TCU stunned West Virginia a year ago with a double overtime win on the road.
Saturday afternoon at Amon G. Carter Stadium, the Mountaineers returned the favor.
And just like last year’s game, the Horned Frogs had to rally late to push the game into overtime.
TCU scored 10 points in the final 3:01 of regulation, including Jaden Oberkrom’s 45-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining, but West Virginia kicker Josh Lambert’s 34-yard field goal in overtime beat the Horned Frogs 30-27 on Saturday.
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A 15-yard personal-foul penalty pushed TCU back on its opening overtime possession, and Oberkrom’s 62-yard field-goal attempt was wide, setting up the Mountaineers’ game-winning kick.
TCU scored 17 points in the first 18 minutes of the game, but the Mountaineers regrouped and scored 24 consecutive points before a crowd of 41,632.
“You’ve got to give credit to West Virginia for coming back and doing the things they needed to do, but, to be honest with you, we gave one away,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “That’s about as simple as I can tell you how it is.”
TCU (3-6, 1-5 Big 12) must win its final three games of the season, including next week at Iowa State, to keep its streak of eight consecutive bowl berths alive. WVU (4-5, 2-4) was in the same boat Saturday and looked like a beaten team early.
TCU quarterback Casey Pachall was sharp and his receivers were playing their best game of the season in the first half, when TCU took a 17-3 lead early in the second quarter. Pachall threw touchdown passes to Josh Doctson and David Porter and threw for 201 yards in the first half.
But the offense sputtered after halftime and a rash of turnovers ruined TCU scoring chances and helped set up Mountaineers’ scores.
Three turnovers in a span of five plays in the second half led to 17 points for West Virginia, including a 13-yard touchdown catch by Charles Sims that gave the Mountaineers a 27-17 lead with 7:11 remaining.
Pachall, in his first start since breaking his non-throwing (left) arm Sept. 7, played one of his best games as a Frog, completing 40 of 58 attempts for 394 yards, the second-most yards in his career and sixth most all-time at TCU.
But he also was intercepted twice and fumbled once, and WVU turned those mistakes into 17 points.
The Mountaineers’ Ishmael Banks intercepted a Pachall pass near midfield with 12:12 left in the game, and WVU took a 20-17 lead seven plays later on Cody Clay’s 11-yard touchdown catch from Clint Trickett.
Pachall’s fumble on TCU’s next possession was recovered by Darwin Cook at the TCU 17 and WVU took a seemingly commanding 27-17 lead.
Despite the offense’s improvement Saturday, mistakes remained a problem from the Frogs’ first play. Pachall’s first pass attempt was tipped at the line and intercepted. WVU took over at the TCU 23 and led 3-0 after Lambert’s 24-yard field goal.
“We never should have been in that situation in the first place,” Pachall said of the overtime. “There were a lot of mistakes from myself and from others that cost us to have to go into overtime and letting them come back in the game. When we should have picked up the temp and continued doing what we were doing.”
After trailing 3-0, TCU scored the next 17 points to take a 14-point lead before Sims cut the lead to 17-10 with a 31-yard scoring run midway through the second quarter.
Twice the defense appeared to have set up the Frogs with some game-changing turnovers.
Chris Hackett’s interception and 31-yard scoring return was nullified by Jason Verrett’s interference penalty. On WVU’s next possession, Paul Dawson intercepted Trickett’s pass and returned it 17 yards to the Mountaineer 2, giving the Frogs a chance to increase their lead to 24-10.
But Trevone Boykin, in for Pachall was hit and stripped of the ball by Isaiah Bruce and Jared Barber recovered, and the third quarter ended with TCU holding onto a 17-10 lead.
“It’s another week we didn’t finish,” Verrett said. “I take a little of the fault for the [penalty] I got when Chris Hackett got the interception. That would have been a game-changer. We didn’t find a way to finish. I thought it wasn’t catchable, but he kind of crossed my face, I grabbed him so I take the blame for that.
“It hurts. We got an interception from Paul Dawson down at the 2-yard line and we fumbled it right there. That would have been another game-changer. When it comes down to it we have to do our part defensively. We lost as a team.”