TCU, Bram Kohlhausen both make remarkable second-half comebacks

TCU didn’t quite know what it was going to get from its team in the Valero Alamo Bowl. The first half featured a squad that appeared to be shaken by the absence of suspended quarterback Trevone Boykin. But the second half was one to be remembered because of the play of Bram Kohlhausen, who rallied the Horned Frogs from 31 points down to a win in triple overtime.

The triumph matched the largest comeback in bowl history -- a 31-point rally by Texas Tech against Minnesota in the 2006 Insight Bowl.

Between the Texas Tech comeback and this one, FBS teams were 0-1,463 when trailing by at least 31 points at any point in any game -- bowls or regular-season games.

The comeback also tied for the second-largest comeback in any game between two FBS teams, trailing only a rally from 35 down by Michigan State against Northwestern in 2006.

Kohlhausen turns it around

Kohlhausen looked shaky in a first half during which he completed only 9-of-19 pass attempts for 97 yards. He went 19-for-26 for 254 yards and two touchdowns the rest of the day. He also ran for two scores, including the one that turned out to be the game-winner in the third overtime. Kohlhausen had 45 rushing yards in the game; he entered the tilt with 19 rushing yards for his career.

Kohlhausen, a fifth-year senior who was making his first career start, was 1-of-4 for 19 yards on throws at least 15 yards downfield in the first half. He was 5-of-8 for 118 yards and a touchdown on those throws the rest of the game. The touchdown was a 26-yard pass to Jaelan Austin that cut the lead to 31-10 and didn’t appear to have much importance at that point. Austin had only caught six passes all season, but he had four for 67 yards in this game.

Kohlhausen also improved dramatically on third and fourth downs. He was 0—of-7 on passes in those situations in the first half, but then went 6-for-7 for 90 yards and a touchdown in the second half. He also had a big four-yard run on third-and-3 on the drive that cut Oregon’s lead to 31-28.

Oregon missed its quarterback too

Vernon Adams Jr. left the game after a helmet-to-helmet collision in the second quarter and did not return. When he exited, Oregon led 28-0 and had gained 342 yards on 42 plays. After Adams was out, Oregon totaled 77 yards on 41 plays.


Our Win Probability data indicated that the Horned Frogs had on average a 21 percent chance to win across all its plays, the second-lowest average win probability in a victory this season, behind Oklahoma’s win over Tennessee in Week 2 (19 percent average win probability).

TCU’s win probability bottomed out at 0.9 percent prior to its third-quarter touchdown that cut the deficit to 31-10.