With 10 seconds left before halftime and the ball near midfield, TCU opted to hand off to Kenedy Snell.
Head coach Gary Patterson knew the Amon G. Carter Stadium crowd didn’t like the call with the Horned Frogs trailing SMU 22-21.
“We got booed because we ran the ball on the first play,” Patterson said Saturday after the game.
But it was part of the plan. From their 44-yard line thanks to a 25-yard kickoff return by KaVontae Turpin and an offsides penalty against SMU, the Frogs were close enough to try for points. They had time for perhaps two plays.
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Patterson said the Frogs were trying to get close enough to throw to the end zone, rather than close enough for a field goal, which would have been into the wind.
He credited co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie’s play calling and the plan of the offensive coaches against the SMU prevent defense.
“They had the plan, they had the play,” Patterson said on Fox Sports Southwest’s Horned Frogs Nation. “They gave the ball to Snell. We thought on a linebacker, if they backed up, they were going to have trouble tackling him in space.”
Snell ran for 18 yards, getting the ball to the 38, where TCU called timeout with three seconds left.
“He got enough yards, we were able to get the timeout, we were able to throw the ball in the end zone, and you know the rest of the story,” Patterson said.
Yep, Jalen Reagor went up for a Hail Mary throw — one of the most exciting plays in football — from Kenny Hill and came down with it in the end zone, giving the Frogs a 28-22 halftime lead on the way to a 56-36 victory. The play was one of four consecutive touchdowns by the Frogs that rallied them from a 19-7 deficit.
“It was really a great job by the offensive staff,” Patterson said. “They had planned. That’s what they wanted to do, and they were able to execute it.”