No. 13 TCU and Hill rally to beat No. 15 Stanford 39-37

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No. 13 TCU and Hill rally to beat No. 15 Stanford 39-37
No. 13 TCU and Hill rally to beat No. 15 Stanford 39-37

SAN ANTONIO (AP) – Kenny Hill passed for two touchdowns, ran for another and even caught one as No. 13 TCU rallied from a big early deficit to beat 15th-ranked Stanford 39-37 in the Alamo Bowl on Thursday night.

Cole Bunce’s 33-yard field goal with just over 3 minutes to play won it for the Horned Frogs (11-3), who trailed 21-3 before storming back behind big plays from Hill and a 76-yard punt return from Desmon White. TCU rallied from 31 down in to beat Oregon in the 2015 Alamo Bowl.

Stanford (9-5) running back Bryce Love, a Heisman Trophy finalist, rushed for 145 yards and had a 69-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. K.J. Costello had three touchdown passes to J.J. Arcega-Whiteside, the last one giving Stanford a 37-36 lead.

Hill then drove TCU to Bunce’s game winner. The Horned Frogs defense sealed it with an interception by Innis Gaines with 2:01 left.

Hill finished with 314 yards passing, a team-high 60 yards rushing and caught a 27-yard TD pass from White in his final game.

Love finished with the season with 2,118 yards rushing, the school’s single-season record.

THE TAKEAWAY

TCU: The Horned Frogs defended Love about as well as anyone this season despite the long touchdown run. Most important, they didn’t let him take over the game in the second half, which let Hill and the offense rally. When the running game wasn’t working, the TCU defense could get after Costello, who struggled under pressure after his quick start.

Stanford: The Cardinal were doomed by the big play just when they had a chance to put the game away. After pinning TCU deep, Hill connected with Jalen Reagor on a 93-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter. White, who earlier had a costly fumble, then gave TCU its first lead with his punt return touchdown.

ON TO NEXT YEAR

TCU: Coach Gary Patterson has his program humming with 40 wins over the last four seasons, and the Horned Frogs expect to remain Big 12 title contenders even as Hill moves on after his final game. The Horned Frogs will have to find a new quarterback to do it, but Patterson’s teams always play some of the best defense in the league.

Stanford: Love will have to decide his future and whether that will mean another year of school for the biology major and aspiring pediatrician with an interest in stem cell research, or a jump to the NFL. The trend has seen top players leave early, but Love already bucked the latest fad by choosing to play in his team’s bowl game as he ponders his decision.

Coach David Shaw said this week hopes Love will return next season. If he does, pencil in the Cardinal as a Pac-12 favorite again.

UP NEXT

Stanford hosts San Diego State on Sept. 1, 2018.

TCU hosts Southern in its 2018 opener.

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More AP college football: https://collegefootball.ap.org and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Stanford running back Cameron Scarlett (22) is dropped by TCU safety Innis Gaines, right, after a run during the second half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Stanford running back Cameron Scarlett (22) runs past TCU safety Innis Gaines (6) during the second half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Stanford defensive tackle Harrison Phillips (66) celebrates after Stanford recovered a TCU fumble during the second half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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)
TCU linebacker Travin Howard (32) and safety Niko Small (2) break up a pass intended for Stanford tight end Kaden Smith (82) during the second half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Stanford running back Bryce Love (20) is pursued by TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney (12) as he runs for a touchdown during the second half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
TCU quarterback Kenny Hill (7) celebrates his touchdown run against the Stanford during the first half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Stanford wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (19) stretches with a pass in front of TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney (12) and safety Stuart Head (18) for a touchdown during the first half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Stanford running back Bryce Love (20) is pursued by TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney as he runs for a touchdown during the second half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Stanford wide receiver Connor Wedington (5) runs against TCU after making a catch during the first half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello (3) throws against TCU during the first half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
TCU quarterback Kenny Hill (7) looks to pass against Stanford during the first half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Stanford wide receiver J.J. Arcega-Whiteside (19) stretches out with a pass in front of TCU cornerback Jeff Gladney (12) for a touchdown during the first half of the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game, Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
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