No. 8 TCU rallies again to beat No. 17 K-State for B12 lead

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FORT WORTH, Texas – Max Duggan, Kendre Miller and their TCU teammates certainly don’t get fazed by double-digit deficits in the second half. For the second week in a row, they just came back to win and stay undefeated.

Duggan threw for 280 yards with three touchdowns and Miller ran for 153 yards and two scores as eighth-ranked TCU beat No. 17 Kansas State 38-28, overcoming an 18-point deficit on Saturday night to take over sole possession of first place in the Big 12 Conference.

“Everybody’s calm and it’s a good feeling,” Miller said. “When we went down … I was just like we’re fixin’ to get it going.”

The Frogs, with new coach Sonny Dykes, have won four consecutive games over ranked opponents. Three in a row was already a first in school history, which they accomplished a week earlier at home by overcoming a 17-point deficit to beat then-No. 8 Oklahoma State in double overtime.

Duggan’s 55-yard strike to Quentin Johnston late in the third quarter put the Horned Frogs (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) ahead to stay. That was their third consecutive TD drive.

“We are playing with a lot of confidence … there’s no sense of panic,” Dykes said. “And that gives you a chance when you always believe that you can figure out a way to win. And more often than not, you’re going to.”

Kansas State (5-2, 3-1) jumped ahead 28-10 when Will Howard threw for two touchdowns and ran for another after taking over for banged-up quarterback Adrian Martinez on its second drive. Deuce Vaughn‘s 47-yard run for his first touchdown in five games capped the fourth consecutive TD drive for the K-State.

“Proud of Will Howard. I thought he played a good football game,” K-State coach Chris Klieman said of the third-year quarterback who hadn’t played since Martinez transferred from Nebraska and didn’t take any first-team snaps this week in practice.

Howard, who started 10 games the past two seasons, ran for 14 yards on his first play and completed his first seven passes for 156 yards. He finished 13 of 20 for 225 yards, leaving the game briefly after hurting his shoulder on a running play late in the third quarter. Freshman Jake Rubley, the third K-State QB in the game, threw an interception on his first pass that came after TCU had gone ahead to stay.

Miller scored on a 2-yard run on fourth-and-1 on the opening drive of the second half to get TCU within 28-24, after Jared Wiley‘s 4-yard TD catch that ended a 91-yard drive just before halftime. Miller scored a 9-yard TD in the fourth quarter.

“Having two games that back to back where you kind of come back against really good opponents, against well-coached teams, and just keep keep clawing back and find a way to win … It shows a lot about this team,” said Duggan, who also had a 65-yard catch-and-run touchdown by Derius Davis on TCU’s first drive.

Several Wildcats players that got dinged up in their last game two weeks ago at Iowa State. Martinez was good to start and had a 19-yard keeper on the first play, but was in the locker room for an undisclosed issue before they had the ball again.

“The frustrating part is I don’t know how bad those guys are hurt,” Klieman said.


Kansas State: The Wildcats had won three in a row since a 21-7 home loss Sept. 17 to Tulane, a team that this week got ranked for the first time since 1998. The open date apparently wasn’t enough to heal up the lingering issues for Martinez and the other players. Vaughn, who missed the end of the 10-9 win at Iowa State after getting leg-whipped, went to the locker room during the first half at TCU, but returned and had some nifty runs.

TCU: The Frogs had lost three in a row to Kansas State without scoring more than 17 points in any of those games. Duggan, who lost the starting role going into the season, finished 17-of-26 passing and has thrown a Big 12-best 19 touchdowns with only one interception since taking back over when Chandler Morris got hurt in the opener.

RUN TO SCORE Miller has a rushing touchdown in every game this season, and has run for more than 100 yards in four of the last five. He has run for TDs in eight consecutive games, the second-best streak in school history behind LaDainian Tomlinson’s 15 in a row that ended in 2000.


The Frogs could move up a spot since No. 7 Ole Miss and No. 9 UCLA, the teams they were between, suffered their first losses Saturday. Kansas State is sure to drop some, but should still be ranked when the new poll comes out Sunday.


Kansas State is home against No. 11 Oklahoma State (6-1, 3-1) next Saturday in a matchup of second-place teams.

TCU plays three of its next four game on the road, the first next Saturday at West Virginia (3-4, 1-3).

Georgia extends contract for AD Josh Brooks, plans two new football practice fields

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ATHENS, Ga. – On the heels of a second straight national football championship, Georgia has rewarded athletic director Josh Brooks a contract extension that ties him to the Bulldogs through at least 2029.

