Saturday, November 3, 2012
Late gambles pay off for TCU in 2OT win
By David Ubben
TCU was going to go down fighting, one way or the other.
The Horned Frogs trailed by seven after WVU took just one play to score in double overtime, but TCU had plans to do the same.
Receiver Brandon Carter, a former high school quarterback, grabbed the ball off a reverse and found a wide-open Corey Fuller, who rumbled in for the touchdown.
TCU coach Gary Patterson wasn't done. Taking a page from last season's regulation victory at Boise State, Patterson went for two on the road with what looked like the exact same play. Trevone Boykin found Josh Boyce, who hauled in a low toss to clinch the 39-38 win and set off a raucous Frogs celebration.
A review upheld the call.
Overtime only happened because Boykin found Boyce wide open for a 94-yard touchdown pass with 1:24 to play after Tavon Austin raced 76 yards on a punt return for a go-ahead touchdown for the Mountaineers.
Somebody's two-game losing streak had to come to an end. TCU played to win and made the plays to make it happen. It takes a whole lot of guts to do what Patterson did, and it paid off.
Iowa State coach Paul Rhoads tried a similar maneuver in 2010 versus Nebraska, but that failed. Its biggest win of the season pushed TCU to 6-3 overall (3-3 in the Big 12) and made it bowl-eligible.
The Frogs are banged-up and depleted, but this win will taste very, very sweet. Next week, the Frogs get a shot at Big 12 front-runner Kansas State.
Meanwhile, another crushing loss for West Virginia. The offense struggled again and Geno Smith finished just 32-of-54 for 260 yards, three touchdowns and a terrible interception on a badly underthrown deep ball that drew an animated reaction from coach Dana Holgorsen.
Austin tried his best to rescue the Mountaineers (5-3, 2-3) with the late punt return and a crazy 43-yard touchdown on a short catch in the second quarter, but it wasn't enough.
West Virginia is left searching while the Frogs moved up the Big 12 standings.