No. 3 TCU beat Michigan 51-45 for the biggest upset in College Football Playoff history and one of the most exciting semifinal games Parmat has seen since his debut in 2014. The Horned Frogs trailed by eight points. kickoff, but that same DNA helped the team overcome a few second-half deficits and help them go 5-1 in one-score games, just what they needed to protect their own second-half lead against the previously undefeated Wolverines.
The game made history as the highest-scoring Fiesta Bowl ever (since 1971) and the highest-scoring College Football Playoff game in regulation.
TCU led by 18 points in the first half and was up 21-6 at halftime before a third quarter that saw 44 points between the two teams. Not only did Michigan reach the end zone for the first time all game but also scored two more touchdowns and a field goal in a 15-minute span that, in a vacuum, would have suggested the Big Ten champions made one of their moves. Greatest comeback in playoff history.
But at almost every turn, TCU had an answer.
When Michigan cut the lead to 21-16, TCU first drove down the field with two minutes to go and scored a lead-extending touchdown, then picked off JJ McCarthy for his second pick-six of the game. McCarthy came off the mat and led two touchdown drives in the final three minutes of the third quarter, but there was another TCU touchdown in between. Michigan cut the lead to 41-38 early in the fourth quarter, its closest deficit of the game, but the Horned Frogs came back with 10 unanswered points to extend their lead. The first of those two scores, a 76-yard touchdown pass from Duggan to Quentin Johnston, gave TCU a 48-38 lead.
Of course, that wouldn’t be the final twist of the game, as Michigan would take advantage of a key defensive stop to set up McCarthy with field position and a 56-yard touchdown drive to cut the TCU lead to 51-45 with 3:18 to play in the game. But TCU was able to pick up a first down and enough clock to limit Michigan’s chances to steal the win in the final minute.
CBS Sports will update this story with more to-do’s and things to know about TCU’s epic win.