FORT WORTH — Although they lost last week’s game to the Texas Longhorns, the TCU Horned Frogs football team believes it found something it can build on from the second half to help carry momentum through the rest of the 2023-2024 season.
The Horned Frogs trailed 26-6 at halftime but outscored Texas 20-3 in the second half behind a fourth-quarter rally that included three touchdowns from its offense.
“I’m proud of our guys for fighting back,” head coach Sonny Dykes told the media postgame. “Our team showed a ton of character and mental toughness, fortitude, and fight. I asked them at halftime to play as hard as they could play in the second half and not worry about the score, and just come out and play with incredible effort. They did that and got themselves back in the game, and we were right there.”
TCU held a Texas offense featuring multiple future first-round NFL Draft picks to 142 yards and just one scoring drive in the second half while scoring on three of its five offensive possessions. Unfortunately, the rally fell short, even with the Horned Frogs gaining 185 yards in the final quarter, as Texas picked up 35 yards on a crucial 3rd-and-12 with 2:06 left in the game and ran out the clock from there.
“You look at that, and you go, ‘Yeah, we held that group to three points in the second half of the game,'” Dykes said during a press conference on Tuesday. “It wasn’t good enough for us to win. But you know, we’ve played well at times, upfront and defensively, but we haven’t done it consistently well enough.”
The search for consistency has continued all year as both sides of the ball have struggled at critical conjunctures. However, the team was encouraged by its latest performance and aims to carry that into its final two regular-season games against Baylor and No.17 Oklahoma, needing to win both to reach bowl eligibility.
“I think we finally got a glimpse, and it took dang near the whole season, of what we can be on offense,” wide receiver J.P. Richardson told the media on Tuesday. “To dominate a team like Texas in the second half there was good for us to see, and that’s the expectation now.”
“That’s the standard is we go out and do that, and anything under that level of play is below the standard,” he continued. “We’re definitely going to try to build on that, and it was good to see that we can be one of the best offenses in the country.”