TCU fell to West Virginia 30-27 in overtime Saturday, and head coach Gary Patterson said the Horned Frogs let a game that they should have won slip away.
“Well you’ve got to give credit to West Virginia for coming back and doing the things they need to do.” Patterson said. “But to be honest with you, we gave one away.”
The Frogs (3-6, 1-5 Big 12) had a 17-3 lead early in the second quarter, but the Mountaineers (4-5, 2-4 Big 12) outscored the Frogs 27-10 after that to earn their first road victory of the season.
The TCU offense came away without a score in overtime after kicker Jaden Oberkrom’s 62-yard field goal attempt fell short. Mountaineers kicker Josh Lambert then put a 34-yard kick through the uprights to clinch the win for WVU.
“It’s another week where we didn’t finish,” said cornerback Jason Verrett.
TCU played well offensively in the first half for the first time this season, gaining 275 yards before halftime. The Frogs’ offense slowed down after the break, however, and had to score 10 points in the final 3:01 of regulation just to force overtime.
Quarterback Casey Pachall, who played in his second game since returning from a broken forearm on Sept. 7, said the offense got complacent after halftime.
“It was nothing that [West Virginia] did differently,” Pachall said. “It was us getting a little complacent and not having the same intensity we had on the first few drives, which resulted in not scoring.”
Pachall completed 40 of 58 passes for 394 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions and also fumbled once. TCU had 454 yards of total offense but committed four total turnovers, which led to 20 points for the Mountaineers
Pachall’s two interceptions led to a touchdown and a field goal for the Mountaineers on their ensuing drives. He and quarterback Trevone Boykin, who entered the game on TCU’s goal-line package, each had a fumble as well, which resulted in another 10 points for WVU.
Patterson said the Mountaineers switched from playing mostly zone coverage in the first half to playing man coverage and blitzing after halftime, which disrupted the offense’s game plan. Both of Pachall’s interceptions and his fumble were the results of pressure from the WVU defense.
TCU’s defense struggled for the second week in a row, allowing 415 yards and giving up four scores in the red zone. WVU running back Charles Sims carried the ball 24 times for 155 yards and a touchdown and caught three passes for 35 yards and a score. Quarterback Clint Trickett was 24-of-41 passing with two touchdowns and two interceptions.
Following the game, a reporter asked Pachall how players could have played with complacency knowing that they needed to win three of their final four games to make it to a bowl. The senior quarterback did not have an answer.
“I really can’t answer that question, because I don’t know the answer,” he said. “There’s no telling what it could be, but it’s something that each of our players need to look down deep inside themselves and figure out whether they really love playing the game or not. And whether they want to come back next weekend and give the same intensity.”
Now the Frogs must win the last three games to become bowl-eligible. Can they pull it off?
“We’re going to have to,” Verrett said. “We’re going to have to.”