TCU survived Michigan’s frenzied second-half comeback attempts to win a wild Fiesta Bowl, 51-45, and advance to the national championship game.
The Horned Frogs took a 21-6 lead into halftime before all hell broke loose in the third quarter. The teams combined for 44 points in the quarter and 41 points over the final seven minutes of the period after Michigan had briefly cut TCU’s lead to five points.
Michigan cut the lead to six points with 3:18 to go and got the ball back with 52 seconds and no timeouts remaining. But the Wolverines had a bad snap on a fourth down with 25 seconds to end the slim chances of the comeback being complete.
The Fiesta Bowl victory means TCU will be paying for its second national title in school history. TCU’s only previous national title came in 1938 when it went 11-0 as Davey O’Brien won the Heisman Trophy. The Horned Frogs are the first Big 12 team to play for the national title since Texas at the conclusion of the 2009 season.