No. 3 TCU beats No. 2 Michigan 51-45 in CFP semifinal

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Max Duggan accounted for four touchdowns, TCU returned two interceptions for scores and the third-ranked Horned Frogs withstood a frenetic second-half surge by No. 2 Michigan to win the Fiesta Bowl 51-45 on Saturday night and advance to the College Football Playoff national championship.

TCU (13-1), the most unlikely team ever to reach the four-team playoff in its nine-year history, has one more game left in its improbable season and it will come against No. 1 Georgia or No. 4 Ohio State on Jan. 9 at Sofi Stadium in Inglewood, California.

Coming off a losing 2021 season and picked to finish seventh in the Big 12 in Sonny Dykes’ first year as coach, the Horned Frogs will try to win the program’s first national championship since 1938.

Duggan and the Frogs will no doubt be underdogs — again. That didn’t matter much against Michigan (13-1) as they took it to the big, bad Big Ten champions and turned the Fiesta Bowl into a circa-2010, Big 12-style score-fest.

It was the highest-scoring Fiesta Bowl and the second-highest scoring CFP game behind Georgia’s 54-48 Rose Bowl victory over Oklahoma on Jan. 1, 2018.

NO. 5 ALABAMA 45, NO. 11 KANSAS STATE 20

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Bryce Young passed for 321 yards and five touchdowns and Alabama responded to an early two-score deficit with 35 straight points to beat Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl.

While a number of pro-bound college stars sat out bowl games that were not part of the College Football Playoff, the Crimson Tide (11-2) and Wildcats (10-4) had their best prospects on the field and making a number of memorable plays — from Young’s pivotal passes, to Kansas State running back Deuce Vaughn’s 88-yard touchdown run to interceptions by Alabama’s Jordan Battle and Brian Branch.

Young was substituted out during a series in the fourth quarter, raising his right hand to Alabama fans who loudly rose to their feet as the former Heisman Trophy winner trotted to the sideline.

Jermaine Burton caught three passes for 87 yards and a touchdown for Alabama . Tide running back Jahmyr Gibbs had 142 yards from scrimmage — 76 rushing and 66 receiving. Young’s other touchdowns went to Isaiah Bond (6 yards), Cameron Latu (1 yard), Ja’Corey Brooks (32 yards) and Kobe Prentice (47 yards). Jase McClelland added a 17-yard scoring run.

MUSIC CITY BOWL

IOWA 21, KENTUCKY 0

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Joe Labas threw for 139 yards and a touchdown in his first start and Iowa beat Kentucky in the first shutout in Music City Bowl history.

Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz capped his 24th season by matching the late Joe Paterno for the bowl victories at Big Ten schools with his 10th.

Iowa (8-5) got a bit of payback for ending last season by losing to Kentucky (7-6) in the Citrus Bowl.

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