78° Fort Worth
All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

TCU football shines against Baylor in the Bluebonnet Battle

TCU+running+back+Emani+Bailey+congratulated+by+his+teammate.+Bailey+rushed+for+53+yards+and+two+touchdowns+against+Baylor.+
Andy Nguyen
TCU running back Emani Bailey congratulated by his teammate. Bailey rushed for 53 yards and two touchdowns against Baylor.

TCU will be housing the new Bluebonnet Battle trophy for the next year after beating Baylor 42-17 on senior day.

For everyone, it was an important to send the seniors off with a win.

“I know they just came up with the trophy, but it’s really been here a while now,” said linebacker Shad Banks Jr. “It’s Baylor. We don’t like Baylor, so it feel really good to beat them three years in a row.”

The running game didn’t get going like it has been, but the Frogs found a groove in the passing game with quarterback Josh Hoover throwing for 412 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a rushing touchdown to his impressive performance.

“He gets better every game,” said head coach Sonny Dykes about the quarterback. “He’s more comfortable and makes better decisions. That’s what young quarterbacks are supposed to do.”

He had a good connection with tight end Jared Wiley who had 178 yards receiving with two touchdowns. Wiley showed everyone else what he knew he could do.

“It’s the type of game that I’ve known I can have and have had the capability having,” said Wiley.

His first touchdown was an 81-yard passing play, which was the longest play of the season for the offense. Explosive plays like that have been few and far between.

“It’s hard to drive the ball across the field on a 15-play drive and finish with a touchdown if you don’t get some kind of explosive play that helps you out a bit,” said Dykes.

Wiley credited Hoover with taking advantage of Baylor’s mistake – leaving him wide open.

Running back Emani Bailey had an early fumble inside the red zone, but he bounced back and ended the night with 53 yards rushing and two touchdowns. It’s a resilience that set the tone for the offense.

Instead of letting that mishap spiral into another quiet first half, the Frogs bounced back.

The last time they scored more than seven points in the first half was October 14 against BYU in Hoover’s season debut.

“It was good we were able to start fast in the first half,” said Hoover. “It felt great to have an early lead to give a bit of a cushion.”

TCU was able to convert on third down nine times out of 11 opportunities, which Dykes said was one of the most important improvements from weeks past.

Hoover said those first half points and third-down conversions relieved the work of the defense.

“It gives the defense confidence to go out and play free,” he said.

In the second half of the last few games, the defense has had to hold opponents in the second half to allow the offense to play catch-up.

Against Baylor, the offense was rolling and the defenders just had to do their job. That was the message in the locker room at halftime.

“Let’s finish this game, put our foot on their neck and don’t let off the gas pedal,” said linebacker Shad Banks Jr.

TCU forced Baylor to turn the ball over on downs four times, three of them coming in the second half.

“Every one of those stops was big,” said Dykes. “It’s good to see our defense rising up in those critical situations on fourth down to get off the field.”

One of those stops put the Frogs offense at the 50-yard line to start a drive and another started them 31 yards away from the end zone.

“The defense did a great job of giving us a good opportunity to score,” he said.

Up next

The Frogs still need one more game to be bowl-eligible, and it will be a tall task in No. 14 Oklahoma on the road. But, the momentum the team is carrying right now has a confidence around them that could give the Sooners a run for their money.

“When you do the things you’re supposed to do, you know what to do and execute, it gives you confidence that you can go out and score points no matter what you’re doing,” said Hoover. “It gives us confidence going into next week that all we need to do is be us.”

TCU will face Oklahoma for the last time as conference rivals on Friday, Nov. 24 at 11 a.m. on FOX.

More to Discover