The past five years have been an historic time for TCU athletics. Specifically the three main sports, football, basketball and baseball, have seen thrilling highs and gut-wrenching lows. As the TCU beat writer for these sports, I’ve been witness to nearly every moment, good and bad. Here’s a look back at the top 10 moments on the beat.
This list includes only events I covered. So the successes of golfer Julien Brun, long jumper Whitney Gipson, sprinter Charles Silmon, and hurdler Jordan Moore aren’t listed.
Some seemingly obvious additions missed the cut. TCU’s win over Texas on Thanksgiving night in 2012, for instance, was historic and a big win for the program, but the game itself was less exciting until the final moments.
Top 10 moments on the TCU beat
10. Triple OT vs. Texas Tech, Oct. 20, 2012
For sheer entertainment value, the Frogs’ 56-53 loss to the Red Raiders at Amon G. Carter Stadium had it all. Big plays, a late TCU comeback and a raucous atmosphere that helped usher TCU into the Big 12.
9. Thorns’ Valentine’s Day daggers stun UNLV, Feb. 14, 2012
Senior point guard Hank Thorns was a man possessed while leading a furious Frogs’ comeback against the 11th-ranked Rebels. Thorns made 8-of-12 3-pointers and scored a career-high 32 points, including eight in overtime, as TCU overcame an 18-point second-half deficit.
8. Embarrassing Utah, Nov. 6, 2010
The national media was out in force to see which team deserved to be taken seriously as a BCS buster. Only a few minutes in, it was abundantly clear. TCU stunned a packed Rice-Eccles Stadium crowd as quarterback Andy Dalton threw for a career-high 355 yards in a 47-7 drubbing. The No. 3-ranked Frogs led the No. 5 Utes 23-0 early in the second quarter and 40-0 early in the fourth. TCU turned the Utes’ Black Out into a black eye.
7. Austin Super Regional, June 11-13, 2010
After falling to Texas the year before in the same setting, the TCU baseball team finally busted through to earn its first College World Series berth. Pitcher Kyle Winkler held the Horns scoreless for 7 2/3 innings, and Tyler Lockwood earned the save in relief as late home runs by Aaron Schultz and Bryan Holaday clinched the win and the series, eliciting a dogpile of Frogs on the Longhorn logo in center field at Disch-Falk Field.
6. Boykin to Boyce forces OT at West Virginia, Nov. 3, 2012
The Mountaineers’ Tavon Austin had just scored on a 76-yard punt return to give WVU a 31-24 lead with 3:19 left. Game over, right? No way. Trevone Boykin found Josh Boyce for a 94-yard game-tying touchdown to force overtime. After the teams went scoreless in the first overtime, WVU took a 38-31 lead on Geno Smith’s 25-yard pass to Stedman Bailey. On TCU’s next play from scrimmage, Brandon Carter took a pitch from B.J. Catalon on a reverse and then found a wide-open tight end Corey Fuller for a 25-yard score. Boyce made a tough catch on a low pass from Boykin for the two-point conversion and the win.
5. Shocking Boise State, Nov. 12, 2011
Quarterback Casey Pachall’s masterpiece as a Frog came on the road at Broncos Stadium. With 2:26 remaining and TCU down 35-28, Pachall engineered a seven-play, 73-yard drive which included a 25-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Carter, followed by a game-deciding two-point conversion pass to Josh Boyce, who barreled across the goal line to clinch the 36-35 win. Pachall completed 24 of 37 passes for a career-high 473 yards and five touchdowns. He had scoring passes of 75, 74 and 69 yards in the first half.
4. College Station Regional, June 1-4, 2012
After losing its opener to Ole Miss, TCU baseball wins four elimination games to advance to the Los Angeles Super Regional against UCLA. Josh Elander, Josh Gonzales, Kevin Cron and Brance Rivera all homered, and Jerrick Suiter had five of TCU’s 23 hits in a 28-12 win over Dayton. Stefan Crichton held Texas A&M to two runs in a complete game as Cron and Derek Odell homered in a 10-2 win. Reliever Justin Scharf earned a save and a win in relief, including the last 4 2/3 in the clincher against Ole Miss to close it out.
3. Upsetting Kansas, Feb. 6, 2013
What was so stunning about the men’s basketball team upsetting the fifth-ranked Jayhawks at Daniel-Meyer Coliseum was just how dominating from start to finish the Frogs were. TCU led 8-0, 12-2, and 20-6 in the first half. KU cut the lead to 44-40 with 6:49 remaining, but Garlon Green scored seven consecutive points to build TCU’s lead back to 11 and preserve the win, one of only two league wins in the Frogs’ first season in the Big 12.
2. Matt Curry’s grand slam and TCU’s first CWS, June 19-26, 2010
No other single play had as much drama as Matt Curry’s eighth-inning grand slam against Florida State in an elimination game. It was part of an eight-run inning for TCU, which also included a two-run homer from Jantzen Witte. Curry’s shot to center field gave the Frogs a 9-7 lead and kept them alive in the team’s first College World Series appearance.
1. Rose Bowl perfection, Jan. 1, 2011
Linebacker Tank Carder raised up his right arm near the 6-yard line to knock down a game-tying, two-point conversion pass from Wisconsin quarterback Scott Tolzien at the last second to preserve the Frogs’ Rose Bowl victory and cap a perfect 13-0 season. TCU’s Andy Dalton threw for 219 yards on 15 of 23 passing and led the team with 28 yards rushing. Statistically, he had better games, but Dalton never shined brighter as the team’s leader in his TCU finale.
Others: TCU football wins at Texas on Thanksgiving night in 2012; TCU baseball finishes historically hot in 2014; TCU football demolishes Utah before 50,307 in 2009; Jason Coats’ game-winner sends TCU to its first Super Regional in 2009; TCU football takes down Clemson in a rain storm in 2009; TCU scores two runs in the ninth to beat Pepperdine in the 2014 Super Regional to earn second CWS berth; TCU outlasts Sam Houston State to win in 22 innings in the 2014 Fort Worth Regional.