TCU beat Stanford 39-37 in a thriller of an Alamo Bowl on Thursday night after trailing by as many as 18 points and never leading until the fourth quarter.
The last time TCU played in the Alamo Bowl, the Horned Frogs made a 31-point comeback to win in 2016, beating Oregon in overtime, 47-41. So yeah, TCU knows how to come back from behind.
The Horned Frogs trailed the Cardinal the entire night, but Kenny Hill found Jalen Reagor for a beautiful 93-yard touchdown pass to pull within two at 31-29 with 14 minutes to go.
Then, the Horned Frogs scored another touchdown on a 76-yard punt return to take their first lead of the night at 36-31 with just under 12 left. Stanford took back a one-point lead with a counter touchdown, but TCU’s 33-yard field goal paired with a Stanford late interception gave the Horned Frogs the victory.
Stanford’s Bryce Love left the game in the fourth with a thumb injury, which was costly for the Cardinal down the stretch.
Kenny Hill goes out on a high note. It was a terrible first half for Kenny. Outside of a rushing touchdown, the senior quarterback couldn’t do anything right. He made poor decisions with the football, his accuracy wasn’t there, and he seemed hesitant to take off and run. But then, the second half got underway.
Gary Patterson gets his 160th win at TCU. He was already the winningest coach in TCU football history, and now he’s creating some distance from the field. The win tonight marked Patterson’s 10th 11+ win season at TCU, and his third since joining the Big 12. He’s a living legend.
The future is bright for TCU football. Guys like Jalen Reagor, Shawn Robinson, Omar Manning, Darius Anderson, Sewo Olonilua, Ross Blacklock, and many more are ensuring that TCU is still on the rise as a program. Plus, with recruits coming in like Justin Rogers, Tevailance Hunt, and Atanza Vongor, the Frogs are in great shape. I’m excited to see where these kids take the program next.
Despite the loss, Bryce Love broke Christian McCaffrey’s single-season rushing record, and became the sixth Stanford player to eclipse 3,000 career rushing yards. JJ Arcega-Whiteside also tied a Stanford bowl record set by Coby Fleener (Orange Bowl, 2011) with three touchdown receptions.
2:01, TCU 39, Stanford 37
K.J. Costello is picked off! TCU takes over and can run this clock out.
3:07 TCU 39, Stanford 37
TCU takes back the lead with a 33-yard field goal. What a game, folks!
6:42, Stanford 37, TCU 36
The Cardinal takes back the lead after a 4-yard touchdown from JJ Arcega-Whiteside. Stanford’s 2-point conversion attempt is no good, leaving it a one-point game
11:49 TCU 36, Stanford 31
The Horned Frogs jump ahead after a 60 yard punt return from Desmon White.
TCU could have tied the game if it weren’t for this two point conversion drop:
14:34 Stanford 31, TCU 29
TCU gets within 2 with this 93 yard pass(!) from Kenny Hill to Jalen Reagor.
00:48, Stanford 31, TCU 23
The Horned Frogs were putting together a nice drive and in Stanford territory, but Desmon White fumbles a catch to give the Cardinal the ball back.
2:09, Stanford 31, TCU 23
A K.J. Costello miss on 3rd down makes Stanford settle for a field goal despite getting deep in TCU territory. The Horned Frogs could use a score here, down eight points.
5:51 Stanford 28, TCU 23
The Horned Frogs make it a one-score game once again with a Kenny Hill touchdown pass to Desmon White. TCU isn’t dead just yet!
9:01, Stanford 28, TCU 16
Bryce Love scores his second touchdown of the night on a beautiful 69-yard run to put his team up two scores once again.
Thats his 13th run that went over 50 yards this season!
11:11, Stanford 21, TCU 16
The Horned Frogs come out firing early, with a pass-back play to quarterback Kenny Hill, who runs it into the house. TCU missed the extra point though, so the deficit is still five.
Stanford leads TCU 21-10 as both teams head to the locker room.
3:06, Stanford 21, TCU 10
TCU quarterback Kenny Hill gives the Horned Frogs life with a 6-yard touchdown. His legs were key on that scoring drive.
7:24, Stanford 21, TCU 3
Stanford adds to its lead with a 14-yard K.J. Costello touchdown pass to JJ Arcega-Whiteside to put the Cardinal up three scores.
14:13, Stanford 14, TCU 3
The Horned Frogs get the ball back after Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello throws a pick in the end zone.
14:54, Stanford 14, TCU 3
Stanford leads TCU at the beginning of the 2nd quarter 14-3.
1:51, Stanford 14, TCU 3
Oh noooo TCU nearly has an incredible trick play on the kickoff return, but KaVontae Turpin can’t hang on to it.
Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello finds JJ Arcega-Whiteside for an 18-yard touchdown pass to take an 11-point lead.
6:01, Stanford 7, TCU 3
TCU cuts into the Stanford lead with a 38 yd field goal from Cole Bunce.
8:42, Stanford 7, TCU 0
Cardinal running back Bryce Love has a monster 15-yard touchdown run to give Stanford an early lead.
We’re underway in the Alamo Bowl between Stanford and TCU! The last time the Horned Frogs played in this game in 2015, they led a 31-point comeback, so this one has the potential to be fun!
This year’s Alamo Bowl features two teams that are very good, but not quite good enough to make it into the College Football Playoff in the Stanford Cardinal and TCU Horned Frogs. They’ll meet on Thursday at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN (live streaming via WatchESPN).
Both teams are also coming off a loss in their conference championship games. TCU had no answers for No. 3 Oklahoma, which dominated them, 41-17, in the Big 12 championship game. Stanford fought hard and was much closer in its game but ultimately fell to No. 10 USC in the Pac-12 title game.
To make matters worse, Stanford lost to the Trojans earlier in the season as well, while TCU also fell to Oklahoma in the regular season. As a result, the Horned Frogs are playing in their second Alamo Bowl in three seasons. In 2015, TCU beat Oregon in a triple-overtime Alamo Bowl, so there is some recent success there.
Both teams are adamant that they’re just as excited for this bowl game as they would have been something bigger, though.
Kenny Hill is the quarterback for TCU, and he’ll be playing his final collegiate game after a long career that also included backing up Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M. He’s thrown for 2,838 yards, 21 touchdowns and six interceptions this season. K.J. Costello is the starter for Stanford, having thrown for 1,386 yards, 11 touchdowns and two interceptions in considerably less action than Hill.
Below is all you need to know to watch the game.
Time, TV channel, and streaming info
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- Location: Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas
- TV: ESPN
- Streaming: WatchESPN
- Odds: TCU opened as a 2-point favorite.
Stanford vs. TCU news:
- TCU blog Frogs O’ War bypassed the usual question-and-answer session with the opposing blog and instead spoke with the opposition of their opposition. That means they spoke with Notre Dame’s One Foot Down and Oregon’s Addicted to Quack.
- Some have suggested the TCU defense is “receding.” Frogs O’ War is very, very adamant that this is not the case, and it has the stats to back it up.
- Bryce Love is definitely someone to watch out for, obviously, and Frogs O’ War took a deep dive on what to expect from him in Thursday’s game.
- TCU is pretty familiar with this bowl ... there is some history there, for sure.
Stanford vs. TCU prediction:
Stanford has the better team, but not by much. It should be able to handle its business on defense, and if it gets a boost with turnovers or on special teams, the Cardinal could lock it down.
Be sure to check out all our bowl predictions here.