Duggan throws for 3 TDs, No. 7 TCU beats West Virginia 41-31

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Max Duggan threw three touchdown passes, Kendre Miller ran for 120 yards and a score and No. 7 TCU used big plays on offense to beat West Virginia 41-31 to remain unbeaten.

The Horned Frogs (8-0, 5-0 Big 12) didn’t need a comeback from a double-digit deficit like they did in their two previous games. Duggan staked TCU to a 28-21 halftime lead that held up.

“We’re grateful to be 8-0,” Duggan said. “You’re never going to take winning for granted. We know it’s hard to win in this league, especially on the road.”

But West Virginia (3-5, 1-4), which was coming off a season-low 282 yards of offense in a lopsided loss at last week at Texas Tech, gave the Horned Frogs a fight.

JT Daniels threw a 23-yard TD pass to Reese Smith with 4:12 left to cut the Mountaineers’ deficit to 34-31. TCU recovered the ensuing onside kick, but Duggan was intercepted by Malachi Ruffin at the West Virginia 16, giving the Mountaineers another chance. West Virginia was forced to punt, and Duggan found Savion Williams with a 29-yard scoring toss on fourth down with 20 seconds left.

Duggan finished 16 of 28 for 341 yards.

TCU had four plays of at least 50 yards, with three going for touchdowns. After combining for 637 yards of offense before halftime, both teams squandered several second-half touchdown chances from inside the opponent’s 20.

The Mountaineers recovered a muffed punt at the TCU 17 early in the third quarter, but settled for a field goal. On its next possession, West Virginia drove to the TCU 4, but Daniels threw incomplete into the end zone on fourth down. TCU then drove 95 yards to the West Virginia 1. Quentin Johnston was tackled for an 11-yard loss on third down, resulting in a short field goal for a 31-24 lead.

“Some crazy stuff happened in this game today,” TCU coach Sonny Dykes said. “There was some wild plays, some strange stuff.”

West Virginia mistakes contributed to TCU’s first three touchdowns.

Duggan took advantage of blown coverage in the secondary, throwing TD tosses of 71 yards to Taye Barber and 55 yards to Johnston. Midway through the second quarter, Daniels was hit going back to pass and fumbled. TCU recovered at its 49 and Miller scored untouched on the next play for a 21-14 lead.

Miller now has a rushing TD in nine straight games.

Daniels finished 23 of 39 for 275 yards.

“I thought our guys competed, really played their tails off,” West Virginia coach Neal Brown said. “I’m proud of how they played. We’re based on outcomes. I get that. The outcome wasn’t what we wanted. We just didn’t make enough plays in the second half.”

THE TAKEAWAY

TCU: The Horned Frogs weren’t dominant, but they did enough to stay atop the Big 12 standings.

West Virginia: The Mountaineers put up a fight on offense despite being without two injured linemen and leading rusher Tony Mathis. Freshman running back CJ Donaldson, who finished with 104 yards, twice left the game with injuries. West Virginia kept the game close after starting slowly in its three previous games.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

TCU should hold onto its top 10 ranking.

UP NEXT

TCU hosts Texas Tech next Saturday. The Horned Frogs have won the last three meetings.

West Virginia visits Iowa State next Saturday. The Mountaineers had lopsided losses in their last two trips to Ames, Iowa.

Texas State hires Incarnate Word coach Kinne to lead Bobcats

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Texas State hired Incarnate Word coach G.J. Kinne on Friday to lead a Sun Belt program that has had only one winning season since moving up to the Bowl Subdivision in 2012.

The 34-year-old former Tulsa quarterback has made a fast rise in coaching since ending his professional career in 2017.

After three years as an offensive analyst at SMU, Arkansas and the Philadelphia Eagles, Kinne became offensive coordinator at Hawaii in 2020. He held the same role for UCF in 2021 before landing the head coaching job at FCS Incarnate Word this season.

Incarnate Word is 10-1 and averaging 53 points and 8.3 yards per play, both FCS highs, heading into its playoff game Saturday against Furman. Kinne will remain with Incarnate Word through their playoff run.

“It’s with great honor that I’m accepting the call to be next head football coach of the Texas State Bobcats,” Kinne said. “We are going to play fast, have relentless energy, and when the going gets tough, have the mental confidence to win tight games in the second half and represent the state of Texas. Eat ‘Em Up!”

Texas State fired Jake Spavital last week after the Bobcats won just 13 games in his four seasons.

Kinne signed a five-year contract, the school said. Terms were not immediately released.

“My goal was to hire someone with demonstrated leadership experience, success as a head coach, established relationships with Texas football coaches, and success with recruiting and developing players,” said Texas State President Kelly Damphousse. “I sought a leader with a plan to capitalize on our location in the heart of the best high school football in the country.”

Florida Atlantic hires Tom Herman as football coach

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BOCA RATON, Fla. – Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Herman will take over at Florida Atlantic as it heads into its first season in the American Athletic Conference.

The hire comes just days after FAU fired Willie Taggart, who went 15-18 in his three seasons with the Owls. Details of the contract with Herman were not immediately available.

“We are incredibly excited to welcome Tom Herman to Paradise,” FAU Director of Athletics Brian White said Thursday. “Throughout the process and the more we talked with Coach Herman, the more it became apparent to me that he was the right person to lead our football program. Beyond his knowledge of the game, which is obvious by his success over the years, he also truly cares about the young people in his program.”

FAU’s final season in Conference USA ended with a 5-7 record and an overtime loss to Western Kentucky. The Owls will be in the American next season.

Herman returns to college football after spending the 2021 season with the Chicago Bears as an offensive analyst.

Herman was 22-4 at Houston, a mark that helped him land the head coaching job at Texas where he went 32-18 with four straight bowl trips in 2017-2020. He also was an offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Ohio State during the Buckeyes’ 2014 national championship season, as well as stops at Iowa State, Rice and Texas State.

“All the pieces are in place at FAU for us to be successful,” Herman said. “There are already great young men on this team, great facilities, a great location, a great recruiting base and great leadership, all of which are important to building a successful program.”