FORT WORTH, Texas -- The moment Boise State conveniently fumbled away its potential close-out drive with 2:26 to go, TCU Horned Frogs coach Gary Patterson clicked his headset over to his offensive coaches up in the booth.
"I said, 'Do you have a two-point play ready?'" Patterson said. "And they said, 'Yes,' and I said, 'Well, you go down and score. We're going for it.'"
TCU took over on its own 27 down by a touchdown. Quarterback Casey Pachall completed 5-of-7 passes on the all-aerial drive, capped by a tremendous leaping grab in the end zone by 5-11 true freshman wide receiver Brandon Carter to pull the Frogs within 35-34 with 1:05 to play.
Pachall, who later would say he figured they'd kick the extra point to tie, and others headed off the field as if after most any other touchdown. This, Patterson would later say, was not most any other touchdown.
"I was hoping we were going to go for two, but then I didn't know because I saw a bunch of people start running off the field," TCU senior left guard Kyle Dooley said. "Then I see all the coaches yelling and everybody just stop. I stayed out on the field for the PAT and then I saw Patterson stick his fingers up for two and that's when I knew we were going for it."
To likely win it or lose it right there, on one play.
"It's a completely different feeling," Dooley said, "than if you know you're going to have to kick an extra point and possibly have to go to overtime."
Before TCU could get the play off, there was confusion.
"We about screwed it up and had to call a timeout," Patterson said. "In true Horned Frog fashion."
They got it off and Pachall targeted Josh Boyce, who grabbed the inside throw, pulling it away from the Boise defender for two points and a 36-35 lead with 65 ticks left. Boise drove 38 yards on eights plays to the TCU 22, but missed a 39-yard field-goal attempt as time expired.
Patterson said going for the tie was not an option.
"No, not against them, not there," Patterson said. "Nobody's beaten them; two times in 10 years people have beaten them there."
TCU's win was just Boise's third loss in their last 75 home games going back more than a decade.
"The longer it went the more it was going to be in their favor," Patterson said. "I'd already seen enough of their gadget plays in the red zone in the first 60 minutes of play."