WACO, TEXAS — When almost everyone else saw chaos at the end of today’s thrilling contest in the shadows of the Brazos River, TCU head coach Sonny Dykes saw everything was going to plan. Though they left it to the very last second, the Horned Frogs’ plans of making it to the College Football Playoff remained in tact.
Placekicker Griffin Kell was one of a number of players who raced onto the field as time was expiring, and the 40-yard field goal he booted through the uprights after having no time to set up clinched the Horned Frogs’ 29-28 victory over the Baylor Bears at McLane Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The win the No. 4 Horned Frogs to 11-0 on the season and, more importantly, keeps them on track to earn a spot in the College Football Playoff if they win their last two games, including the Big 12 Championship Game in two weeks’ time that they have already qualified for.
On the last offensive play of the game, TCU called a running play and running back Emari Demercardo was stopped short of the first down at Baylor’s 23-yard-line. That result prompted a fire-drill-like scramble of players running on and off the field as the Horned Frogs had no timeouts and just 18 seconds to get off a game-winning kick. With three seconds left, the snap was made and Kell sailed his kick through the uprights, capping off a frantic final 127 seconds in which the Horned Frogs scored nine points to pull the game out of the fire.
Belying his immediate jubilation after the kick was made, TCU head coach Sonny Dykes felt assured that those last few seconds were going to come off the way he had planned it.
“That looked like chaos, but we practice it every Thursday exactly like that,” Dykes said after the game.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Saturday afternoon’s game, with all photos taken by Dallas-area photographer Ross James. After clicking on the first photo to enlarge the picture, make sure to press the left and right arrow buttons to scroll through the rest of the pictures. There are 41 pictures in total.