GLENDALE, Ariz. – TCU’s wild journey has yet another cease. The Horned Frogs head to Sophie Stadium…
GLENDALE, Ariz. – TCU’s wild journey has yet another cease.
The Horned Frogs head to Sophie Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., about 10 miles from Hollywood, simply the right place to finish a storybook season for probably the most unlikely staff within the Faculty Soccer Playoff.
Max Duggan scored 4 touchdowns, TCU returned two interceptions for scores and the third-ranked Horned Frogs withstood a second-half surge by No. 2 Michigan to win 51-45 within the Fiesta Bowl semifinals Saturday night time.
TCU (13-1) will face both No. 1 Georgia or No. 4 Ohio State on Jan. 9 for the nationwide championship.
Coming off a shedding season in 2021 and was picked seventh within the Massive 12 In Sonny Dykes’ first yr as coach, the Horned Frogs will now be enjoying for this system’s first nationwide championship since 1938.
“They simply performed actually robust soccer, robust soccer. They believed in one another, believed of their teammates and simply discovered a approach to overcome and persevere,” mentioned Dykes. “That is what we have completed all yr. We did it tonight. That is who we’re.”
It took the Frogs a month to get ranked this season, they usually had been doubted at virtually each flip en path to their first playoff look.
“In some unspecified time in the future you simply cease listening to what all people else is saying,” Dykes mentioned.
Duggan and the Frogs will inevitably come up quick within the title sport, once more. It did not matter a lot towards Michigan (13-1), as they took on the large, dangerous Massive Ten champions and turned the Fiesta Bowl right into a circa-2010, Massive 12-style scoring fest.
“We heard all week how they had been doing goes to bodily push us out” mentioned TCU linebacker Dee Winters.
It was the highest-scoring Fiesta Bowl ever and the second-highest-scoring CFP sport behind Georgia’s 54-48 win towards Oklahoma on Jan. 1, 2018.
Perhaps that was applicable.
TCU, a small personal faculty in Fort Price, Texas that was overlooked of the Massive 12 when it first fashioned within the mid-Nineteen Nineties, grew to become the primary staff within the convention to win a CFP sport and would be the first to play for it. nationwide title from Texas since 2009;
This one was 34-16 after Winters’ 29-yard pick-6 with 2:46 left within the third quarter. The Hypnotoads, a nickname borrowed from the animated TV present Futurama, and their purple-clad followers smothered Michigan followers at State Farm Stadium, feeling the dream was nonetheless alive.
After all, nothing comes straightforward for these Frogs. Throughout their undefeated common season, they’ve received seven straight by 10 factors or much less.
What adopted had been 5 touchdowns punctuated by TCU turnovers, every lasting lower than a minute.
Duggan mentioned the Frogs’ next-game mentality helped them keep poised by the pandemic.
“I believe that is our mindset that helped us struggle by some momentum swings,” Dugan mentioned.
Roman Wilson’s 18-yard landing run and 2-point conversion put Michigan up 41-38 with 14:13 left within the fourth quarter.
“The winner was soccer,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh mentioned.
The Frogs returned, releasing their greatest weapon. Potential first-round choose Quentin Johnston took a brief cross from Duggan and rolled it down the sideline for a 76-yard rating that put the Frogs up 10.
Duggan threw for 225 yards and two interceptions and ran for 57. Johnston had six catches for 163 yards and Emary Demercado, filling in for the injured Kendre Miller, had 150 dashing yards. protection that ranked third into the approaching nation.
TCU lastly obtained a maintain on Michigan’s subsequent possession and turned it right into a 33-yard discipline purpose by Griffin Kelly for a 51-38 lead with 10:02 left.
After the Frogs and Wolverines mixed for 62 factors in 20 second-half minutes, the momentum shifted again. Michigan minimize the deficit to six with 3:14 left when JJ McCarthy threw a 5-yard TD cross to Wilson.
McCarthy was spectacular at instances with 343 yards passing, 52 dashing and three touchdowns. He additionally dedicated two deadly errors, throwing pick-sixes in every half.
“Titanic efforts. Phenomenal effort by JJ,” Harbaugh mentioned.
TCU could not ice it and Michigan obtained one other shot, beginning on the 25 with 52 seconds left, however could not get a primary down.
Earlier than TCU may line up in victory formation, there was a evaluation by the officers about focusing on the Frogs. What was one other minute or so of drama in a season filled with stress for TCU?
The play was clear. Dugan, the Heisman Trophy runner-up, took one final hit and knelt because the exhausted Frogs rushed the sphere and celebrated below a cloud of purple and white confetti.
The Frogs jumped out to a 14-0 lead within the first quarter and security Bud Clark made the 2 greatest performs of the sport. First, he chased down Michigan’s Donovan Edwards to stop a protracted punt on the primary play from scrimmage.
TCU then used a discipline purpose to dam a Michigan Phil particular on fourth right down to hold the Wolverines off the board.
On Michigan’s subsequent possession, Clark was rapidly fouled by McCarthy on a sideline throw and raced 41 yards for a pick-6 that put TCU up 7-0.
Duggan capped off a protracted landing with a 1-yard plunge with 2:27 left within the first quarter and the Frogs main the sniper-favorite Wolverines 14-0.
“There’s numerous issues we may have completed higher,” mentioned McCarthy, a second-year quarterback. “However we’ll be again, and I promise that.”
TCU. How the Frogs’ 3-3-5 protection, which was supposedly constructed to deal with a fast-paced unfold offense, held up towards Michigan’s energy was the largest query for Xs and Os getting into the Fiesta Bowl.
Reply: Adequate for half. TCU had three sacks, all by Dylan Horton, amongst six tackles for loss within the first half because the Frogs jumped out to a 21-6 lead.
Michigan: we lament the missed alternatives. Their first three first-and-goal conditions resulted in 3 factors, together with a fumble on the purpose line.
Michigan has gone 1-6 in bowl video games below Harbaugh.
“I advised my staff. “You are not leaving. You do not hand over,” he mentioned. “I’m actually pleased with the struggle.”
TCU. The Frogs are a mixed 1-9-1 all-time towards Georgia and Ohio State.
Observe Ralph D. Russo at https://twitter.com/ralphDrussoAP and hear at http://www.apppodcasts.com
AP Faculty Soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25
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