College football: Gophers hang tough, but fall to Horned Frogs

MINNEAPOLIS - Heisman Trophy favorite Trevone Boykin passed for a touchdown and ran for another as No. 2 TCU won 23-17 over Minnesota at TCF Bank Stadium on Thursday.

Texas Christian’s Kolby Listenbee, left, catches a pass for a first down as Minnesota’s Eric Murray defends during the first quarter Thursday at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. USA TODAY SPORTS

MINNEAPOLIS - Heisman Trophy favorite Trevone Boykin passed for a touchdown and ran for another as No. 2 TCU won 23-17 over Minnesota at TCF Bank Stadium on Thursday.

Boykin, TCU's senior quarterback, finished with 246 yards through the air and 92 rushing yards as the Horned Frogs won in the Twin Cities for the first time in school history.

Boykin's 19-yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the third quarter extended TCU's lead to 17-3 and the Frogs maintained a 10-point lead headed to the fourth quarter.

TCU's defense limited Minnesota's offense to 341 total yards - many of those late in the game - including 197 yards passing by Gophers junior quarterback Mitch Leidner.

Minnesota got within a touchdown late in the third quarter on a 1-yard touchdown plunge by freshman running back Rodney Smith.


Boykin and the Horned Frogs answered with a nine-play, 56-yard drive of their own, capped by a 45-yard field goal by senior kicker Jaden Oberkrom and Oberkrom added his third field goal - a 33-yarder with 7:33 to play to make it a 13-point game.

Minnesota got back within six with 1:32 to play when Leidner connected with senior wide receiver K.J. Maye on a 22-yard touchdown strike. After TCU senior wideout Josh Doctson recovered the onside kick attempt, the Gophers got the ball again with 27 seconds remaining and no timeouts but could not mount a threat.

Doctson finished with eight grabs for 74 yards and a touchdown. Senior running back Aaron Green had 88 yards on 19 carries.

The 23 points scored by TCU were less than they scored in any game last season and are the fewest since they scored 21 in a four-point win over Iowa State on Nov. 19, 2013.

Smith had 88 yards on 16 carries in his first collegiate game to lead Minnesota.

The Horned Frogs went 55 yards in 14 plays on the opening drive, taking the lead on a 53-yard field goal by Oberkrom.

On the ensuing Gophers drive, TCU defensive end Terrell Lathan sacked Leidner, forcing a fumble that was recovered by the Horned Frogs' Josh Carraway at the Minnesota 15-yard line. The turnover extended TCU's streak to 26 consecutive games with a takeaway, the longest active streak in the country.

Two plays later, the Horned Frogs cashed in when Boykin hit Doctson on a slant route for an 11-yard touchdown.


TCU led 10-0 after one, outgaining Minnesota 112-30, but Gophers' defense stiffened in the second.

The Horned Frogs marched 39 yards on seven plays deep into Gophers territory but Green's fumble along the sideline ended the drive.

Minnesota got on the board a drive later with a 42-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Ryan Santoso in the second quarter. The drive was fueled by an 8-yard connection from Leidner to Maye on a flea flicker.

With a chance to add to their lead in the waning minutes before halftime, Oberkrom missed a 29-yard field goal off the left upright with 23 seconds remaining, keeping the lead at 10-3 at the break.

NOTES: TCU DE James McFarland did not play on Thursday (unspecified reasons). McFarland led the Horned Frogs in sacks last year with seven and was the defensive MVP of the Peach Bowl. ... CB DeShawn Raymond also did not play due to unspecified reasons. ... Minnesota senior OL Josh Campion did not play because of an unspecified injury. Campion was expected to be the team's starting left tackle. ... With Campion out, junior Ben Lauer got the start at left tackle. Lauer started six games at right tackle in 2014. ... TCU opens its home schedule with a non-conference game against Stephen F. Austin on Sep. 12. ... Minnesota hits the road for a non-conference contest at Colorado State on Sept. 12.

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