The athletic association board, wrapping up its annual spring meeting Friday at a resort on Lake Oconee, also announced plans for a new track and field facility that will free up space for two more football practice fields.

Brooks’ new contract will increase his salary to $1.025 million a year, with annual raises of $100,000.

The 42-year-old Brooks, who took over the athletic department in 2021 after Greg McGarity retired, called the Georgia job “a dream for me” and said he hopes to spend the rest of his career in Athens.

“I am extremely grateful,” Brooks said. “I got into this business 20-plus years ago as a student equipment manager. My first job at Louisiana-Monroe was making $20,000 a year in football operations.”

The Georgia board approved a fiscal 2024 budget of $175.2 million, a nearly 8% increase from the most recent budget of $162.2 million and the sign of a prosperous program that is flush with money after its success on the gridiron.

The school received approval to move forward with its preliminary plans for a new track and field facility, which will be built across the street from the complex hosting the soccer and and softball teams.

The current track stadium is located adjacent to the Butts-Mehre athletic facility, which hosts the practice fields and training facilities for the football program.

Georgia lost a chunk of its outdoor fields when it built a new indoor practice facility. After the new track and field stadium is completed, the current space will be converted to two full-length, grass football practice fields at the request of coach Kirby Smart.

“He wants to find efficient ways to practice, and there is a lot of truth to the issues we’ve had with our current practice fields,” Brooks said. “There is a lot of strain on our turf facilities staff to keep that field in great shape when half the day it is getting shade, so that has been a challenge as well. For our football program, it is better to practice on grass fields than (artificial) turf, so to be able to have two side-by-side grass fields is huge. It makes for a much more efficient practice.”

The new track and field complex, which will continue to be named Spec Towns Track, will also include an indoor facility, the first of its kind in the state of Georgia.

Iowa AD Gary Barta announces retirement after 17 years at Big Ten school

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IOWA CITY, Iowa – Iowa athletic director Gary Barta will retire on August 1 after 17 years at the university, the school announced Friday.

Barta, 59, is one of the longest-tenured athletic directors in a Power Five conference. He was hired by Iowa in 2006 after being the AD at Wyoming.

An interim director will be announced next week, Iowa said.

In September, Iowa hired former Ball State athletic director Beth Goetz to be deputy director of athletics and chief operating officer, putting her in position to possibly succeed Barta.

“It has been an absolute privilege and honor to serve in this role the past 17 years,” Barta said in a statement. “This decision didn’t come suddenly, nor did it come without significant thought, discussion, and prayer.”

“That said, I’m confident this is the right time for me and for my family.”

Iowa won four NCAA national team titles and 27 Big Ten team titles during Barta’s tenure. The women’s basketball team is coming off an appearance in the national championship game and the wrestling team is coming off a second-place finish at the NCAA championships.

Barta served as the chairman of the College Football Playoff committee in 2020 and 2021.

He faced heavy criticism over more than $11 million in settlements for lawsuits in recent years alleging racial and sexual discrimination within the athletic department.

Lawsuits filed by former field hockey coach Tracey Griesbaum and associate athletics director Jane Meyer led to a $6.5 million payout.

Iowa had to pay $400,000 as part of a Title IX lawsuit brought by athletes after it cut four sports in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of the agreement, Iowa reinstated the women’s swimming and diving program and add another women’s sport.

Iowa added women’s wrestling, the first among Power Five schools to compete this year.

A lawsuit brought by former football players alleging racial discrimination within the program was settled for $4.2 million last March, which prompted state auditor Rob Sand to call for Barta’s ouster.

“Gary Barta’s departure is a long time coming given the four different lawsuits for discrimination that cost Iowa more than $11 million,” Sand posted on Twitter.

The university did not allow taxpayer money to be used for the settlement with the former players.

Barta led Iowa through $380 million of facility upgrades, including renovation of Kinnick Stadium, the construction of a new football facility, a basketball practice facility and a training center for the wrestling teams.

Under Barta, Iowa has had just one head football coach (Kirk Ferentz), women’s basketball coach (Lisa Bluder) and wrestling coach (Tom Brands). All were in place when he arrived.

Barta has also come under scrutiny for allowing Ferentz to employee his son, Brian Ferentz, as offensive coordinator. To comply with the university’s nepotism policy, Brian Ferentz reports to Barta.