Welcome Back: TCU returns to the Alamo Bowl to face Stanford

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TCU quarterback Bram Kohlhausen (6) is lifted by teammate Halapoulivaati Vaitai (74) after he threw a touchdown pass in the first overtime in the Alamo Bowl NCAA college football game against Oregon, Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016, in San Antonio. TCU won in triple overtime, 47-41. (AP Photo/Austin Gay)

Remember the last time TCU was in the Alamo Bowl? Well, two years later, they’re back.

The Big 12 runner-up Horned Frogs accepted an invitation Sunday to return to San Antonio to play the Alamo Bowl. Last time the Frogs were in San Antonio they matched the largest comeback ever in a bowl game, coming back from a 31-point deficit to topple Oregon. This time TCU will face the Pac-12’s second-best team, Stanford (9-4), Dec. 28 game with an 8 p.m. kickoff at the Alamodome.

“We’re very excited and appreciative to be returning to San Antonio for the Valero Alamo Bowl,” Gary Patterson said in a statement. “[Valero Alamo Bowl President/CEO] Derrick Fox and his staff do a great job with hospitality. Being in San Antonio is also a positive for us in recruiting and our fans being able to make the trip.”

TCU, who finished its regular season at 10-3, is coming off a 41-17 loss to Oklahoma in the Big 12 Championship Game Saturday.

“We will play an opponent that is very physical and plays the game the right way,” Patterson said. “Stanford is an outstanding football team and will be a great challenge. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to win our 11th game, sending our seniors out on a high note and building momentum for our off-season program and next year.”

TCU is 5-0 versus Pac-12 opponents under Patterson. In addition to the past wins over Stanford and the 2016 Valero Alamo Bowl victory over Oregon, the Horned Frogs had a 30-21 victory over No. 24 Oregon State in the 2010 Cowboys Classic in Arlington and a 13-10 overtime win at Arizona in 2003.

The Valero Alamo Bowl will mark the 33rd bowl appearance in TCU’s history. The Horned Frogs are 15-16-1 in bowl games. TCU is 11-6 in bowls with Patterson on its coaching staff and 9-6 with him as head coach. He was named head coach prior to the 2000 Mobile Alabama Bowl. Before Patterson’s arrival on campus in 1998, the Horned Frogs had just four bowl wins in their history.

Stanford and potential Heisman candidate running back Bryce Love fell in the Pac-12 title game to USC Friday, 31-28.

“We are so excited and so grateful to go to the Alamo Bowl,” Stanford coach David Shaw said. “Excited to see Gary Patterson and [his wife] Kelsey again. Gary is one of the best coaches in America. Excited for this opportunity to play this game against a great team in a great venue. I can’t wait to get there.”

The two schools are set to come to San Antonio Dec. 22,  and they will begin practicing Dec. 23.

“Our mindset is to keep grinding,” Patterson said. “We are excited how our season has turned out and excited about the Alamo Bowl and facing a really, really good team in Stanford.”

This will be Stanford’s first appearance at the Alamo Bowl.