No. 4 TCU still undefeated after game-ending FG at Baylor

Nov 18, 2022, 10:36 PM | Updated: Nov 19, 2022, 2:34 pm
TCU wide receiver Gunnar Henderson (27) runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA coll...

TCU wide receiver Gunnar Henderson (27) runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. TCU won 29-28. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

              TCU wide receiver Gunnar Henderson (27) runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. TCU won 29-28. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
            
              TCU place kicker Griffin Kell (39) celebrates with Jordy Sandy (31) and other teammates after hitting a field goal in the final seconds of an NCAA college football game against Bayor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. TCU won 29-28. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
            
              TCU head coach Sonny Dykes hugs quarterback Max Duggan (15) after an NCAA college football game against Bayor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. TCU won 29-28. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
            
              TCU wide receiver Gunnar Henderson (27) runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. TCU won 29-28. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
            
              TCU place kicker Griffin Kell (39) celebrates with Jordy Sandy (31) and other teammates after hitting a field goal in the final seconds of an NCAA college football game against Bayor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. TCU won 29-28. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
            
              TCU head coach Sonny Dykes hugs quarterback Max Duggan (15) after an NCAA college football game against Bayor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. TCU won 29-28. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
            
              TCU wide receiver Gunnar Henderson (27) runs for a touchdown during the second half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. TCU won 29-28. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
            
              TCU place kicker Griffin Kell (39) celebrates with Jordy Sandy (31) and other teammates after hitting a field goal in the final seconds of an NCAA college football game against Bayor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. TCU won 29-28. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
            
              TCU head coach Sonny Dykes hugs quarterback Max Duggan (15) after an NCAA college football game against Bayor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. TCU won 29-28. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
            
              TCU running back Kendre Miller (33) is congratulated by quarterback Max Duggan (15) after Miller scored a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
            
              Baylor quarterback Blake Shapen (12) is taken down by TCU linebacker Johnny Hodges (57) and lineman Dylan Horton (98) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
            
              Baylor quarterback Blake Shapen (12) passes in front of TCU defenders Jamoi Hodge (6) and Dylan Horton (98) during the first half of an NCAA college football game in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
            
              TCU head coach Sonny Dykes walks the sidelines during the first half of an NCAA college football against TCU in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
            
              TCU quarterback Max Duggan (15) scores a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football against Baylor in Waco, Texas, Saturday, Nov. 19, 2022. (AP Photo/LM Otero)

WACO, Texas (AP) — Fourth-ranked TCU had players shuffling on and off the field as the final seconds were ticking off the clock. Kicker Griffin Kell was the last one to get into place.

“That looked like chaos, but we practice it every Thursday exactly like that,” Frogs coach Sonny Dykes said.

And the Horned Frogs executed it perfectly to stay undefeated in what was no practice situation.

Kell kicked a 40-yard field goal on the game’s final play, and TCU beat Baylor 29-28 on Saturday, scoring nine points in the final 2:07 to avoid another potential playoff-busting loss on the banks of the Brazos River.

Emari Demercardo scored on a 3-yard TD run to cap a 90-yard drive with 2:07 left to get the Frogs (11-0, 8-0 Big 12, No. 4 CFP) within 28-26, but he was unable to pull in a pass on the 2-point conversion attempt.

After kicking deep, TCU used all three of its timeouts while forcing a three-and-out, and it got the ball back at its 31 with 1:34 left. Max Duggan had two completions before converting one third down with a 12-yard run on a quarterback draw.

Demercardo was short of a clock-stopping first down on a run to the Baylor 23, going down in the center of the field with about 16 seconds left before the offensive and special teams units ran by each other. The ball was snapped at 3 seconds, and the kick by Kell, who earlier had an extra-point attempt clank off the upright, went through as time ran out.

“The great thing about that last drive, we were throwing all of our day one concepts,” Duggan said. “We were throwing easy stuff that we practice and we can do with our eyes closed, and stuff that you believe in. … So just going out there, being confident, believing it was going to happen, and Griff makes a huge kick for us.”

TCU, which already had clinched a spot in the Big 12 championship game, hasn’t been undefeated this deep in a season since 2010, when it finished 13-0 with a Rose Bowl victory and No. 2 national ranking.

When the Frogs played at McLane Stadium for the first time in 2014, after it first opened, they lost 61-58. That was their only loss that season, and they went on to share the Big 12 title with Baylor. They were the first two teams left out of the inaugural four-team College Football Playoff.

Baylor (6-5, 4-4) was coming off a 31-3 home loss to Kansas State a week earlier, but last year’s Big 12 champions took a 28-20 lead after a pair of true freshmen scored TDs early in the fourth quarter: tight end Kelsey Johnson’s 12-yard catch and Richard Reese’s 1-yard run.

