Casey Pachall’s 42-yard touchdown pass to Skye Dawson with four minutes, 26 seconds to play capped a fourth-quarter comeback that gave Texas Christian a 31-24 victory over Louisiana Tech in today’s Poinsettia Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium.
The Horned Frogs, 11-2, tied the score for the fourth time on Luke Shivers’ one-yard run with 7:49 remaining, capping a 72-yard, 18-play drive that consumed 9:21, their longest drive of the season, both in time and plays.
The Bulldogs, 8-5, had taken their third lead on Colby Cameron’s 61-yard touchdown pass to Myles White with 2:10 remaining in the third quarter.
Dawson, who caught four passes for a team-high 85 yards, was named as the Offensive Most Valuable Player. Texas Christian cornerback Greg McCoy, whose second-quarter interception and 24-yard return led to a touchdown, was named as the Defensive Most Valuable Player.
Pachall completed 15 of 29 passes for 206 yards and one touchdown. He had one pass intercepted.
Cameron completed 21 of 43 passes for 264 yards and two touchdowns, with the first coming on a two-yard pass to Quinton Patton in the second quarter. Cameron had one pass intercepted.
Ed Wesley ran seven yards for a touchdown for the Horned Frogs 26 seconds before halftime, tying the score, 10-10. Matthew Tucker’s one-yard run with 9:54 left in the third quarter gave Texas Christian a 17-10 lead.
Louisiana Tech re-tied the score on Hunter Lee’s two-yard run with 7:18 remaining in the third quarter, three plays after Josh Cuthbert recovered punt returner Brandon Carter’s fumble at the Horned Frogs’ 12-yard line.
The Bulldogs opened the scoring on Matt Nelson’s 23-yard field goal with 8:30 left in the first quarter. Texas Christian tied the score on Ross Evans’ 25-yard field goal 39 seconds into the fourth quarter.
The victory was the eighth straight for the Horned Frogs. The loss ended Louisiana Tech’s seven-game winning streak, its longest since a 10-game streak in 1974.
Texas Christian is 7-0 over the last seven seasons at Qualcomm Stadium, including a 3-0 mark in the Poinsettia Bowl and a 27-14 victory over San Diego State on Oct. 8.
The crowd was announced at 24,607, the smallest in the game’s seven-year history. The previous low was 29,709 for the 2006 game between Texas Christian and Northern Illinois, the only other time the announced attendance was less than 30,000.
A record crowd of 48,049 was announced for last year’s game between Navy and San Diego State, the only time the attendance topped 40,000.