GLENDALE, ARIZONA — The TCU football team and head coach Sonny Dykes are continuing to take making a good first impression to a whole new level. After earning a hard-fought victory in the national semifinals, they will head to Los Angeles in one week’s time to try and pen the ultimate Hollywood ending.
Heisman Trophy finalist Max Duggan threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more scores, leading the No. 3 Horned Frogs to a wild 51-45 victory over the second-ranked Michigan Wolverines in the Fiesta Bowl, the first of two College Football Playoff semifinal games on this Saturday. Despite the shootout nature to the game, TCU’s defense played a massive role in deciding the outcome, returning interceptions for touchdowns in each half and coming up with two first-half defensive stops of Michigan drives that entered inside of the Horned Frogs’ 5-yard line.
Dykes, in his first year as head coach of the Horned Frogs, took over a program that had posted three consecutive losing seasons before 2022 and did not have a player on the roster with any bowl game experience and engineered one of the great single-season turnarounds in college football history. When the Horned Frogs play inside Los Angeles’ SoFi Stadium on Jan. 9, they will become the first Big 12 team since the advent of the college football playoff in 2014 to play for the national championship.
*Editor’s note: Above the byline is the photo gallery from Saturday afternoon’s game, with all photos taken by Detroit-area photographer Aaron J. Thornton. 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 29 pictures in total.