The Horned Frogs traveled 18 miles east Saturday night to play under the bright lights in AT&T Stadium, but offensive miscues proved costly as TCU fell to No. 4 Ohio State, 40-28.
“I thought our team played a really good football game,” said head coach Gary Patterson. “Ohio State is a good football team, you have to give them a lot of credit. We didn’t allow a touchdown in the first half defensively, and then they turned up the knob and we had to do better.
Ohio State’s Sean Nuernberger put the Buckeyes on the scoreboard first with a 20-yard field goal. The Buckeyes marched down the field with authority, but the TCU defense stood tall in the red zone to hold Ohio State to three points.
TCU lost a touchdown opportunity on their next drive when wide receiver KaVontae Turpin was called for a holding penalty on a play in which Darius Anderson appeared to score. The play set the team back 10 yards and forced them to settle for three points.
With 7:13 left in the first quarter, Ohio State extended their lead by seven points. After quarterback Shawn Robinson was stripped by defensive end Nick Bosa, Ohio State defensive tackle Davon Hamilton recovered the fumble for a touchdown.
“He plays in a spot where a lot of people rely on him and Shawn has been doing good and he’s been getting better and he will continue to get better,” said defensive end Ben Banogu.
TCU answered back with a 42-yard completion pass to sophomore wide receiver Jalen Reagor, setting the tone for their drive.
The Horned Frogs capped the drive off with a six-yard touchdown rush by Sewo Olonilua.
TCU running back makes school history
The TCU offense gained momentum and saw its biggest lead after senior wide receiver Jarrison Stewart’s 28-yard catch. This play was ammunition to Anderson’s second touchdown of the evening, just one play later, putting the Frogs up 21-13.
The Horned Frogs began to fall apart after this score, as the Buckeyes would outscore TCU 27-14 in the second half.
Wrapped up in the second-half implosion was a targeting controversy. Linebacker Garret Wallow was called for targeting in the third quarter as it appeared he made deliberate contact with the head of quarterback Dwayne Haskins.
The call was later overturned, but that didn’t shake up the Buckeyes.
Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins completed a pass to Parris Campbell Jr. just one drive later for a 63-yard touchdown to cut the lead to two points.
Another miscue by Robinson gave the lead away. Robinson’s pass was picked off by Dre’Mont Jones, an Ohio State defensive lineman, and returned to the end zone.
The Horned Frogs would not lead again.
Punter Adam Nunez saw his punt blocked by a Buckeye, giving Ohio State excellent field position at TCU’s 25-yard line. The Buckeyes would score on that drive to go up 33-21.
A 24-yard touchdown by K.J. Hill Jr. followed by a five-yard rush by Dwayne Haskins in the fourth quarter would give them a 40-28 lead.
Although the Horned Frogs are now 2-1 in the season, Patterson isn’t concerned with the record. He’s focused on the next game in Austin.
“We’ve got a lot of good people we’ve got to play before we get to that point,” said Patterson. “So right now, I won’t worry about that. Right now, it’s Texas.”
TCU will travel to Austin to compete against the Texas Longhorns 3:30 p.m. Saturday.