Boyce comes up big in the clutch
TCU’s win over Boise State Saturday was filled with several crucial, game-defining plays. None of which, though, may have been bigger than Josh Boyce’s two-point conversion catch from Casey Pachall that put the Frogs up 36-35.
Boyce, who had already caught three touchdown passes and reeled in over 150 yards receiving, ran an out route toward the front pylon of the endzone on the TCU side of the field. Guarded tightly, Boyce more or less had to wrestle Pachall’s pass away from the Boise State defender. The throw, which met Boyce just inside the one-yard line, very well could have been intercepted.
But it wasn’t.
Instead, Boyce came away with it, shook off the cornerback and stepped into the endzone for the conversion, giving TCU the lead and leaving the Broncos with just over a minute to make a comeback.
Pachall said he didn’t get the throw outside enough and it could have been picked off. Luckily, Boyce helped him out and made a spectacular play.
“Great play,” Pachall said of Boyce’s catch. “Whenever I let it go, I felt like I left it a little inside, which I did and I thought it might have been an interception but he made a heck of a play, stole it right from him and the rest is history.”
As for TCU’s decision to go for two, instead of kicking the extra point to tie the game, Head Coach Gary Patterson said it was the Frogs’ only choice. Going into overtime against a team like Boise State on the road simply wasn’t an option.
"I told them on the two-point play we’re not going to be able to win this if it keeps going,” Patterson said. “The only thing we’re going to be able to do is steal it.”
Frog defense bends but doesn’t break
TCU linebacker Tank Carder was involved in one of the biggest plays of the ballgame and didn’t even know it.
Carder and safety Jonathan Anderson combined to tackle Boise running back Drew Wright in the fourth quarter and force the fumble that gave TCU the ball back with 2:26 left in the game and trailing 35-28.
Carder said he didn’t even realize Wright had fumbled.
“We just hit him and I didn’t know he fumbled until after and I looked up and TCU was cheering and they called the ball this way,” said Carder who racked up seven tackles Saturday and constantly pressure BSU quarterback Kellen Moore. “I didn’t even know he fumbled at first but like I said that was a big play.”
Carder said everyone on the defense was fully prepared for Saturday’s game against the Broncos, something the Frogs had circled on their calendars for a while.
“We were all ready,” Carder said. “We had our eyes on this game for all season. We knew this was going to be a big time game. I didn’t have to do anything (before the game. None of the guys did. Before the game it was like a calm, controlled silence that everyone knew what the task at hand was.”
TCU came into the game a 15.5 point underdog, mainly due to its defensive struggles to this point in the season.
But Carder said the Frogs weren’t worried about being underdogs. Instead, he said they were more focused on proving they could still play.
“When we were going into this game, we really didn’t see ourselves as underdogs,” Carder said. “We saw that we needed to prove a point. We struggled earlier in the season and we felt like we knew what we needed to get done.”
Carder reinforced this sentiment about an hour after the game Saturday night with this tweet:
“We didn’t shock the world, we reminded them.”
Pachall’s big afternoon bolted him near the top of several TCU single-game passing records.
His 473 yards through air were the most ever by a Gary Patterson-coached quarterback and second most in TCU history. Matt Vogler threw for 693 yards against Houston in 1990. And Pachall’s touchdown total Saturday tied a TCU single-game record shared by three others.
Those numbers boosted the sophomore’s season total, most of which are on pace to set TCU single-season records.
Still, Pachall insists he’s not focused on the stats.
“I wasn’t really worried about any records or any of that,” Pachall said. “I just wanted to get the ball to the playmakers and let them make the plays like they’re good at doing because we have a ton of playmakers and when they have the ball they’re capable of anything. I just got to get the ball out of my hand and get it to them.”