No. 4 TCU beats No. 18 Texas 17-10 to secure Big 12 title spot

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — TCU was far from pretty against Texas, but the Horned Frogs are still undefeated and in contention for a Big 12 championship.

And maybe even bigger things are coming.

Kendre Miller ran for 138 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown in the third quarter that sparked a tense defensive struggle, and the TCU No. 4 beat No. 18 Texas 17-10 on Saturday night to earn a spot in the Big 12 titles secure game.

TCU’s Max Duggan, who was sacked four times in the first half and followed the entire game, connected with Quentin Johnston for a 31-yard touchdown for broken coverage in the fourth quarter.

“Nobody was expecting this kind of game,” said TCU coach Sonny Dykes. “We have great confidence in our ability to take over the game late.”

The TCU defense played their best game of the season. The Horned Frogs held Texas running back Bijan Robinson for 29 yards, giving up just 199 total yards and forcing Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers into a miserable night. The Horned Frogs allowed Texas a single field goal on consecutive drives within the TCU 10 in the second half.

“I think our defense has a little chip to prove something,” said TCU linebacker Johnny Hodges.

The win keeps the Horned Frogs (10-0, 7-0) undefeated and in the hunt for even bigger prizes in Dykes’ first season. They are ranked No. 4 in the college football playoff rankings after being picked to finish in the bottom half of the Big 12.

TCU is also 10-0 for the first time since 2010, when the Horned Frogs played in the Mountain West Conference, finished 13-0 and won the Rose Bowl.

“I think we just decided, ‘Look, let’s go on this journey together and not worry too much about the destination,'” Dykes said.

Texas (6-4, 4-3, No. 18 CFP) has not scored an offensive touchdown in the second half of their last three games. The Longhorns’ only touchdown against TCU came late in the fourth quarter after Jahdae Barron’s scoop-and-score on a 48-yard fumble return.

THE TAKE AWAY

TCU: Duggan stayed composed on a rough night. TCU crushed the game when his casual fumbling led to a touchdown in Texas that almost set the game swinging. But Duggan came back with a critical third that helped TCU’s run end the final 4 minutes. He was 19th of 29 to pass for 124 yards.

“Crazy chain of events,” Dykes said. “He went on, put it behind him and did a great job leading the team for the rest of the game.”

Texas: Ewers had a wild up-and-down season in his freshman year, but now he’s had another bad game in the second half of the season and has major accuracy issues. He was 17 of 39, passing for 179 yards and one interception, but it seemed like coach Steve Sarkisian never considered assisting Hudson Card.

“It wasn’t all because of Quinn,” said Sarkisian, who is 11-11 in his sophomore year. “Everyone took turns tonight. We just left.”

ANALYZE THIS

Texas had the advantage of having former TCU head coach Gary Patterson as the Longhorns’ special assistant on the sidelines. Patterson’s fingerprints seemed to be all over a Texas game plan that threw Duggan everything he could until the Longhorns finally tired late.

FIGHT THE BACKS

The matchup included the Big 12’s top two rushers in Robinson and Miller. But Robinson often had no means of escaping and was only carried 12 times. He rushed 32 times for 200+ yards against the Horned Frogs in a win in Texas last season.

Miller was asked if he was the best back in the Big 12.

“Yes,” said Mueller.

NEXT

TCU plays Baylor next Saturday.

Texas plays Kansas next Saturday.

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