TCU used the same two-point conversion play against West Virginia that helped the team beat Boise State last year.
Wide receiver Josh Boyce was on the receiving end both times, but this one came in double overtime instead of regulation. Against the Mountaineers, Boyce kept his hands between the ball and the turf as the two-point conversion pass came in low.
The play was upheld after officials reviewed the catch and TCU (6-3, 3-3 Big 12) held on to beat West Virginia (5-3, 2-3) 39-38 in double overtime at Milan Puskar Stadium.
“I’ve already been through one of these [overtimes] this year so I don’t know if there is such a thing as a loser,” head coach Gary Patterson said.
Patterson and the Frogs were on the losing end of a triple overtime game against Texas Tech on Oct. 20.
“We haven’t been out of any ball game this year,” Patterson said. “So for us, we have to just keep growing up and getting better.”
TCU, which trailed most of the second half, tied the score at 24 on a 26-yard field goal by Jaden Oberkrom with 12:01 left in the game. Neither team scored again until wide receiver Tavon Austin busted a 76-yard punt return for a touchdown at the 3:13 mark.
TCU went three-and-out on the ensuing possession and forced a West Virginia punt with 2:07 left. The Frogs took over at the 15 and a nine-yard sack pushed them back to the six-yard line. Then Boyce took over.
Boyce caught a Boykin pass and took it 96 yards to tie the game. He was pushed out-of-bounds before he caught the pass, but was still eligible to receive the ball.
Once he caught the pass, it became a “foot race” to the end zone, Boyce said.
The Mountaineers had 1:28 on the clock to move the ball and get in field goal range. They got to the TCU 38-yard line where Tyler Bitancurt’s 55-yard attempt sailed wide left.
The Frogs started with the ball in the first overtime, but only gained five yards and settled for a Jaden Oberkrom field goal which went wide left.
The Mountaineers also failed to get a first down, setting up a Bitancurt field goal from 36 yards. Before the attempt, West Virginia called a timeout.
Cornerback Jason Verrett said defensive coordinator Dick Bumpas pulled him over during the timeout and told him to go under the tight end’s arm to block the kick.
Verrett followed Bumpas’ instructions and earned his first career blocked field goal.
West Virginia used one play to go up 38-31 in the second overtime as quarterback Geno Smith hit wide receiver Bailey Stedman for the 25-yard score.
Smith finished the game with 260 yards, three touchdowns and an interception on 32-of-54 passing
TCU responded with a 25-yard reverse-pass play that ended with wide receiver Brandon Carter finding Corey Fuller in the end zone.
Then it came down to the two-point conversion.
“I’m one of those people who believes when you play someone on the road, you have to go take ballgames,” Patterson said.
Quarterback Trevone Boykin went 12-of-29 for 254 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. The freshman quarterback was also sacked three times.
The Mountaineers’ defense brought different looks than what the Frogs studied on film and put a lot of pressure on Boykin, offensive guard Blaize Foltz said.
“We’re [the offensive line] not quite as experienced as we should be,” he said. “We need to step it up.”
With the win, the Frogs became bowl eligible.
Getting to six wins was something the team had been talking about all season, but the next step is to get to number seven against Kansas State next week, Patterson said.
“You want to grow up as a football team,” Patterson said. “This is not about this season. It’s about this season and down the road. We’re gonna keep trying to get better.”