Top five strangest moments in the 2013 TCU football season
From beginning to end, the 2013 TCU football season could be accurately described in just one word: bizarre.
From officiating anomalies to wildlife on the field, there were many moments in 2013 that left Horned Frog fans scratching their heads. Some were under TCU’s control, others were not, but they all made this season a memorable one.
Here are the top five strangest moments for TCU in 2013:
Lengthy Lightning Delay Against Texas
The Frogs were in contention against Texas before the second-largest crowd in the history of Amon G. Carter Stadium. Down 17-7 with 6:08 remaining in the second quarter, TCU had just forced the Longhorns to punt. The offense had looked sharp with Casey Pachall at the helm, who had come in to replace Trevone Boykin. The Frogs had the ball and momentum.
A bolt lit up the sky and officials called for play to stop, and both teams proceeded to the locker room to wait out the storm. Fans took shelter from the downpour that moved in by standing in the concourses or heading to Daniel Meyer Coliseum, but TCU lost its home-field advantage as most of the Frog faithful headed home.
Only the student section remained full during the delay, with one student even running onto the field before being escorted out by security. The students eventually had to leave the stands.
The delay lasted three hours and six minutes, and Texas took complete control when play resumed. The Longhorns outscored TCU 13-0 and shut down the Frogs’ offense en route to a 30-7 victory. In his postgame press conference, which took place around 1 a.m., head coach Gary Patterson said, “Bottom line is we’re not very good.”
The Devonte Fields Saga
This one is primarily on Patterson. The coach suspended star defensive end Devonte Fields in May for a violation of team rules. The suspension was supposed to last the first two games of the season, but in the week before the opener against LSU, Patterson said Fields would be in uniform for the game and implied that the sophomore could even start. However, he refused to commit one way or the other.
Fields did not play against the Tigers, but Patterson did play him for the third quarter the following week against Southeastern Louisiana. The following week against Texas Tech, Fields suffered a foot injury, and that became Patterson’s new least favorite topic to discuss with the media.
The coach was mum on the nature of Fields’ injury for the next three weeks, before finally saying that the sophomore would have season-ending surgery and seek a medical redshirt. Until that point, keeping track of Fields’ status this season was harder than trying to figure out if Brett Favre really was retired.
The End of the First Half of the Cowboys Classic
Patterson still wants this ruling explained. On third and goal from the 12-yard line, LSU quarterback Zach Mettenberger threw an incomplete pass and the clock stopped with five seconds remaining in the second quarter. The Tigers were going to settle for a field goal leading 13-10.
During the play, however, LSU left tackle La’el Collins’ helmet came off. Because there was less than two minutes left in the half and LSU had just used its final timeout, the referee called for a 10-second runoff as a penalty, which brought the half to an end. The Frogs gathered up and ran to the tunnel, happy because they kept the Tigers from scoring and they would receive the opening kick of the second half trailing by just three points.
Wait, just kidding. The referees conferred and determined that because the clock had stopped for the incomplete pass, no runoff needed to be assessed. They only problem was that TCU was already in the locker room. The officials found Patterson and had him bring his players back out on the field for one play. The Tigers kicked a 23-yard field goal and took a 16-10 lead to halftime. They would go on to beat the Frogs 37-27. Confused yet?
Two “2’s” on the Field
In the category of “Penalties You Have Never Heard Of,” this one has to win. TCU was called for “Illegal Equipment” against Kansas State when Boykin went back to return a punt with 13:27 remaining in the game. The problem was that cornerback Jason Verrett was on the field at the same time with the TCU defense. Both players wear the number “2.”
Teams are allowed to have players with duplicate jersey numbers, but they cannot have two players wearing the same number on the field at the same time. KSU head coach Bill Snyder pointed out the discrepancy to the officials, who then threw the flag.
The penalty turned a fourth-and-six into a fourth-and-one for the Wildcats, who converted and went on to kick a field goal to take the lead.
It was even more frustrating for TCU because Boykin had been practicing at punt returner for two weeks, meaning the coaching staff had that long to realize the potential for such a penalty.
The Entire Texas Tech Game
Is it really a contest? The officiating was so poor that the Big 12 called Patterson and admitted to 12 different errors by the officials in the game. And that is just the beginning.
The Red Raiders were dressed in gray uniforms for a blackout. Brandon Carter returned a punt for a touchdown, except he didn’t because the officials determined his wavering arm was a call for a fair catch. Texas Tech running back DeAndre Williams had a 49-yard touchdown catch, except he fumbled it, but the Red Raiders got to keep the ball anyway. A punt appeared to hit the leg of a Red Raider late in the game, but the officials just missed it. Texas Tech’s starting quarterback was knocked out of the game, and the backup came in to lead a game-winning drive.
And there was a fox on the sideline. What did it say?
“This is one weird game.”