Champion TCU Horned Frogs football
Stadium Cotton Bowl
Date 1 January 1957
|Location Cotton Bowl, Dallas, Texas, United States|
People also search for 1996 Liberty Bowl, 1965 Sun Bowl
The 1957 Cotton Bowl Classic featured the TCU Horned Frogs and the Syracuse Orangemen, played on New Year's Day.
Syracuse had just one loss (to Pittsburgh, who ended up losing in the Gator Bowl), but they were 8th ranked, led by Jim Brown, who would play his last game before becoming an NFL player. TCU had finished 2nd in the Southwest Conference, but was invited to play in the Cotton Bowl due to first place Texas A&M being under NCAA sanctions. This was TCU's fifth Cotton Bowl appearance, having lost their previous four (and not winning since 1937). This was Syracuse's first appearance, along with their first bowl game since the 1953 Orange Bowl.
TCU had two 14 point leads, both near the end of the halves. John Nikkel started the scoring for TCU with a touchdown catch from Chuck Curtis, and in the second quarter, Jim Shofner caught a touchdown to make it 14-0. But Jim Brown ran for two touchdowns in a span of 6:52 to tie the game at halftime. Late in the third quarter after Brown fumbled the ball back to TCU, Curtis scored on a touchdown run to give TCU the lead back. After another Brown fumble in the fourth quarter, Jim Swink ran in for a touchdown to give TCU a 28-14 lead with 11:44 to go. But Brown would not be stopped as Syracuse went 49 yards in 13 plays and scored on a Brown run. Brown went up for his third PAT attempt of the day to try and narrow the lead to 7.
But Chico Mendoza blocked the extra point, keeping the score 28-20. But Syracuse had one last drive in them, going 43 yards in 3 plays and with 1:17 left, Jim Ridlon caught a pass from Charles Zimmerman to narrow the lead to 28-27. Syracuse kicked it deep but TCU held on and did not let Syracuse get the ball back, in what would turn out to be TCU's last bowl win until 1998. Jim Brown and Norman Hamilton were named Outstanding Players of the game.