“It’s a tough locker room,” Baylor coach Dave Aranda said. “I told them that I wish that we, that I, could take the pain away.”

Duggan was 24-of-35 passing for 327 yards and a touchdown, and he also ran for a score while leading the Frogs with 50 yards rushing on eight carries. Kendre Miller had a rushing TD in his 12th consecutive game, a 2-yarder early in the second quarter that tied it at 14 before he got hurt early in the second half.

TCU didn’t lead until Duggan hit a wide-open Gunnar Henderson for a 26-yard touchdown with 5 1/2 minutes left in the third quarter, one play after the two had connected for 20 yards. It was 20-14 after Kell’s missed PAT.

Baylor’s Blake Shapen was 21-of-30 passing for 269 yards and a score, while Craig “Sqwirl” Williams ran for 112 yards. Monaray Baldwin had six catches for 123 yards, including a 74-yard gain on third-and-11 that set up Reese’s TD with 9:47 left.

“For it to end that way really hurt,” Williams said.

THE TAKEAWAY

TCU: Another comeback for the Frogs, who last month overcame double-digit deficits in the second half against Oklahoma State and Kansas State. They never faltered after several players dealt with flu-like symptoms during the week, and they finished the game without leading receiver Quentin Johnston and Miller.

Baylor: The Bears never really had much trouble moving the ball, piling up 501 total yards, 232 on the ground. On their opening drive, they had 56 yards rushing — twice as much Texas had the whole game against TCU a week earlier. But they missed a chance to take a halftime lead when Shapen’s pass was intercepted in the end zone by Bud Clark with 4 seconds left.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

TCU will stay in the top four of the AP poll on Sunday, and should still be in the all-important top four of the new CFP rankings on Tuesday.

UP NEXT

TCU ends the regular season at home against Iowa State next Saturday.

Baylor is at Texas on Friday.

___

More AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://twitter.com/ap_top25. Sign up for the AP’s college football newsletter: https://tinyurl.com/mrxhe6f2

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

FILE - Duke head coach Kara Lawson shouts to her team during the second half of an NCAA college bas...
Associated Press

Duke tops trio of ranked women’s teams in North Carolina

Duke’s Kara Lawson and North Carolina’s Courtney Banghart have spent their short tenures building programs back to national relevance. North Carolina State’s Wes Moore is leading the three-time reigning Atlantic Coast Conference champion. All of them are in the same area code. This always-competitive market looks tougher than usual with the Blue Devils’ rising to […]
1 day ago
FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2020, file photo, the Olympic rings are reinstalled after it was taken down ...
Associated Press

Probe into US Olympic failings stunted by red tape in DC

DENVER (AP) — More than 27 months since it was greenlighted by Congress, the panel established to investigate the inner workings of the U.S. Olympic structure has yet to conduct a formal interview because of bureaucratic red tape and slow action from the same lawmakers who had expressed a pressing need for better oversight. Two […]
1 day ago
Dallas Mavericks guard Luka Doncic gestures on the court in the second half of an NBA basketball ga...
Associated Press

Who has next for James’ scoring record: Luka? Tatum? Anyone?

James Harden averaged 36 points a few seasons ago. Devin Booker once scored 70 in one game. There are many more players doing much more scoring now than when LeBron James began his NBA career in 2003-04. Tracy McGrady led the league with 28 points per game that season, a mark that nine players would […]
1 day ago
United States' Mikaela Shiffrin celebrates taking second place in an alpine ski, women's World Cham...
Associated Press

Shiffrin’s silver at ski worlds inspired by LeBron’s record

MERIBEL, France (AP) — Amid a whirlwind 48 hours high in the French Alps, Mikaela Shiffrin woke up to the news that LeBron James had broken the NBA scoring record and the American skier immediately drew comparisons to her own record-breaking season. Inspired by James’ accomplishment, Shiffrin went out a few hours later and put […]
1 day ago
Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James, left, scores to pass Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to become the NBA...
Associated Press

Analysis: LeBron has defied odds, with no drop-off in sight

LeBron James is 38 years old. He is in Season 20 of his NBA career. He is, by conventional basketball-playing standards, ancient. History says his decline should have started already. Except it hasn’t. Not even close. And count that as just another example of what sets James apart from so many other greats, so many […]
1 day ago
Elina Svitolina talks during an interview with The Associated Press in Kyiv, Ukraine, Wednesday, Fe...
Associated Press

Svitolina calls for Russians to be banned from Olympics

KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian tennis player and Olympic bronze medalist Elina Svitolina pushed for a total ban on Russian and Belarusian athletes from the 2024 Paris Games in an interview with The Associated Press on Wednesday. Svitolina, who won her bronze medal in singles at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, is visiting Ukraine for […]
1 day ago
No. 4 TCU still undefeated after game-ending FG at Baylor