TCU Wins 2023 Bluebonnet Battle

FORT WORTH, TX - NOVEMBER 18: Josh Hoover #10 of the TCU Horned Frogs throws a touchdown pass against the Baylor Bears during the first half at Amon G. Carter Stadium on November 18, 2023 in Fort Worth, Texas. | Photo by Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

TCU became the first official winner of the Bluebonnet Battle off its 42-17 win over Baylor on Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.

The Horned Frogs broke the game open with 28 points and 285 yards in the second half after holding a four-point lead at halftime. TCU quarterback Josh Hoover was sharp throughout, finding tight end Jared Wiley for two touchdowns and throwing for over 400 yards.

“I’m just proud of our guys. … It was just what this is supposed to look like, so it was good to see,” TCU head coach Sonny Dykes told the media after the win.

After stopping Baylor on the game’s first possession, TCU came out throwing and picked up three first downs in its first three plays. The Horned Frogs got as far as Baylor’s three-yard line before running back Emani Bailey fumbled, and Baytlor recovered the ball at its own 31.

Baylor took some shots down the field after the turnover, but they all fell harmlessly to the turf. However, the running game helped move the ball down the field, and quarterback Blake Shapen completed a pass to running back Dominic Richardson for a touchdown to take a 7-0 lead.

Hoover completed his first eight passing attempts for 100 yards as TCU drove again into the red zone. Still, the Horned Frogs struggled to convert inside the 20-yard line and turned the ball over on downs after being stopped on third and fourth down plays at the Baylor six-yard line.

TCU finally got on the board with a 27-yard touchdown run from Bailey, and its defense stopped Baylor on a fourth down in the red zone. Two plays later, Hoover connected with Wiley for an 81-yard score to take the lead, and the Horned Frogs went into halftime ahead 14-10.

Hoover and Wiley connected for another touchdown to open the second half, extending the lead to 11, and Baylor responded with a touchdown drive that was capped by a Shapen touchdown run. However, TCU controlled the rest of the game, adding three more touchdowns to earn a blowout win and keep its bowl hopes alive.

Hoover finished the game with 412 yards, two touchdown passes, and a rushing touchdown, while Bailey added two scores on the ground.

Shapen led Baylor with 197 passing yards.


— Baylor and TCU faced off on the football field for the 119th time on Saturday, surpassing Texas vs. Texas A&M as the longest-running rivalry between Texas schools.

— The schools introduced a brand new “Bluebonnet Battle” nickname for their rivalry earlier in the week, complete with a new rivalry trophy.

— TCU has won the last four meetings between the schools and eight of the last nine.

— TCU increased its all-time series lead to 59-53-7 and now has five wins this season. The Horned Frogs can become bowl-eligible by upsetting No.14 Oklahoma next weekend.


— Hoover surpassed the 400 passing yards mark for the second time in his five career starts and the first time since his debut against BYU on October 14. He has thrown for over 300 yards four times this season.

— Wiley’s 178 receiving yards were a TCU tight end record.

— TCU has scored in 393 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in the country, and has not been shut out since November 16, 1991.

— TCU had over 500 total yards on the day, while Baylor had 347.


— Dykes on the student support for the team: “Those guys were awesome today showing up supporting their team and their classmates like they did. It’s Thanksgiving weekend. A lot of those guys had gone home, and they stayed here and went to the football game. I’m really, really appreciative of the students for doing that. I think it just talks about the TCU family, how special it is that those guys showed up, and the crowd showed up, and it was really, really good.”

— Wiley on the possibility of making a bowl game: “That’s a big thing for us. Nobody in this locker room is ready for the season to be over. Nobody wants it to end on Friday, and having this momentum going into a big week to fight for bowl eligibility, that’s a really big deal for us.”


— TCU (5-6, 3-5 in the Big 12) wraps up its regular season on the road against No.14 Oklahoma (9-2, 6-2) at 11 a.m. CT on Friday. Baylor (3-8, 2-6) hosts West Virginia (7-4, 5-3) on Saturday, but an official kickoff time has yet to be announced.

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