Freshman kicker Jaden Oberkrom tied the game with 18 seconds left in regulation on a 42-yard field goal and nailed a 38-yarder in the third overtime.
He hit every extra point and all six field goals he attempted.
But the Frogs can’t settle for field goals in the Big 12, head coach Gary Patterson said.
“We had to kick field goals and they didn’t,” Patterson said. “You gotta find ways to get touchdowns.”
Texas Tech found the end zone on every scoring drive on the way to a 56-53 victory at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Quarterback Seth Doege threw for seven touchdowns and 318 yards. Running back Kenny Williams scored one touchdown on the ground.
TCU had three straight drives end in field goals stretching from the end of the second half to the start of the fourth quarter.
Oberkrom regained the lead for the Frogs on a 32-yard field goal with 4:09 left in the third quarter. He extended the lead to 26-21 early in the fourth quarter.
After TCU took its final lead in regulation, the Red Raiders’ offense scored 15 straight points to take a 36-26 lead with 4:06 left in the fourth.
Trevone Boykin took the Frogs down the field on the ensuing drive in four plays to cut the lead to a field goal difference at 36-33. He led the Frogs on another drive with 1:20 left to tie the game at 36.
Boykin never gave up, fought through and everyone followed him, wide receiver Josh Boyce said.
“We didn’t get the win but [Boykin] showed leadership and courage,” Boyce said. “It was pretty good for us.”
Boykin had 332 yards on 26-of-44 passing. He also threw for four touchdowns and two interceptions.
Texas Tech (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) and TCU (5-2, 2-2) exchanged touchdowns in the first two overtimes.
Boykin found Boyce for an eight-yard score in the first overtime. Texas Tech came back with a six-yard touchdown to Eric Ward to force a second overtime.
The Red Raiders used one play to score in the second overtime on a 25-yard pass from Seth Doege to wide receiver Jakeem Grant. TCU punched in a seven-yard pass from Boykin to running back B.J. Catalon to tie the game again.
In the third overtime, it came down to Oberkrom. TCU gained four yards on second down and then stalled. The team turned to Oberkrom who punched in a 38-yard field goal to take a 53-50 lead.
The Red Raiders needed four plays to take the lead away from the Frogs. Doege found wide receiver Alex Torres for an eight-yard touchdown.
“They just made plays,” safety Sam Carter said. “They wanted it more than us.”
Texas Tech became bowl eligible with their sixth victory of the season. The loss kept the Frogs at five wins as they failed to become bowl eligible.
Every loss is a missed opportunity, but the team has more chances to become bowl eligible, Boyce said.
There are no moral victories in this situation, Patterson said. He told the Frogs at halftime that the team that made more plays in the second half would win the game, he said.
“I do believe that we proved that we can play in it [the Big 12],” Patterson said. “Are we unhappy we lost? Yes. But heck of a ballgame.”