Early on, TCU's offense looked like were picking up where they left off last season, but a few miscues prevented them from ever pulling away from the Golden Gophers.
After TCU kicker Jaden Oberkrom put the Frogs on the scoreboard with a 53 field goal to end its first drive, the Frogs were able to get the ball back at Minnesota's 15 yard line. Horned Frog quarterback Trevone Boykin would then find his favorite target Josh Doctson in the end zone for an 11 yard touchdown reception to give the Frogs an early 10-0 lead.
It looked the Frogs were going break the game open as they drove to the Minnesota 11 yard line, but running back Aaron Green fumbled when reach for the first down. Minnesota's Antonio Johnson would recover the ball to keep his team's deficit at 10-0.
After being forced to punt during the previous driver, Minnesota looked like they were going to pull within a field goal as they went on a five play, 59 yard drive. But as running back Roderick Williams was headed toward the goal line, TCU safety Derrick Kindred stripped the ball, which tumbled into the hands of Nick Orr, who was in the end zone. The Frogs would get a touchback, but were forced to punt on their ensuing drive.
Minnesota would finally get on the board with a 42 yard field goal by Ryan Santoso, which was then followed by a rare Jaden Oberkrom miss from 28 yards out before halftime.
The offense had some good moments, but was unable to break the game open as Minnesota's defense didn't give up many big plays. Boykin went 26-42 passing, but only completed two passes that went for more than 15 yards. The Heisman hopeful finished the game with 246 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception. Boykin and Green led the way on the ground with 92 and 88 rushing yards, respectively
Though the offense sputtered at times, the defense picked up the slack.
TCU defensive end Terrell Lathan, who was partly filling in for the injured James MacFarland, was a menace in the backfield all night for the Gophers. He forced a fumble to set up the Frogs first touchdown and put the pressure on quarterback Mitch Leidner.
The young linebackers were able to impress as well. Freshman Mike Freeze when he put the heat on Leidner in his own end zone that was at first called a safety. But, the call was revered and Minnesota had to punt from their five yard line.
The Frogs gave up only 197 passing yards to Gophers, but have up 144 yards on the ground.
Though the TCU defense out-shined the offense for most of the night, the Frogs were able to sustain a nine play, 76 yard drive that ended in a dazzling 19 yard touchdown run by Boykin.
The Frogs looked like they were sitting pretty up 17-3 in the third quarter, but the Gophers were able to respond with a 77 yard drive of their own after cornerback Eric Murray intercepted Boykin in the red zone. Minnesota would drive 77 yards before running back Rodney Smith was able to punch it in from the one yard line to cut the Gopher's deficit to 17-10.
TCU would take it's next possession 56 yards, but would have to settle for a 45 yard field goal.
The Frogs would have to settle for three points once more in the fourth quarter after Minnesota was forced to punt out of its own end zone. With 7:33 left in the game, the Frogs were up 23-10.
However, the Gophers were not done yet. Leidner and the Gophers offense were able to march 91 yards down field to score a touchdown to put them within six points as the Minnesota QB was able to find K.J. Maye for a 22 yard score.
But it was too little, too late for the Golden Gophers as they were unable to recover an on-sides kick and could not get in striking distance with just 27 seconds left after forcing the Frogs to punt.