It was perhaps the most bizarre moment in a season full of them in the unlucky season of 2013 for TCU.
With the Horned Frogs clinging to a 28-27 lead early in the fourth quarter, Kansas State’s drive was stopped after an incompletion on a long third-and-5 and the Wildcats were forced to punt from the TCU 39.
On the punt, however, Trevone Boykin was sent in to receive it while cornerback Jason Verrett stayed in to help defend against a fake. One problem: Both wear jersey No. 2.
The officials flagged the Frogs for an equipment failure, giving the Wildcats fourth-and-1 at the 35-yard line. This time K-State went for it and got the first down with a 6-yard run by Daniel Sams.
K-State drained 8:47 off the clock during the 14-play drive, 11 of which came after the equipment penalty. KSU took a 30-28 lead on Jack Cantele’s 23-yard field goal with 5:59 left in the game. TCU lost 33-31.
“There’s probably only one person’s fault we didn’t win, and that’s me,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “We run a punt returner on, which we’ve never done before because he’s a lot more sure-handed quarterback, and we have two 2s on the field because we left the defense on the field.”
Actually, Boykin had returned a punt earlier in the game, the first of his career. Patterson has said for two weeks that Boykin was practicing returning punts, so that wasn’t a surprise.
But having Verrett stay on the field with Boykin while free safety Elisha Olabode came off was not part of the plan. Patterson said he wasn’t aware of the problem until the officials made the call.
“If we were [aware], I would have called a timeout so it would have been fourth [down] and our ball,” he said. “[We] gave them an opportunity to go for it on fourth down. That’s the difference in the ballgame. That’s a mistake, and nobody can be blamed but me.”
Patterson said it’s the first time he’s been in that situation — with players wearing the same number.
“Usually Cam Luper is our guy,” Patterson said. “Trevone is just a lot more sure-handed, and we shouldn’t have run him on [the field]. It was not a good decision.”
Kansas State coach Bill Snyder assumed it was a player’s mistake.
“Whoever made the mistake, I feel awfully bad for them,” Snyder said. “How did it impact the game? I do not know. It seemingly had a major impact.”
TCU’s Sam Carter was shocked by the turn of events.
“I didn’t see it and the coaches didn’t. It was just a mistake,” he said. “You learn from it and hopefully it doesn’t happen again.”
Casey Pachall was dumbfounded, too, watching from the sidelines.
“Just kind of like, ‘Why didn’t somebody notice it?’ But there’s not much else you can say about that.”
Pachall ties legend
Pachall tied TCU legend Sam Baugh (1934-36) with his 40th career scoring pass. Pachall’s 51-yard touchdown toss to David Porter moved him into a tie for fourth place all time.
Pachall’s 248 yards passing moved him into third all-time at TCU with 5,148 career passing yards. He passed Steve Stamp (1978-81), who threw for 5,123 yards.
“It means a lot,” said Pachall, who completed 23 of 33 passes with an interception. “It’s one of those things whenever you’re compared to other people in TCU’s history; it’s an honor. But at the same time, we didn’t win the game and this season didn’t go the way we wanted it to. So it puts a little damper on it and how it would normally feel.”
Pachall will finish his career behind Andy Dalton (10,314 yards) and Max Knake (7,370) in career passing yards. Dalton and Knake also lead with 71 and 49 career touchdown passes, respectively.
Receiver Cam White, who tweeted several days ago that his football career was over because of a concussion, did not make the trip to Kansas State. Patterson declined to explain White’s absence after the game.
“I’m not here to talk about Cam White,” Patterson said. “I don’t talk about injuries. That’s his thing. Cam White wasn’t in our locker room. The guys in there are in tears. I’m not going to talk about him.”
White, a junior from DeSoto High School, injured his head off the field several weeks ago and did not play against Texas but played the last two weeks against West Virginia and Iowa State.