Kenny Hill Leads TCU to Wild Comeback Victory vs. Stanford in Alamo Bowl

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistDecember 29, 2017

TCU wide receiver Jalen Reagor (18) scores on a 93-yard touchdown reception against Stanford during the second half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Eric Gay/Associated Press

The TCU Horned Frogs know a thing or two about wiping away big deficits in the Alamo Bowl, and they put that knowledge to good use Thursday night. 

Despite trailing by 18 points in the second quarter, TCU stormed back and dropped 29 points on the Stanford Cardinal in the second half to secure a 39-37 win at the Alamodome in San Antonio. 

The come-from-behind effort marked the second in three seasons for the Horned Frogs—who erased a 31-point deficit to defeat the Oregon Ducks in a triple-overtime Alamo Bowl thriller following the 2015 campaign. 

As Sports on Earth's Matt Brown and Smart Football's Chris Brown both noted, TCU head coach Gary Patterson has become something of a second-half maestro over the past few seasons: 

Speedy playmakers spearheaded TCU's furious rally, with quarterback Kenny Hill and wide receivers Desmon White and Jalen Reagor all at the center of the action. 

White got the party started in the third quarter when he hit Hill for a 27-yard throwback score, and Hill returned the favor with an 11-yard scoring strike on the Horned Frogs' next possession. 

And that was just the start of the second half.

Once the fourth quarter got rolling, TCU fully unleashed its biggest burners when Hill connected with Reagor for a 93-yard score to trim the deficit to two before White took a punt 76 yards to the house to help hand the Horned Frogs a 36-31 edge. 

Stanford countered when wide receiver JJ Arcega-Whiteside snared his third touchdown of the night to help the Cardinal briefly regain the lead, but TCU promptly marched 59 yards in nine plays to set up Cole Bunce's game-winning 33-yard field goal with 3:07 to go. 

All told, Hill finished 27-of-40 for 314 yards and four total touchdowns (two passing, one rushing and one receiving). He also led the Horned Frogs with nine carries for 60 yards. 

Heisman Trophy finalist Bryce Love, meanwhile, paced Stanford. 

Although he wasn't available down the stretch due to an apparent thumb injury, Love stuffed the stat sheet with 26 carries for 145 yards and two touchdowns as he broke Christian McCaffrey's single-season Stanford rushing record on a night filled with statistical achievements, per ESPN Stats & Info: 

Love also registered his 11th 50-yard touchdown run of the season when he bolted 69 yards to the house in the third quarter, as ESPN documented: 

But with Love banged up late and the momentum firmly surging in TCU's favor, the Cardinal didn't have the juice necessary to mount one final scoring drive. 

As a result, TCU finished 11-3 a season after sputtering to a 6-7 record that included a Liberty Bowl defeat. 

Conversely, Stanford dropped to 9-5 and failed to crack double-digit wins for the first time since 2014.

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