No. 4 TCU dominates Iowa State to remain undefeated in final tune-up ahead of Big 12 Championship
Kendre Miller rushed for two touchdowns as fourth-ranked TCU completed the first undefeated regular season by a Big 12 team since 2009 with a 62-14 win over Iowa State on Saturday, moving the Horned Frogs closer to college football playoff of four teams. .
Max Duggan threw touchdowns to three receivers for the Frogs (12-0, 9-0 Big 12, No. 4 CFP), who have yet to play the Big 12 championship game next Saturday in coach Sonny Dykes’ first season. But they will go into it as one of only three unbeaten teams left.
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A week after having to score nine points in the final 2 minutes, 7 seconds at Baylor and getting the game-ending field goal when there were no timeouts and the clock was running, TCU led 17-0 with scores in each of their three series against. The best defense of the Big 12.
Iowa State (4-8, 1-8) had given up 16.5 points per game, the most being 31 and only two teams scoring more than 24.
The Frogs led 24-0 late in the first quarter with Millard Bradford’s interception being returned 36 yards for his first defensive touchdown this season. Josh Newton added another with his 57-yard interception and scored after halftime.
It was the most lopsided loss for Iowa State since 55-3 in the regular season finale at TCU in 2014, the inaugural season for the four-team playoff and when there was no Big 12 title game.
TCU with a loss entered that game in third place, but fell to sixth in the final CFP standings the next day. That was one spot below Baylor, the only team to beat the Frogs. Ohio State was fourth after a 59-0 victory in the Big Ten title game.
Miller’s 25-yard TD run in the first quarter marked his 13th straight game with a rushing touchdown, the longest active streak in the nation. He added a 1-yard score, his 16th of the season, on fourth down late in the first half for a 34-7 lead.
Duggan hit a wide-open Geor’Quarius Spivey for a 19-yard TD pass on fourth-and-2 on the game’s opening drive. Duggan finished 17 of 24 for 212 yards.
NO. 3 MICHIGAN DOMINATES NO. 2 OHIO STATE IN COLUMBUS, KEEPING NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP HOPES ALIVE
The last time the Frogs went this far in an undefeated season was 2010, then in the Mountain West, when they went 13-0 and with a No. 2 national ranking after winning the Rose Bowl.
That was a year after Texas finished the regular season undefeated, won the Big 12 title game, and then lost in the BCS National Championship Game. Oklahoma was undefeated in all 12 big games in 2016 after starting 1-2 in non-conference play.
THE TO TAKE
Iowa State: The Cyclones had allowed a combined 24 points in the first quarter of their previous 11 games. … It’s their first losing record since coach Matt Campbell’s 3-9 debut in 2016 after taking over a team coming off six straight losing seasons.
TCU: Miller and WR Quentin Johnston (persistent ankle injury) missed the end of the chaotic comeback against Baylor. Miller returned after taking a shot on a block early in the second half of that game, though Johnston did not play the regular season finale on wet turf. Duggan completed passes to 10 different frogs.
IMPLICATIONS OF THE SURVEY
With No. 2 Ohio State’s 45-23 point home loss to No. 3 Michigan, the Horned Frogs should move up one spot in the new AP poll on Sunday. That could also be the case in Tuesday’s new CFP rankings.
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Iowa State: The Cyclones play their 2023 season opener at home against Northern Iowa on September 2
TCU: The Frogs only have about 20 miles to drive from campus to play the Big 12 championship game at AT&T Stadium next Saturday.