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Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Big 12 games of the year: No. 8

By Brandon Chatmon

We’re counting down the 10 best games of the year in the Big 12. Below is game No. 8, an overtime thriller in Fort Worth which appeared, at the time, to decide which one of the teams was destined to go bowling in 2013. WVU stumbled down the stretch, failing to secure bowl eligibility.

No. 8: Nov. 2 -- West Virginia 30, TCU 27 (overtime)

The Mountaineers and Horned Frogs played one of the most entertaining fourth quarters of the entire season, as the two teams traded punches with both squads grasping at bowl hopes.

What happened: The Horned Frogs had appeared to fumble (and throw away) their chances at a victory with two fourth-quarter turnovers leading to two WVU touchdowns as the Mountaineers went from a 17-13 deficit to a 27-17 lead. But TCU quarterback Casey Pachall rallied his team after those back-to-back turnovers and took them on an 11-play, 73-yard touchdown drive and a game-tying field goal in the final seven minutes of the game to force overtime.

Yet, in a sequence that was representative of how TCU stubbed its own foot for much of the season, the Horned Frogs somehow ended up with a 62-yard field goal on their first possession after penalties and mental mistakes. TCU kicker Jaden Oberkrom couldn’t connect and WVU secured the win with Josh Lambert’s 34-yard field goal.

Overlooked for much of the game was WVU running back Charles Sims’ 189 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns. And you can't forget quarterback Clint Trickett going 11-of-14 for 124 yards and two touchdowns in the fourth quarter and overtime, which had shades of his clutch play in WVU’s win over Oklahoma State.

Player of the game: Darwin Cook was all over the field for the Mountaineers, finishing with 14 tackles and one fumble recovery. He was one of the few bright spots on WVU's defense for the entire season, and it was rare to watch a Mountaineers' game without noticing No. 25 showing up around the ball for Dana Holgorsen's squad.

Stat of the game: WVU’s 20 points off turnovers. The game was decided by turnovers, as the Mountaineers were plus-20 in points-off-turnover margin. Give WVU credit for capitalizing on TCU mistakes without making mistakes of its own in a tough road victory.

Quotable: "You have to give credit to West Virginia for coming back and doing the things they did, but to be honest with you we gave one away. That is about as simple as I can tell you how it is." -- TCU coach Gary Patterson.

Previous games on the list:

No. 9: Oklahoma 38, Texas Tech 30

No. 10: Texas Tech 20, TCU 10