, TCU’s second pick of the day. The pick gave TCU a chance to take its second lead of the game and the Frogs immediately took advantage, as Jalen Reagor ran right pass cornerback D'Shawn Jamison and caught an easy 44-yard touchdown pass, putting the Frogs up 27-20.

Then, on the final play of the third quarter, TCU picked Ehlinger inside UT territory for the second time in the frame. It was truly a horrendous throw, as the junior forced a 2nd-and-13 throw to freshman tight end Jared Wiley; Trevon Moehrig had a better shot to catch it for TCU and catch it he did, handing TCU the ball at the Texas 36. The Texas defense held this time, forcing a 33-yard Jonathan Song field goal to go up 30-20 with 11:28 to play.

Needing a drive, Texas got one, as Ehlinger ran for two first downs over the course of 12-play, 75-yard touchdown drive that brought the Longhorns with 30-27 thanks to a 2-yard Roschon Johnson run with 6:50 to play.

A punt or even a field goal would have given Texas the ball with a chance to win the game, but instead the Frogs found pay dirt. True freshman Max Duggan converted a 3rd-and-11 from his own 24 with a 16-yard strike to John Stephens, Jr., and then hit the dagger — a 36-yard rainbow, on 3rd-and-14, in the face of a blitz, to Taye Barber, putting the ball at the Texas 11. Duggan did the deed himself one play later, putting TCU up 10 with 1:59 to play on a zone-read keeper.

Leading 3-0 in the first quarter, Texas appeared to take control when Brandon Jones became the first player to intercept Duggan and returned it near midfield, but freshman safety Tyler Owens was flagged for unnecessary roughness, taking the ball all the way back to the 12-yard line. That proved consequential when Garrett Wallow nabbed the first of Ehlinger’s quartet of interceptions at the Texas 32 and returned it to the 20, setting up Song’s 32-yard equalizer.

The score remained 3-3 until Duggan found Pro Wells for a 24-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-17, giving the Frogs a 10-3 lead at the 12:18 mark of the second quarter, a drive extended when nose guard Keondre Coburn erased a 3rd-and-5 incompletion by driving Duggan into the grass, drawing a drive-extending roughing call.

But as Duggan made up for his pick, so did Ehlinger, immediately responding by hitting Devin Duvernay for a 47-yard score, knotting the game at 10-10 with 10:57 to play in the half.

Texas then had another chance to take control of the game when Byron Vaughns forced Jalen Reagor to fumble on the ensuing kickoff, but the Longhorns could not capitalize as Ehlinger threw incomplete on 3rd-and-7 from the TCU 8 and Cameron Dicker‘s 26-yard field goal pushed wide left.

An exchange of punts gave TCU the ball at its own 2, but the Frogs got out of it when Duggan scrambled for 11 yards on 3rd-and-9 from his own 3, escaping a sack from Malcolm Roach deep inside his own end zone. The Frogs successfully flipped the field when Jake Smith muffed a punt, giving Texas the ball at its own 17. Taking over with 3:22 left before the half, Ehlinger marshaled an 8-play, 83-yard drive capped by a 17-yard toss to a wide open Keontay Ingram. Ehlinger closed the half 11-of-23 for 211 yards with two touchdowns and a pick, while Ingram totaled 77 yards on 12 touches.

TCU responded with a 52-yard field goal by Griffin Kell on the final play of the half — after Tom Herman iced an initial attempt that landed 20 yards wide.

Texas whiffed on another opportunity to take control early in the third quarter, when Duvernay ripped off a 63-yard catch, setting the ‘Horns up with a 1st-and-goal at the 6. Offensive pass interference on Collin Johnson (who otherwise played a sensational game with seven catches for 101 yards) pushed the ‘Horns backward and forced a 38-yard Dicker boot.

As has been so often the case in this increasingly-doomed Texas season, the defense surrendered the lead and did so quickly: a 51-yard bomb to Barber served as the key in a 5-play, 70-yard touchdown drive. Sewo Olonilua scored two plays after the Barber completion, and TCU never trailed again.

