San Antonio — There is something about TCU and big comebacks in the Alamo Bowl. Never count out the Horned Frogs.
In 2015, they stormed back from down 31-0 to win. They did it again Thursday night, rallying from 21-3 down to beat No. 15 Stanford, 39-37, behind Kenny Hill, who passed for two touchdowns, ran for another, and even caught one. Cole Bunce kicked the winning 33-yard field goal with just over 3 minutes left after Stanford had retaken the lead.
“The bottom line is we need to start faster,” TCU coach Gary Patterson joked after the game. “We fought back tonight.”
Hill landed the biggest punches. He scored the Horned Frogs’ first touchdown on a 6-yard scramble. His 27-yard touchdown catch on a throw from receiver Desmon White capped No. 13 TCU’s first drive of the second half.
And Hill’s 93-yard touchdown pass to Jalen Reagor in the fourth quarter sent a charge through an Alamodome crowd that was dominated by TCU fans.
It was the second time this season Hill had a rushing, passing and receiving touchdown, providing a memorable finale to his college career. Hill began his career at Texas A&M, where he succeeded Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel in 2014, but transferred to TCU (11-3) after a rocky first season with the Aggies.
“To come back to win (tonight) with this group of guys who accepted me from the minute I came in, means everything to me,” said Hill, who had 314 yards passing and a team-high 60 yard rushing.
Bryce Love, a Heisman Trophy finalist, rushed for 145 yards for Stanford (9-5), including a 69-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. K.J. Costello threw three touchdown passes to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, the last one giving Stanford a 37-36 lead.
Hill completed three passes on TCU’s winning drive. The Horned Frogs sealed the victory with an interception by Innis Gaines with 2:01 left.
Love finished with the season with 2,118 yards rushing, setting a Stanford single-season record.
CAMPING WORLD BOWL
No. 17 Oklahoma State 30, No. 22 Virginia Tech 22: Mason Rudolph threw for 351 yards and a pair of touchdowns, and James Washington became Oklahoma State’s career receiving yards leader as the Cowboys beat Virginia Tech in Orlando, Fla.
Washington caught five passes for 126 yards, giving him 4,472 for his career and passing Rashaun Woods for the school mark. Justice Hill ran for 120 yards and another score for the Cowboys (10-3), who have won 10 games in each of the last three seasons — another Oklahoma State first.
Josh Jackson (Saline) ran for two scores and threw for another for the Hokies (9-4), including a rush that got Virginia Tech within 27-21 with 5:40 remaining. Deshawn McClease ran for 124 yards, a Virginia Tech season-best, but the Hokies were hurt by two turnovers in Oklahoma State territory.
Hill came through with perhaps the play of the night. Facing a third-and-11 with 3:30 left, Hill took a handoff, went left, waited for a lane to open — and broke loose for a 31-yard gain down to the Hokies’ 18. Matt Ammendola’s 38-yard field goal with 2:34 left put the Cowboys up by nine, essentially sealing the outcome.
Virginia Tech actually outgained the high-octane Cowboys, 518 yards to 492.
Navy 49, Virginia 7: Backup quarterback Zach Abey scored five touchdowns, Malcolm Perry ran for 114 yards and two scores and Navy beat Virginia in a surprisingly lopsided win in Annapolis, Md.
After Virginia’s Joe Reed took the opening kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown, the Midshipmen (7-6) got two TDs apiece from quarterbacks Perry and Abey in taking a 28-7 halftime lead.
Perry left in the third quarter with a foot injury, leaving Abey to score on runs of 5 and 20 yards to make it 42-7 in a game Navy entered as a 1½-point favorite.
Abey added a 1-yard touchdown with 11:11 remaining, then sat for the remainder of the game.
The Midshipmen rolled up a Military Bowl-record 452 yards rushing, including 101 by Chris High and 88 by Abey, who began the season as the starter before losing the job.
Playing in their first bowl since 2011, the Cavaliers (6-7) could not contain Navy’s triple option and had no success moving the ball.
Nebraska quarterback Tanner Lee will skip his final year of eligibility and enter the NFL draft.
The move was not unexpected in the wake of coach Mike Riley’s firing and Scott Frost’s hiring.
Lee won the starter’s job last spring after sitting out 2016 following his transfer from Tulane. He completed 57.5 percent of his passes for 3,143 yards, with 23 touchdowns and 16 interceptions.
... North Carolina State defensive lineman Bradley Chubb hasn’t talked with reporters and done only side work during practice for the Sun Bowl.
Wolfpack coach Dave Doeren isn’t making much of a secret of Chubb most likely sitting out Friday’s game against Arizona State, which would be the second straight year that the biggest story for the oldest bowl in Texas was a highly touted NFL prospect opting not to play.