- The TCU Horned Frogs took down the California Golden Bears, 10-7, in an unconventionally exciting overtime affair.
- The game was littered with illegal plays, bizarre penalty calls, and a whopping nine combined interceptions.
- The absolute disaster of a football game has become a meme and will live in infamy amongst the worst bowl games of all time.
The 2018 Cheez-It Bowl was one of the most memorable postseason college football games in recent memory for all of the wrong reasons.
The TCU Horned Frogs took down the California Golden Bears 10-7 in an unconventionally exciting overtime affair littered with illegal plays, bizarre penalty calls, and an unreasonable number of interceptions.
By the end of the first half, the Horned Frogs and Golden Bears had a combined six interceptions. After halftime pep talks that almost certainly featured calls for a renewed emphasis on ball security, TCU quarterback Grayson Muehlstein threw his fourth interception of the night on the first drive of the second half.
At that point in the contest, with Cal leading 7-0, the teams had accumulated as many combined interceptions as they had combined points.
Two of Muehlstein’s interceptions came on illegal plays, but that technicality was the least of the Horned Frogs’ worries.
TCU finally scored late in the third quarter thanks to a drive with no passes that culminated in a one-yard touchdown run.
The Horned Frogs tried to follow that up by bringing in a fresh arm for their next possession. But he clearly forgot that quarterbacks are allowed to move their feet.
it's fine if your QB has dropfoot and no field vision if he's made of dense impenetrable metals and cannot be destroyed pic.twitter.com/MQFNYFGnFr
— BUM CHILLUPS AKA SPENCER HALL (@edsbs) December 27, 2018
So back came Muehlstein, and after theGolden Bears threw their fourth interception of the night, the 6-foot-4, 211-pound senior found himself in a position to clinch the victory for TCU.
But like nearly every other instance in this game, the offence could not convert.
Muehlstein and the Horned Frogs got the ball back with 2:08 remaining in the contest and promptly worked their way up the field, relying exclusively on running back Sewo Olonilua for every possession. With 50 seconds left, a 15-yard Muehlstein pass put TCU in field goal range and gave the quarterback his longest completion of the night.
With time winding down, the Horned Frogs called a timeout to prepare for a 44-yard game-winning field goal attempt, but California iced kicker Cole Bunce and allowed TCU head coach Gary Patterson to confuse everyone in the general vicinity by switching out his kicker twice. Eventually, Bunce launched a shot wide of the upright and sent the calamitous affair into overtime.
Gary Patterson switches kickers twice after Cal called timeout, TCU misses anyway pic.twitter.com/xUlRzUn22X
— CJ Fogler (@cjzer0) December 27, 2018
The Golden Bears threw an interception on their first possession of overtime, because of course they did. But Jawuan Johnson’s 84-yard return was called back thanks to the Horned Frog’s sports information director tripping over a first down marker and tumbling onto the field.
The NINTH total interception of the Cheez-It Bowl almost resulted in a walk-off win in overtime for TCU. pic.twitter.com/1SyUB8bt9G
— ESPN (@espn) December 27, 2018
Still, TCU miraculously managed to work the ball into field-goal range without committing a turnover. Kicker Jonathan Song – who was involved in the bizarre double swap-out at the end of regulation – drilled the 27-yard field goal attempt to secure the Cheez-It Bowl for the Horned Frogs and put an end to the misery for spectators across the nation.
Muehlstein finished the night with four interceptions and 27 passing yards.
Go ahead and eat up that mediocrity, TCU!
— Guaranteed Rate Bowl (@RateBowl) December 27, 2018
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.