TCU does not know where it will go in the next College Football Playoff rankings, up because it won at West Virginia, or down because it struggled to win.
But for coach Gary Patterson, the work speaks for itself.
“I can’t do anything about the committee,” Patterson said. “All I know is we just beat the 22nd- or 20th-ranked team in the nation this week, and we’ll play the ninth-ranked team next week.”
The Frogs had their least effective offensive showing of the season in the 31-30 victory, needing a last-second field goal to win. They converted only four of 15 third downs, lost two turnovers and got 40 percent passing from quarterback Trevone Boykin.
But defensively, they gave up only two touchdowns and three field goals. In the fourth quarter, West Virginia manged only a field goal. Quarterback Clint Trickett was 15-for-26 for 162 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions and two sacks.
“Against a prolific offense for West Virginia, at their house, and you just came back and beat them? If the committee didn’t think that was enough substance, then they didn’t watch the right film,” Patterson said. “Because we just did it not playing very well.”
Boykin did little to boost his Heisman credentials besides win. But that was just fine in Patterson’s eyes.
“Like I told him, as soon as I heard him say anything about the Heisman this week, this is the way it’s going to work — you’re going to have to find a way to win,” Patterson said.
Boykin had his worst statistics of the season: 12-for-30 passing, 162 yards and an interception.
But facing a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter, he led a drive for a touchdown and a field goal.
“I think he showed some substance,” Patterson said. “You got a guy, he’s been hearing everything about himself. He’s still young, only a junior. It was a very poor first half, and here’s a guy that bounced back when it really counted.”
Not taking chances
Patterson decided against trying to get the ball in the middle of the field for kicker Jaden Oberkrom’s game-winning attempt.
The ball was on the left hash mark at the 20-yard line with the clock stopped at 14 seconds because of an injury to running back B.J. Catalon. TCU faced a 10-second runoff because of the injury stoppage, but Patterson could have used his last timeout to prevent the runoff and perhaps try one more play.
“Decided not to take a chance of running the ball one more time,” Patterson said. “My special teams guy wanted the ball in the middle of the field. I said no, we’re going to take the 10-second runoff, we’ll take the timeout, we’ll kick it. We’ll kick the field goal, and he made it.”
Oberkrom has made five consecutive field goals, matching his longest streak of the season.
He has rebounded from a miss against Oklahoma State in his only attempt and two misses at SMU.
Two years ago, the junior from Arlington Martin made 10 consecutive kicks. This year, he is 14-for-18. He finished last season 14-for-18.
Patterson shrugged playfully after Oberkrom’s game-winner.
“When you figure out kickers and punters, you call me because I want to read the book,” he said.
For his career at TCU, Oberkrom is 50-for-66 (75.8 percent). The 50 field goals are fourth all-time at TCU.
Prime time for Frogs
Kickoff for the game against Kansas State on Saturday has been set for 6:30 p.m. on KDFW/Ch. 4.
The Horned Frogs moved to No. 6 in the AP Top 25, a rise of four spots. It’s their highest ranking since they ended at No. 2 in 2010.