In a TCU season to forget, blowout loss to West Virginia ‘could have been a lot worse’

Gary Patterson had a simple description for the most lopsided loss in his tenure as TCU’s coach – butt kicking.

Nobody would argue with that assessment.

No. 7 West Virginia overcame a slow start and cruised to a 47-10 victory on a chilly Saturday afternoon at Milan Puskar Stadium.

“We’re not good enough right now to make up for mistakes,” Patterson said. “And they’re a good football team. You have to give West Virginia a lot of credit.

“You’ve got to be able to call it what it is — we got our butt kicked. Simple as that.”

Patterson acknowledged the score could’ve been worse, too. He thanked West Virginia’s Dana Holgorsen for not running it up even more.

“He was nice to us. It could have been a lot worse,” Patterson said. “I respect that. We’ve been on the other side of these many times. We have to find a way to score points, and we have to find a way to stop people. That’s what our jobs are.”

TCU struggled in every aspect.

The offense had a season-low 222 yards, including minus-7 rushing yards on 24 attempts. It’s the worst rushing performance since it produced minus-26 yards against Texas A&M in 2001.

The 10 points scored were a season-low. TCU has scored 28 or fewer points in eight consecutive games, the first time that’s happened since the 1-10 season in 1997.

West Virginia ran 20 more offensive plays than TCU, 81-61. The Mountaineers were held scoreless in the first quarter for the first time this season, but rattled off four consecutive TD drives in a seven-minute stretch late in the second quarter and into the third quarter.

TCU’s special teams helped WVU’s TD streak by failing to recover a short kickoff with just over five minutes left in the first half.

What could go wrong went wrong for the Frogs, especially in the second quarter when a 3-3 game with six minutes left ended up being 24-3 by halftime.

“It happened all so fast. It’s 3-3 and then it just goes 24-3,” said receiver Jalen Reagor, who finished with 11 catches for 150 yards and one TD.

“You try your hardest to fight back, shake back, do whatever you can to get back in the game.”

That didn’t happen.

TCU took a safety on its opening series of the second half, and never threatened to get back in it. As stated, West Virginia responded with a TD on its first second-half series and added two more scores.

TCU’s offense ranks as the biggest concern going forward. The Frogs simply can’t get into a rhythm.

Quarterback Mike Collins finished 22-for-37 for 229 yards with one touchdown, and was sacked four times. A couple receivers dropped balls, including Reagor on a deep ball in the first half, and the O-line didn’t create the necessary running lanes.

Patterson didn’t sound like a coach interested in making drastic in-season changes, and pointed to his first season as head coach in 2001. The Frogs dropped to 4-5 following a 38-17 loss to UAB, but won their final two games to become bowl eligible.

He sees no reason this team can’t do the same with upcoming games against Baylor and Oklahoma State.

“You keep fighting,” Patterson said. “We had the same problems [in 2001]. You have to get ready to go. You have to understand that West Virginia’s a good football team and we played them at their house, and it’s the way it is. But you have to give them a lot of credit, both sides of the ball.”

West Virginia quarterback and Heisman hopeful Will Grier had an impressive day, going 25-for-39 passing for 343 yards with three touchdowns and one interception. Mountaineers RB Kennedy McKoy had a couple TD runs, including a 33-yarder during the second quarter onslaught.

A banged-up TCU team simply couldn’t keep up with one of the best teams in the country. The Frogs stand a better chance against the final two opponents, and that’s the mindset moving on from one of the worst losses – score-wise – of the Patterson era.

“We have to bounce back,” Reagor said. “Try to get these two games to give these seniors the best season.”

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