Michigan Gets Upset By TCU, 51-45, in the College Football Playoff Semifinal

By Josh Poloha on December 31, 2022 at 8:31 pm
TCU celebrates against Michigan
Junfu Han / USA TODAY

Michigan remains winless in the College Football Playoff.

What a game that was to begin this year's version of the College Football Playoff. In the first of two CFP semifinal games tonight, No. 2 Michigan – who was an eight-point favorite at most sportsbooks – was upset by No.3 TCU, 51-45, in one of the most entertaining second halves of football in recent memory.

The Horned Frogs used a variety of different looks on both sides of the ball, something that the Wolverines seemed to not really be prepared for early on. With TCU taking an early 14-0 lead after the first quarter, the third-ranked team led 21-6 at halftime. The Horned Frogs dominated the first half while seemingly catching Michigan by surprise.

Then, the floodgates seemed to open to start the third quarter in the highest-scoring quarter in CFP history, one in which the teams combined to score 44 points, all of which came in the final 9:30. Michigan, who has been a second-half team all season, made halftime adjustments yet again. It led to the Wolverines outscoring the Horned Frogs, 24-20, in the third quarter, leading to TCU only leading 41-38 heading into the final quarter.

Following a 44-point third quarter, Michigan and TCU both scored a touchdown within the first two minutes of the fourth quarter. In the end, though, TCU came up victorious in a final three minutes that featured some questionable clock management decisions (and non-timeouts) by Jim Harbaugh.

Michigan's defense, which had been dominant all season, allowed TCU's offense to score 38 points, as the Horned Frogs' defense had two pick-sixes, one to start the scoring and the other near the end of the third quarter.

Even though Max Duggan struggled through the air, completing just 14 of 29 passes for 225 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, TCU's run game was dominant. Running back Emari Demercado finished with 17 carries for 150 yards and a touchdown and Duggan had 15 carries for 57 yards and two touchdowns.

Although the Wolverines struggled defensively, their offense had one of their best games of the season. J.J. McCarthy completed 20 of 34 passes for 343 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, Donovan Edwards ran for 119 yards on 23 carries and Ronnie Bell totaled six catches for 135 yards and a touchdown.

With TCU's upset win over Michigan, the Horned Frogs advance to the national championship to take on the winner of the Ohio State-Georgia matchup.

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