TCU came up with another brilliant Alamo Bowl comeback, beating Stanford in a thriller. Here are five things that matter.
2017 Alamo Bowl: TCU 39, Stanford 37
5. Stanford should’ve been able to hang on
Stanford is built to win this game.
It cranked up a bit lead going up 21-3 early, and then it was time to go all Stanford on the Alamo Bowl.
Use the great defense to get off the field, rely on the running game, grind out the clock, don’t make a whole slew of mistakes.
There were two turnovers, and there were problems for the defense on third downs, but the time of possession was in Stanford’s favor and there were still plenty of chances to come up with the win.
But with a special teams meltdown, the inability to come up with a late stop, and that last pick to seal the win for TCU, Stanford couldn’t get the job done. It also hurt that …
4. Bryce Love just can’t stay healthy
That high ankle sprain of his got a little better over the last month, but not enough to keep him from hobbling.
Brilliant for stretches, he finished with 145 yards and two scores on 26 carries, including a 69-yard dash. But the ankle became a problem, and he later injured his hand and couldn’t come in late.
Stanford had the best running back in college football at around 70%. It was almost good enough to get it done.
3. TCU’s speed
Even when Love took off on some of his big runs, TCU managed to catch up to him. The Horned Frogs simply looked and played faster.
How did they take over the game? A 93-yard touchdown bomb when Jalen Reagor turned on the afterburners and blew by the Cardinal secondary for a score early in the fourth. That was big, the Desmon White 76-yard punt return was even larger, and the Horned Frogs pulled it off with their wheels.
2. Gary Patterson
When it comes to the best-coached teams in college football, Stanford is near the top under David Shaw, and Gary Patterson is right there – especially after beating the Cardinal.
How amazing is this TCU run? The Horned Frog seniors finished with 40 wins, three seasons with 11 wins or more in the last four, and with three bowl victories in the last four.
And Patterson continues to do wonders with a team that doesn’t give up.
The Horned Frogs came up with their 11th double-digit win run in Patterson’s 17-year run as the head man and his tenth bowl victory.
1. Kenny Hill
It’s been a rocky career, starting out at Texas A&M as the guy after the guy, taking over the quarterbacking gig from Johnny Manziel. Fast forward to his the end of his run at TCU, and he took the team to the Big 12 Championship game, and overcame the loss by closing out with a brilliant performance.
He threw two picks, but he also completed 27-of-40 passes for 314 yards and two scores, led the team with 60 rushing yards and a score, and even caught a 27-yard pass, taking it for a score.
He quarterbacked TCU to a ten-win season, he won Alamo Bowl MVP honors, and he got the team the win in the clutch. It might not have been a run to the College Football Playoff, or a Big 12 title, but after all he went through, it was a fantastic way to end an interesting run.