No. 3 TCU forced a pair of pick sixes off Michigan quarterback J.J. McCarthy during a stunning Fiesta Bowl win over the No. 2 Wolverines. in College Football Playoff history, the Horned Frogs enjoyed a pair of big defensive plays that helped change the outcome of the game in a 51-45 decision.
TCU got on the board first after safety Bud Clark perfectly read an out route and picked off McCarthy, retrurning the ball 42 yards for a touchdown for the first score of the game. The score helped set up the first double-digit deficit Michigan has faced since the 2021 College Football Playoff against Georgia.
Backed up in his own side of the field once again in the third quarter, McCarthy threw a pass over the middle of the field. Linebacker Dee Winters read the pass perfectly and jumped the route to return it 30 yards for another touchdown. The score gave TCU a shocking 35-16 lead against the favored Wolverines en route to a six-point victory.
After a 54-yard run by Donovan Edwards on the first play of the game, Michigan relied heavily on McCarthy to stay in the game. McCarthy threw for 343 yards and two touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown to get the Wolverines back in contention. However, after the first carry, Edwards and Kalel Mullings combined for just 69 yards on 28 carries.
On the other end, TCU quarterback Max Duggan had a pair of interceptions of his own, but threw two touchdowns and rushed for two others to send TCU to a victory. Backup running back Emari Demarcado added 150 yards, including a 69-yard breakaway rushing touchdown as the Frogs won their first College Football Playoff game in program history.