There was a strong sense that the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl could end up being a high-scoring display, with Heisman runner-up Max Duggan taking on Jim Harbaugh’s Michigan Wolverines, but most anticipated both offenses to lead the way. Instead, it was TCU’s safety Bud Clark who scored the first touchdown of the evening.
Bud Clark’s interception gives TCU early momentum in Fiesta Bowl
On the second possession of the day for Michigan, Clark managed to jump in front and intercept a pass from McCarthy, running 41 yards for a touchdown. It was a stunning turn of events for the Horned Frogs, considering Michigan’s QB had thrown just three interceptions all season coming into the matchup.
But it shouldn’t have come as a big surprise, as Clark has picked off five passes now this season, leading TCU. McCarthy should have come into the matchup knowing the Horned Frogs’ safety could pose a threat, and it took just a few minutes into the game before Clark made a massive impact.
Michigan’s first drive wasn’t any better. A failed ‘Philly Special’ at the goal line led to a turnover on downs, handing Duggan the keys at the 10-yard line with 90 yards to go. The Wolverines’ defense was able to stifle their attempt to move downfield, leading to a three-and-out, but clearly, TCU’s defense came to play as well.
The winner moves on to the College Football National Championship, and the Horned Frogs have leaped out to an early lead. But there’s plenty more football to be played.