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TCU falls to West Virginia

MERCEDES MAYER, Associated Press


FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Saturday afternoon's TCU-West Virginia matchup ended with a thud for the Horned Frogs.

Not only did TCU's 30-27 overtime loss to the Mountaineers mark the first three-game losing streak in coach Gary Patterson's 13 seasons at the school, but it also put the Horned Frogs in a position where they have to win out to become bowl eligible and to ensure a .500 record this season.

"You've got to give credit to West Virginia for coming back and doing the things they needed to do but to be honest with you we gave one away," Patterson said. "That's about as simple as I can tell you how it is."

TCU has been to a bowl game in 12 out of 13 years and has only finished with a losing record once under Patterson. The Horned Frogs (3-6, 1-5 Big 12) have games at Iowa State and Kansas State and at home against Baylor remaining.

West Virginia led 27-17 before TCU overcame a 10-point fourth quarter deficit as Jaden Oberkrom's 45-yard field goal tied the game at 27-27 with 19 seconds to play.

Only to fall in overtime.

In their overtime possession, the Horned Frogs had minus-5 yards, a 15-yard personal foul and an incomplete pass. Oberkrom, whose career-long field goal was 53 yards, missed a 62-yard attempt in overtime. Josh Lambert's 35-yard field goal in overtime was the game-winner for West Virginia.

TCU and West Virginia had their first meeting in the Big 12 last year and in the game TCU overcame a 10-point deficit in the second half to win 39-38 in double-overtime.

"You had to like how the whole team battled when we came back," Patterson said. "I just don't think we should have been in that situation. Bottom line is we shouldn't have been in that situation."

Charles Sims rushed for a season-high 154 yards and Clint Trickett completed 25 of 41 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions for West Virginia.

The Mountaineers (4-5, 2-4 Big 12) snapped a three-game losing streak and continue to fight for bowl eligibility with games at Texas, at Kansas and at home against Iowa State remaining.

"Last year we were in that situation, we needed to win, they needed to win, and in the same spot, they found a way to win at the end," West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said. "Two teams that needed to win; two teams in similar situations. and we found a way to get the win. I was proud of the way our guys didn't quit."

TCU's 17-10 halftime lead held up until the Mountaineers started to take control in the fourth quarter. During an eight-minute stretch starting at the end of the third quarter, the Mountaineers forced TCU into three turnovers in five plays leading to 17 West Virginia points. On the last score, the Mountaineers took advantage of a short field and went 17 yards in three plays to push the lead to 10 when Trickett found Sims from 13 yards out with 7:11 to go.

But TCU quarterback Casey Pachall — who had an interception and a fumble in that previous stretch — went 12-for-15 on TCU's next two drives. He went 8-for-9 on the first drive, including a 3-yard touchdown pass into the back of the end zone to David Porter to cut TCU's deficit to 27-24 with three minutes left.

"There were still a lot of things that I did that I feel in a way cost us the game," Pachall said. "Each of us can only do so much. We all made mistakes today. Nobody was perfect."

Pachall, in his second game back after missing the previous five games with a broken non-throwing arm, was 40-of-58 with three touchdowns and two interceptions. Pachall's first play from scrimmage was an interception, and his touchdown pass to Josh Doctson in the first quarter was his first touchdown pass of the year.

The Horned Frogs were playing without Brandon Carter, who was granted a leave of absence reportedly to tend to a family situation. Carter has started five games this season and is the team's second-leading receiver with 17 catches for 197 yards. In his place, backup quarterback Trevone Boykin (11 catches, 100 yards) and Doctson (8 catches, 92 yards) each had a career high in catches and yards. Boykin's 11 receptions were the most for a TCU player since 1995 when John Washington had 12 catches against SMU.
 

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