No. 15 Texas leading TCU at the break

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No. 15 Texas holds a 17-13 lead over TCU at the half in Fort Worth.

Leading 3-0 in the first quarter, Texas appeared to take control when Brandon Jones became the first player to intercept TCU freshman Max Duggan and returned it near midfield, but freshman safety Tyler Owens was flagged for unnecessary roughness, taking the ball all the way back to the 12-yard line. That proved consequential when Garrett Wallow intercepted Sam Ehlinger at the Texas 32 and returned it to the 20, setting up Jonathan Song‘s 32-yard equalizer.

The score remained 3-3 until Duggan found Pro Wells for a 24-yard touchdown on 3rd-and-17, giving the Frogs a 10-3 lead at the 12:18 mark of the second quarter, a drive extended when nose guard Keondre Coburn erased a 3rd-and-5 incompletion by driving Duggan into the grass, drawing a drive-extending roughing call.

But as Duggan made up for his pick, so did Ehlinger, immediately responding by hitting Devin Duvernay for a 47-yard score, knotting the game at 10-10 with 10:57 to play in the half.

Texas then had another chance to take control of the game when Byron Vaughns forced Jalen Reagor to fumble on the ensuing kickoff, but the Longhorns could not capitalize as Ehlinger threw incomplete on 3rd-and-7 from the TCU 8 and Cameron Dicker‘s 26-yard field goal pushed wide left.

An exchange of punts gave TCU the ball at its own 2, but the Frogs got out of it when Duggan scrambled for 11 yards on 3rd-and-9 from his own 3, escaping a sack from Malcolm Roach deep inside his own end zone. The Frogs successfully flipped the field when Jake Smith muffed a punt, giving Texas the ball at its own 17. Taking over with 3:22 left before the half, Ehlinger marshaled an 8-play, 83-yard drive capped by a 17-yard toss to a wide open Keontay Ingram. Ehlinger closed the half 11-of-23 for 211 yards with two touchdowns and a pick, while Ingram totaled 77 yards on 12 touches.

TCU responded with a 52-yard field goal by Griffin Kell on the final play of the half — after Tom Herman iced an initial attempt that landed 20 yards wide.

Texas will receive to open the second half.

Top five college football teams ready to bust out in 2019

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It may seem like Clemson’s thrashing of Alabama in the national title game was only a few months ago but as fresh in our minds as that contest was, it was last season. Hard as it is to believe but the 2019 campaign is almost here and it’s time to turn our attention from what happened last year to what could happen between the lines this fall.

As part of CFTalk’s 2019 College Football Preview, we’re exploring every nook and cranny of the sport before kickoff in Week 0. Up first, which teams might be ready to bust out and have a banner season? Several of these were either under or treading water in 2018 but could be in store for a big jump over the coming months.

Without further ado, here are five candidates to bust out in the Power Five and a handful of others in the Group of Five who could do the same in 2019:

Miami

Manny Diaz has taken over in Coral Gables and optimism is running high given what he was able to do with the Hurricanes defense as a coordinator the past few years, including bringing some of the swagger back to ‘The U’ with the now infamous turnover chain. The team slumped to a 7-6 finish last season, getting run out of the building by Wisconsin in the Pinstripe Bowl. That ending certainly framed how this team is viewed going into 2019 but the ‘Canes still have one of the more talented rosters in the ACC and sport perhaps the best defense this side of Clemson in the conference too. The key to the program all comes down to the offense being not quite as awful as it was a year ago. There’s some talent surrounding new quarterback Jarren Williams and the hope is that new OC Dan Enos — fresh off an impressive run as Tua Tagovailoa’s coach at Alabama — can meld everything on that side of the ball into a cohesive unit. The opener against rival Florida in Orlando is fairly tough but the schedule is among the most manageable in the country and Miami might be favored in 11 of their 12 games overall. Somebody has to win the Coastal Division and the Hurricanes have as good a shot as any to have a big jump on the win total and make a run to Charlotte.

