Texas vs. TCU Scores, Takeaways: No. 4 Horned Frogs Stifle No. 18 Longhorns, clinch spot in Big 12 title game

Texas vs. TCU Scores, Takeaways: No. 4 Horned Frogs Stifle No. 18 Longhorns, clinch spot in Big 12 title game

No. 4 TCU used a strong defensive performance to knock off No. 18 Texas 17-10 to reach 10 wins for the first time since 2017 and clinch a spot in the Big 12 Championship Game on Saturday, Dec. 3. The two offensive powerhouses surprisingly turned into a defensive battle, but in the end, TCU remained in the thick of the College Football Playoff conversation.

Texas posted 11 tackles to keep TCU behind the chains in the first half, but running back Miller took control of the game in the second half, overshadowing his counterpart Bejon Robinson. Miller broke off a 75-yard touchdown run for the game’s first touchdown and ran for 130 yards. Robinson was held to just 29 yards, snapping a streak of seven straight 100-yard performances.

Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers completed just 17 of 39 passes for 171 yards and an interception in another poor effort after his breakout performance against Oklahoma in October. The Longhorns, surprisingly, haven’t scored a second-half offensive touchdown since their win over Iowa State on Oct. 15. Texas tight end Ja’Tavion Sanders caught seven passes for 61 yards and Jordan Whittington posted 78 yards, but neither went in. end zone

TCU went 10-0 and had a chance to play for a conference title in coach Sonny Dykes’ first season. The Horned Frogs have regular-season games against Baylor and Iowa State remaining before making their first Big 12 Championship Game appearance since 2017.

The frog goes on the defensive

TCU has been criticized for winning the shootout, but the defense took center stage in a big way against the Longhorns. The Horned Frogs picked up Ewers and held Robinson to 29 yards after the All-American had rushed for 614 yards in his previous four games.

Horned Frogs linebacker Johnny Hodges flew around the field with 11 tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss. Four other defenders posted a tackle for loss and defensive end Dylan Horton came away with a sack. It was a complete team effort as the Frogs once again made a strong run in the second half to stifle their opponents.

Worrying about playing for Horne

While TCU did a good job of making Ears uncomfortable, Texas’ passing game also collapsed on its own. Ewers missed his first seven passes and fumbled six of his last seven attempts. When Ewers was on target, Texas had several drops or uncontested passes. Xavier Worthy was specifically targeted 12 times and took just four catches.

The Longhorns’ receiving game was highly touted coming into the season with Ewers behind center, but the receivers underperformed. With only two regular-season games remaining, no receiver has cleared 600 yards. Sanders has proven to be a major weapon, but no other receiver has been able to consistently create mismatches.

TCU’s playoff case

TCU has consistently beaten teams with its offense, but the Horned Frogs have flipped the script with an attack focused on the run and defense. With any luck, TCU hopes the College Football Playoff selection committee notices its ability to win in a variety of ways. For example: Although star receiver Quentin Johnston had a touchdown catch and 66 yards receiving, he wasn’t the focal point of the evening.

Coming off such a dominating win against one of college football’s most explosive offenses should earn TCU some much-needed street cred as the committee heads into its final deliberations. With the win, TCU now has strong wins over No. 18 Texas, No. 19 Kansas State, Oklahoma State and other potential bowl teams. Everyone is involved in overcoming some sort of adversity — yet, the Frogs are still undefeated.

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