TCU did it again.
Two years ago in the Alamo Bowl, the Horned Frogs beat Oregon 47-41 in overtime after trailing 31-0 at halftime. Thursday night against Stanford, TCU’s comeback wasn’t as dramatic. But it was still impressive as the Frogs capped a 39-37 win with a late interception.
Stanford jumped out to a 21-3 lead with 7:24 left in the second quarter after wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside scored his second touchdown of the game. TCU cut the deficit to 11 at halftime and then five early in the third quarter.
After Stanford punted early in the fourth with a 31-23 lead, TCU struck quickly to get the lead.
Quarterback Kenny Hill found Jalen Reagor for a 93-yard pass play to make it a two-point game. TCU went for the conversion and the tie, but this wonderfully-designed pass to a lineman fell just incomplete.
Stanford punted on its next possession and Desmon White happened. White returned the punt for 76 yards and a touchdown and TCU had the lead less than four minutes after trailing by eight.
The Cardinal counterpunched well, however. Arcega-Whiteside caught his third touchdown pass of the game from K.J. Costello with 6:42 left for a 37-36 advantage. But TCU took the lead for good when kicker Cole Bunce hit a 33-yard field goal with 3:07 left and Stanford’s final drive was halted when Costello threw an interception deep over the middle with two minutes to go.
TCU coach Gary Patterson changed shirts at halftime of that Oregon game, a move that superstitiously led to his team scoring 38-straight second-half points. He appeared to have the same shirt on when he left the locker room to start the second half Thursday night, but he was definitely missing his voice after the game.
Voiceless Gary Patterson is the best pic.twitter.com/9vfAAxbzF0
— Dr. Saturday (@YahooDrSaturday) December 29, 2017
Stanford was without running back Bryce Love for its final drive of the game. Love, who finished second in the Heisman voting to Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield, left the game before Arcega-Whiteside’s go-ahead TD because of a bloody right thumb. He emerged from the medical tent not long before Costello’s pass was picked off by Innis Gaines.
Love finished the game with 26 carries for 145 yards and two scores. One of those touchdowns was a signature long run, a 69-yard burst in the third quarter.
Hill was 27-40 passing for 314 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. He also rushed for a touchdown and caught a touchdown in the third quarter, the second time in 2017 that he’s had all three types of touchdowns in a single game.
TCU ends the season at 11-3 while Stanford finishes the year 9-5.
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