Frogs tune up for move to Big 12 with another fourth-quarter comeback

Posted Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2011  comments  Print Reprints
A

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

SAN DIEGO -- When it mattered most, the TCU offense showed a flexibility and resiliency that has characterized the 2011 team.

In the fourth quarter Wednesday in the Poinsettia Bowl, the Horned Frogs offense proved it could grind out a long drive or, when necessary, strike quickly.

Minutes after TCU put together its longest scoring drive of the season in terms of plays (18) and time (9:21) to tie Louisiana Tech, Skye Dawson clinched the 31-24 win with a 42-yard touchdown reception from Casey Pachall. The Frogs defense held the spunky Bulldogs on their next possession, and the offense went back to the grind to run out the clock.

TCU (11-2) came out sluggish and Louisiana Tech (8-5) came out like a team with something to prove in front of 24,607 in attendance at Snapdragon (Qualcomm Stadium).

The 18th-ranked Frogs finished their season with eight consecutive wins after starting 3-2. It was TCU's last game as a member of the Mountain West Conference. Next season the Frogs move to the Big 12.

TCU coach Gary Patterson talked the last couple of weeks about his team treating the Poinsettia Bowl like the first game of next season. But their first half performance, including two of the game's heroes, Dawson and Greg McCoy, didn't show much.

Dawson dropped a wide-open pass on third down and McCoy was beaten for long plays.

"They found a way to win," Patterson said. "They've been doing it all year, ever since we came back against Baylor. And we got a couple stops."

McCoy stepped in front of a Colby Cameron pass for an interception and returned it 25 yards to set up a tying touchdown late in the first half. Ed Wesley, who had a game-high 77 yards, muscled his way in from seven yards out for a score to tie it 10-10 with 26 seconds left in the first half.

TCU appeared to grab the momentum with their opening possession in the second half. The Frogs drove 55 yards in 11 plays to take a 17-10 lead on Matthew Tucker's one-yard score. But Tech got right back in the game when Euless Trinity ex Brandon Carter fumbled a fair catch on a punt, setting up the Bulldogs on the 12-yard line. Hunter Lee scored three plays later for the tie.

Another mistake, this time an interception from Pachall, set up another Tech score. Cameron, who threw for 264 yards and two touchdowns and completed 21 of a Poinsettia Bowl record 43 attempts, hit Myles White for a 61-yard touchdown to give Tech a 24-17 lead.

"It was just poor execution on our part," Pachall said. "From bad throws by me, to receivers slipping, to penalties that killed us. We weren't going to give up at any point."

And they didn't.

TCU controlled the ball for most of the fourth quarter, including an 18-play, 72-yard drive that tied the game and took 9:21 off the clock. Luke Shivers scored from a yard out with 7:49 left in the game.

That set up Pachall's scoring pass to Dawson that gave the Frogs the lead with 4:26 remaining.

Sophomore sets standards

Quarterback Casey Pachall broke Andy Dalton's single-season TCU record for completions and yards with his efforts Wednesday.

Pachall completed 15 passes for 206 yards to finish the season with 228 completions and 2,921 yards. Dalton set the record last year as a senior with 2,857 yards. Dalton had 222 completions in 2007.

Stefan Stevenson

817-390-7760

Twitter: @FollowtheFrogs

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?





Tuesday, October 21Full Scoreboard
San Francisco «7Final | Box
Kansas City1Ballpark Replay
110th World Series, Game One. San Francisco leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, October 21Full Scoreboard
Houston85Final | Box
Miami «90
Indiana89Final | Box
Minnesota «107
Utah «105Final | Box
Oklahoma City91
Portland «93Final | Box
Denver75
Phoenix «114Final(OT) | Box
LA Lakers108
LA Clippers107Final | Box
Golden State «125
Full Scoreboard
Week 8Full Scoreboard
Thursday
San Diego 8:25 PM ET
Denver TV: CBS/NFL Network
Sunday
Detroit 9:30 AM ET
Atlanta TV: FOX
Seattle 1:00 PM ET
Carolina TV: CBS
Baltimore 1:00 PM ET
Cincinnati TV: CBS
Miami 1:00 PM ET
Jacksonville TV: CBS
St. Louis 1:00 PM ET
Kansas City TV: FOX
Chicago 1:00 PM ET
New England TV: FOX
Buffalo 1:00 PM ET
NY Jets TV: CBS
Minnesota 1:00 PM ET
Tampa Bay TV: FOX
Houston 1:00 PM ET
Tennessee TV: CBS
Philadelphia 4:05 PM ET
Arizona TV: FOX
Oakland 4:25 PM ET
Cleveland TV: CBS
Indianapolis 4:25 PM ET
Pittsburgh TV: CBS
Green Bay 8:30 PM ET
New Orleans TV: NBC
Monday
Washington 8:30 PM ET
Dallas TV: ESPN
Full Scoreboard
Tuesday, October 21Full Scoreboard
San Jose3Final | Box
Boston «5
NY Rangers «4Final(OT) | Box
New Jersey3
Toronto «5Final | Box
NY Islanders2
Detroit1Final(OT) | Box
Montreal «2
Arizona3Final(SO) | Box
Nashville «4
Carolina1Final | Box
Winnipeg «3
Philadelphia0Final | Box
Chicago «4
Vancouver3Final | Box
Dallas «6
Florida «4Final(OT) | Box
Colorado3
Tampa Bay «2Final(OT) | Box
Calgary1
Full Scoreboard