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College Football Playoff | Fiesta Bowl : Michigan vs. TCU

TCU gave Michigan trouble on both sides of the ball on Saturday before UM got their feet under them. Then all bets were off.


TCU 51, Michigan 45

4th quarter

After weeks of waiting, the College Football Playoff is finally here. The University of Michigan Wolverines and Texas Christian Horned Frogs began the New Year's Eve festivities in the Fiesta Bowl in Scottsdale, Arizona on Saturday afternoon.

The University of MIchigan Wolverines, making their second appearance in the playoff in two years, looked like they were off off to a quick start, taking the ball all the way to the Texas Christian 3-yard-line on the game's first drive before failing to score on a trick play on 4th down.

The second time Michigan touched the ball, they fared even worse. An interception of J.J. McCarthy's pass with 9:22 left in the first quarter resulted in a touchdown for the Horned Frogs.

Just under seven minutes later, TCU quarterback Max Duggan rushed for a one-yard-touchdown as the Horned Frogs took a two touchdown lead before the end of the first quarter.

Michigan's appeared to be turning things around in the 2nd quarter when they got on the board with a field goal. 

In TCU's following drive Michigan intercepted a tipped pass giving Michigan good field position. 

Although, they took advantage and once again got the ball inside the 5-yard-line on the very next play, the opportunity to tighten up the game ended just as quickly when a muffed handoff put the ball back into TCU's hands. 

Later in the half, Michigan's troubles continued when TCU scored their third touchdown of the game after a long drive.

On their last drive of the half, Michigan managed another field goal. 

Michigan once again was able to put the ball inside TCU's 5-yard-line at the beginning of the third quarter but once again failed to put the ball into the end zone, settling for their third field goal of the game.

Michigan finally got a touchdown, and gained clear momentum, midway through the 3rd quarter on a 34-yard flea flicker from J.J. McCarthy to Ronnie Bell.  

Minutes later however, TCU scored two touchdowns in quick succession.

Keeping themselves in the game, Michigan scored once again on a running play from quarterback J.J. McCarthy but was unable to score on an attempted 2-point conversion.

But once again, less than a minute later, TCU managed to find the end zone.

Still, after all that, Michigan refused to give up, scoring another touchdown just before the end of a wild third quarter. 

Combined, the two teams scored 44 points in the third quarter alone.

The fourth quarter began just as exciting for the Wolverines as they managed to score yet another touchdown. Another two point conversion put them within a field goal.

Just over a minute later however, it was once again a two score game in TCU's favor as the Horned Frogs scored once again. 

Although they were able to move the ball into Michigan's red zone, TCU had to settle for a field goal.

Another touchdown by the Wolverines with just over three minutes to play helped ease some of the angst by Michigan fans as the game entered its final minutes.

Michigan, who have had one of the best defenses in the country throughout the season, entered the game as the favorite.

Michigan's Road to the Fiesta Bowl

The University of Michigan football team is in the College Football Playoff for the second year in a row following an undefeated regular season and the 44th Big Ten championship in program history.

The Wolverines (13-0, 9-0 Big Ten) rode running back Blake Corum for most of the year, but will once again have to find a way to win without their 1,400-yard rusher. Corum injured his knee against Illinois on Nov. 19 and underwent season-ending surgery earlier this month.

UM, ranked second in the College Football Playoff rankings, had success closing the season without him. Corum carried the ball just twice against the Buckeyes and didn't play at all in the Big Ten title game against Purdue. 

Michigan won those games by a combined score of 88-45.

Fourth-ranked TCU will likely prove to be a tougher matchup. The Horned Frogs (12-1, 9-1 Big 12) also turned in an undefeated regular season before falling 31-28 in overtime in the Big 12 Championship game to Kansas State.

The selection committee didn't punish TCU for the close loss and kept them in the third spot from the previous week.

The winner of Saturday's Fiesta Bowl moves on to the national championship on Jan. 9.

Peach Bowl preview: Ohio State vs. Georgia


What: Fiesta Bowl - No. 2 Michigan vs. No. 3 TCU.

When: Saturday at 4 p.m.

Where: State Farm Stadium - Glendale, Ariz.


Announcers: Sean McDonough, Todd Blackledge, Molly McGrath and Tiffany Blackmon. 

Line: UM -7.5; Over/under 58.5 (as of Wednesday).

Last meeting: This is the first meeting between UM and TCU.


Points per game: UM 40.1 | TCU 40.3

Points allowed per game: UM 13.4 | TCU 25.0

Total yards: UM 453.5 | TCU 473.0

Yards passing: UM 210.5 | TCU 273.0

Yards rushing: UM 243.0 | TCU 200.0

Yards allowed: UM 277.1 | TCU 385.1

Pass yards allowed: UM 191.8 | TCU 235.6

Rush yards allowed: UM 85.2 | TCU 149.5



Quarterback J.J. McCarthy: 188-288, 2,376 yards, 20 touchdowns, three interceptions; 254 yards rushing, four touchdowns.

Running back Donovan Edwards: 117 carries, 872 yards, seven touchdowns; 17 catches, 192 yards receiving, two touchdowns.

Linebacker Michael Barrett: 67 total tackles, 3.5 sacks, two interceptions.

Defensive back Rod Moore: 59 total tackles, 0.5 sacks, three interceptions.

Kicker Jake Moody: 26-32 field goals (long of 54), 58-58 extra points.


Quarterback Max Duggan: 239-368, 3,321 yards, 30 touchdowns, four interceptions; 404 yards rushing, six touchdowns.

Running back Kendre Miller: 216 carries, 1,342 yards, 17 touchdowns; 16 catches, 116 yards receiving.

Wide receiver Quentin Johnson: 53 catches, 903 yards, five touchdowns.

Linebacker Dee Winters: 65 total tackles, 7.5 sacks, one fumble recovered.

Cornerback Josh Newton: 31 total tackles, three interceptions, 12 passes defensed.


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