FORT WORTH, Texas (TNS) — The TCU Horned Frogs clinched a trip to Arlington to play for the Big 12 championship, carried there by one of quarterback Kenny Hill's best days of the season and a sack-happy defense.
Hill threw for 325 yards, three touchdowns and ran for a touchdown after being sidelined last week, and defensive end Mat Boesen set a school record with 6.5 sacks as the Frogs completed the regular season with a 45-22 victory against Baylor on Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
TCU (10-2) qualified for the Big 12 championship game on Dec. 2 at AT&T Stadium and a rematch against Oklahoma, where they can win their first outright league title and keep an outside chance at the College Football Playoff. This time, the Frogs will get the Sooners on a neutral field, not in front of the OU record 88,308 that watched a 38-20 Oklahoma victory in Norman, Okla., on Nov. 11.
TCU needed to win to assure itself a place in the Big 12 title game and entered as a 24-point favorite against its in-state rival Baylor.
The latest edition of the rivalry, TCU's longest-running against any opponent, was marred by a fight with 1:25 left in the third quarter when Chris Bradley pushed a running back out of bounds on the Baylor sideline and exchanged taunts with the Bears. More shoves and bumps ensued and led to personal-foul warnings on both benches.
It was the third double-digit win season and undefeated home season in four years for TCU, which recognized 35 seniors before the game.
The Frogs led 14-9 by the end of the first quarter after Kyle Hicks' 4-yard touchdown run and Jarrison Stewart's 7-yard touchdown catch.
The Frogs led 21-19 at halftime after Connor Martin's 48-yard field goal for Baylor as time expired.
But TCU surrendered only a field goal in the second half and took control with Sewo Olonilua's 32-yard touchdown run and touchdown catches by Desmon White and Jalen Reagor. TCU has gone seven consecutive games not allowing a touchdown in the second half.
Hill had only one other 300-yard passing game this season, a 365-yard performance against SMU. He had not thrown for multiple touchdowns in a game since throwing five against Kansas.