Mandatory Credit: Photo by Kathleen Batten/AP/Shutterstock (13554087v) Quarterback Max Duggan (15) throws a pass during the first half of an NCAA college football game against West Virginia in Morgantown, W.Va TCU West Virginia Football, Morgantown, United States – 29 Oct 2022
#7 TCU HORNED FROGS (8-0, 5-0 Big 12)
This Week: Won 41-31 at West Virginia
Next Week: vs Texas Tech
TCU brought their undefeated record to West Virginia Saturday afternoon, looking for a win to improve to 8-0 in Sonny Dykes’ first year at the helm. Milan Puskar Stadium in West Virginia was buzzing ahead of Saturday’s matchup, the Mountaineer faithful paying no mind to the team’s blowout loss last week in Lubbock. The game had the makings of a shootout from the get-go, as both offenses found the end zone in the first quarter. West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson rushed for his second touchdown of the first half on the first play of the second quarter, putting the underdog Mountaineers ahead 14-7. TCU responded again, as Max Duggan connected with Quentin Johnston for his second 50+ yard touchdown throw of the first half to tie it up. After West Virginia fumbled the ball back to TCU on the next drive, Kendre Miller ran 51 yards for another Horned Frogs touchdown on their first play to make it 21-14 with seven minutes still to play in the half. The teams would exchange touchdowns again in the final two minutes of the first half, including Emani Bailey’s 30-yard scamper with 24 seconds left to make it 28-21 Horned Frogs at half.
West Virginia came out hot in the third quarter, adding three points on their first drive to make it 28-24 and getting a huge stop on the following TCU possession. But when the Mountaineers appeared poised to take a lead from inside the Frogs’ ten-yard line, a fourth and goal stop would set up TCU’s 13 play, 84-yard drive culminating in a field goal early in the fourth quarter. The Frogs’ defense continued its second half surge with another forced punt on the Mountaineers’ next possession, but once again settled for a field goal to make it 34-24. West Virginia would finally break through with the game’s first second half touchdown with 4:12 to go; a 23-yard reception by Reese Smith to pull the Mountaineers within three. West Virginia would get the ball back in the final minutes, but TCU picked up the stop they needed with 2:53 to play. The Frogs put the game away on fourth and one in the final seconds, as Max Duggan’s deep ball to Savion Williams resulted in a game-sealing touchdown. TCU moves to 8-0 on the season and will not leave the state of Texas the rest of the season until their bowl game, if at all.
BAYLOR BEARS 45, TEXAS TECH RED RAIDERS 17
Next Week: Baylor (5-3, 3-2 Big 12): at Oklahoma, Texas Tech (4-4, 2-3 Big 12): at #7 TCU
Baylor and Texas Tech entered Saturday night’s rivalry showdown in Lubbock as mirror images of one another, each sitting at 4-3 overall and 2-2 in Big 12 play this season. The last three meetings between the Bears and Red Raiders were all decided by three points or fewer, with 2019’s matchup going to double overtime – and very few would have been surprised by a similar game Saturday night.
Both defenses got off to strong starts, turning each other over on downs on each team’s first possession before Baylor got on the board with a first quarter field goal. Texas Tech’s first promising drive was foiled by an interception, quarterback Behren Morton’s first since back on October 8 at Oklahoma State. Another turnover on downs and a pair of punts led the game into the second quarter without a score change, but it was the Red Raiders who put together the next threatening drive midway through the quarter. Tech would settle for a 33-yard field goal, tying the game with eight minutes to play in the first half. Baylor’s budding star at running back Richard Reese would make his presence known on the next drive, rattling off several big runs en route to a one-yard touchdown to give the Bears a 10-3 lead. After another Texas Tech punt, Baylor grabbed an even firmer grip of the game with another 70+ yard drive, this one culminating in Richard Reese’s second touchdown of the game and a 17-3 halftime lead. Red Raiders’ quarterback Behren Morton finished the first half having completed just 25% of his passes (4/16) for 71 yards and an interception.
Morton’s tough night continued on Texas Tech’s first possession of the third quarter, as he had almost immediately thrown his second interception of the game. Baylor built on the offensive rhythm it found in the second quarter to score on the ensuing drive, this time a nine-yard touchdown pass from Blake Shapen to Hal Presley to make it 24-3. Desperately needing a spark, Texas Tech’s Week 1 starter Tyler Shough was spotted warming up on the sideline before the next Red Raider drive – but it was once again Behren Morton taking the field with the offense. This time, Morton led Texas Tech’s first touchdown drive of the day, passing for 23 yards and rushing for ten as Tech pulled within two scores 24-10 in the third quarter. Baylor, who led 28-3 at halftime one week ago against Kansas before allowing 20 straight points, fumbled the football on the ensuing drive to set up yet another scoring opportunity for the Red Raiders. This time, Behren Morton made it happen with his legs, taking off on fourth down for an eight-yard touchdown run to make it 24-17. Baylor kept their foot on the gas to start the fourth quarter though, continuing to ride freshman running back Richard Reese. Reese’s third touchdown of the night made it 31-17 Bears with just under 13 minutes to go and gave him 138 yards rushing on the night. Texas Tech turned to Donovan Smith on their next drive for a play, but his interception gave Baylor back the football with just over 11 minutes to play and a two-touchdown lead. Tech’s next drive would end with an interception as well, this time thrown by Behren Morton resulting in a touchback for Baylor. The Red Raiders’ next possession saw them finally put Tyler Shough into the game at quarterback for his first action since Week 1 – but Shough’s results weren’t any different than what Tech had gotten from their other two signal callers, immediately throwing an interception returned for another Baylor touchdown. Qualan Jones ran for one more score for good measure on Baylor’s final drive, finishing the Bears’ blowout road win in style.
Texas Tech’s loss in Lubbock was their first home loss since last season and came in particularly ugly fashion with five total interceptions from three different quarterbacks. Baylor’s defense put on a clinic, also sacking Red Raider quarterbacks six times in the win. Freshman Richard Reese continued to dazzle, this time rushing for 148 yards and three touchdowns.
BEST OF THE REST AROUND TEXAS
(All games Saturday, unless specified otherwise)
FOOTBALL BOWL SUBDIVISION
Charlotte 56, Rice 23
SMU 45, Tulsa 34
North Texas 40, Western Kentucky 13
Middle Tennessee 24, UTEP 13
FOOTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP SUBDIVISION
UT Martin 52, Houston Christian 28
Incarnate Word 35, Texas A&M Commerce 7
Utah Tech 47, Stephen F. Austin 44
Lamar 24, Nicholls 17
Sam Houston 40, Tarleton State 21