TCU

It seems like this is an annual exercise under Gary Patterson. Much is expected of the Horned Frogs one year, only for them to flop. Then nothing is expected amid one big question mark and TCU winds up challenging for the Big 12 and a playoff bid (see 2014 and 2017). We might be a lot closer to the latter with this year’s squad, which may technically return only 12 starters but has a ton of players with experience returning to the lineup after injuries hit the team hard the past 18 months or so. The Horned Frogs offense should sport one of the better offensive lines, a solid running game and an All-American candidate Jalen Reagor at wideout.  The question remains quarterback, which will largely determine the ceiling or floor of this group. Kansas State transfer Alex Delton or four-star freshman Max Duggan are the two front-runners for the gig though both are likely to see time early on. As one can expect from a Patterson-coached team, the defense will be pretty good too. Most of the talk in the Big 12 has been about stalwarts Oklahoma and Texas but don’t discount the Frogs making it back to AT&T Stadium either.

Oklahoma State

Sticking in the Big 12, the Cowboys narrowly avoided their first losing season since 2005 and are hoping to get back to the double-digit wins that have they have been accustomed to having the last few years. Princeton’s Sean Gleeson is the team’s new offensive coordinator and his biggest task will be keeping the offense going with either redshirt freshman Spencer Sanders or Hawaii transfer Dru Brown at quarterback. Whoever emerges under center will get the benefit of throwing to Biletnikoff Award finalist Tylan Wallace at receiver and a pretty solid tailback group headlined by Chuba Hubbard. The secondary should be a strength on defense and the hope is that some surprises emerge in the front seven to help make a solid group on that side of the ball better. OSU was better than their record indicated in 2018 given the number of close losses they suffered and given how their schedule shakes out, it wouldn’t be a shock to see Mike Gundy’s group return to the top 25 this season.

Minnesota

There’s been a ton of discussion about the Big Ten West and how the division shakes up this year, with Iowa, defending champ Northwestern and fast-riser Nebraska garnering much of the discussion with a little Purdue mixed in for good measure. The dark horse few mention is the Gophers though, who took a nice jump in Year 2 under P.J. Fleck to a bowl game and are hoping to row the boat to even more progress in 2019. QB Tanner Morgan was a big reason behind last season’s stretch run, going 4-2 as a starter and developing obvious chemistry with top target Tyler JohnsonAdd in a pretty accomplished group at running back and the Minnesota offense has a chance to surprise folks with how good it can be. Defensively, the team has responded well to DC Joe Rossi after he was elevated to the gig and the Gophers are returning six starters on that side of the ball plus returning safety Antoine Winfield Jr. after a injury-shortened redshirt campaign and Notre Dame graduate transfer Micah Dew-Treadway up front.  They get Rutgers and Maryland as two of their crossover Big Ten East games so a run at double-digit wins can’t be ruled out in the Twin Cities if everything comes together.

Arizona

At this time last year, there was a ton of talk about Khalil Tate’s Heisman chances and if the Wildcats could make the jump in a wide-open Pac-12 South. Injuries put a damper on that first question early in 2018 but if the dynamic quarterback can get back to being his old self, that latter question may be of relevance in 2019 out in the desert. The team uniquely gets three bye weeks thanks to opening at Hawaii in Week 0 and the early schedule is easy enough to facilitate a pretty good start. Tate running and throwing like he did two years ago combined with superb tailback J.J. Taylor make the offense dangerous and it would be somewhat surprising if the defense didn’t improve at least incrementally. While this team isn’t likely to challenge for the conference title, making big strides and at least making a run at a trip to Santa Clara would be a huge sign of progress under Kevin Sumlin.

Group of Five Bust Out Candidates: Ohio, Florida Atlantic, Hawaii, UL-Lafayette, Tulane