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Michigan Falls to TCU 51-45 in CFP Semifinal

Promo Image: Tuesday’s Michigan Men’s Basketball Game Against Purdue Postponed

SCOTTSDALE, AZ – Costly turnovers by the Michigan offense and big plays from TCU devastated the Wolverines in a 51-45 loss in the College Football Playoff Semifinal on Saturday night.

The Wolverines and Horned Frogs each committed three turnovers, but two of Michigan’s giveaways were returned for touchdowns and the third occurred inside the TCU one yard line.

Michigan could not have asked for a much better start than its first play of the game as running back Donovan Edwards broke free for 54 yards on the first play from scrimmage. But after that play, very little went right for the Wolverines in the first half.

Following Edwards’ run, Michigan got inside the 10 before attempting the ‘Philly Special’ on a 4th-and-goal play and turning it over on downs. Things went from bad to worse when Michigan quarterback JJ McCarthy threw a pick-six on the first play of the team’s next drive.

TCU quarterback Max Duggan would add a rushing touchdown before the first quarter ended to put the Wolverines in a 14-0 hole.

In the second quarter, the Wolverines seemed to finally catch a break when safety Rod Moore came up with an interception and McCarthy hit wide receiver Roman Wilson for what appeared to be a 51 yard touchdown on the very next play.

But after review, Wilson was ruled down inside the one-yard line.

Another devastating turnover followed as Michigan fumbled on the next play and TCU recovered. The Horned Frogs went into the half with a 21-6 lead.

Michigan came out of the halftime locker room with a new sense of urgency, capping off its first two drives with a field goal and a flea-flicker touchdown from McCarthy to wide receiver Ronnie Bell to cut the lead to 21-16.

That’s when TCU started to gash the Wolverines defense. The Horned Frogs answered back with a six-play, 75-yard touchdown drive to push the lead back to 28-16.

The second pick-six of the game by McCarthy put Michigan back in the same 18-point hole it was in during the first half, down 34-16.

But the Wolverines clawed back by scoring touchdowns on each of their next three drives to cut the lead to 41-38.

TCU had one more big play in the chamber as Duggan hit wide receiver Quentin Johnson for a 76-yard touchdown to push the lead back to 10. The TCU defense then pinned Michigan deep in its own territory, forcing a punt. The Horned Frogs’ Derius Davis returned the punt 31 yards to the Michigan 19-yard line, setting up a TCU field goal to make it 51-38 with 10 minutes to go in the game.

Again, Michigan continued to fight and claw its way back as McCarthy found Wilson for a five-yard touchdown to cap off a 56-yard drive and make it a one score game.

Michigan got the ball back with one last chance to drive down and win it with a minute left but could not scrape together a first down.

With the loss, No. 2 Michigan finishes its season 13-1. It’s the second straight season the Wolverines have seen their season end in the CFP Semifinal.