Too little too late: Duggan’s career day not enough for football against Cyclones

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TCU football was unable to overcome a slow start to Saturday’s game against Iowa State, falling 49-24 in a game dominated by the Cyclones.

Not much went well for TCU on either side of the ball. 

On defense, the Frogs gave up 436 yards of total offense and six touchdowns without producing a turnover. On offense, first-year quarterback Max Duggan started to heat up as the outcome had nearly been decided.

Duggan finished with a career-high 219 passing yards to go with two touchdowns. The Council Bluffs, Iowa, native has yet to throw an interception this season.

TCU’s first touchdown didn’t come until 3:44 left in the third quarter and would go on to score two more before the end of the game.

Iowa State quarterback Brock Purdy had a similar day statistically, throwing for 247 yards and two scores himself. The sophomore would find the end zone twice with his legs as well.

Iowa State dominated the first half as Purdy was near perfect, going 13-for-16 for 168 yards and two touchdowns.

Purdy’s first touchdown came just four minutes into the contest. The Cyclones looked unstoppable right out of the gate, cruising for 81 yards down the field in seven plays to put the Frogs down 7-0 early.

After a 37-yard field goal from Jonathan Song brought TCU within four, the Frogs got the ball back deep in their own territory early in the second quarter. On the first play of the drive, a blindside hit by the Cyclones forced a Duggan fumble that would be recovered by Iowa State in the end zone for their second score of the day.

Eight minutes later, Purdy’s second touchdown pass, this one to a wide open Charlie Kolar, would put the Cyclones up 21-3 with four minutes left in the half. 

Graduate transfer Alex Delton entered for TCU at quarterback soon after that, but he found little success himself.  The two signal callers were a combined 8-for-14 for 22 yards in the first half.

Iowa State outgained TCU 198 to 85 in yards of total offense in the first two quarters, just one week after the Frogs totaled 625 total yards in a win over Kansas.

The Cyclones lost no steam in the second half, scoring easily in just 2:29 to open up a 28-3 lead that would prove insurmountable for TCU.

Delton saw action again on the Frogs’ first drive of the half, but Duggan played the rest of the game under center for TCU.

After throwing for just 23 yards in the first half, Duggan sparked a TCU comeback attempt in the second with 196 yards and two touchdowns, both to receiver Jalen Reagor.

The second score by Reagor came after a six-yard scamper by running back Darius Anderson, and it cut the deficit to just 11 points with 9:01 left to play.

TCU failed to stop the surging Iowa State offense though, and Purdy’s second rushing touchdown of the day would put the Frogs away for good. 

The Frogs dropped the game 49-24 to fall to 3-2 on the season and 1-1 in conference play.

Reagor finished with four receptions for 69 yards and two touchdowns, his first multi-score game since the Frogs’ season finale against Oklahoma State in 2018.

Anderson’s streak of three-straight games with 100 or more yards rushing came to an end in the loss, as the senior took 11 carries for just 49 yards.

Safety Trevon Moehrig led the way for the Frogs on defense with nine tackles, two pass break ups and a forced fumble.

After their upcoming bye week, TCU will look to bounce back against Kansas State on the road on Oct. 19.