Despite 201 yards for the Bears in the first quarter, TCU held Baylor to just 370 yards in the game; well below their season average. Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty completed only 19-of-38 passes for 206 yards and 2 scores. His leading receiver coming into the game, Antwan Goodley, was limited to just 1 catch for 12 yards thanks to blanket coverage by TCU All-American corner Jason Verrett all night.
However, the Bears used two interception returns for touchdowns to overcome a slow night on offense.
The Bears jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the first quarter, riding the legs of runningback Lache Seastrunk, who finished with 24 carries for 94 yards. Seastrunk carried the ball 14 times in the opening quarter.
Baylor used a 17-play, 67-yard drive on their opening drive, their longest of the season, which was capped off by a 30-yard field goal by Aaron Jones.
TCU quickly answered after two B.J. Catalon runs covered 73 yards and put the Frogs in scoring position at the Baylor two. However, the Frogs managed only a field goal after losing eight yards on consecutive runs.
Baylor used another long scoring drive on their second possession; 13-play for 75-yards that was capped by a Bryce Petty to Clay Fuller 18-yard scoring pass to put the Bears ahead on TCU 10-3.
Jones hit another field early in the second quarter to extend Baylor's lead to 13-3.
Just when it appeared Baylor was about to run away with the game early on, the Frogs used a 9-play, 63-yard drive that was capped off by a 1-yard scoring run from Jordan Moore.
The two teams traded offensive series the next two possessions. After Baylor's second three and out Spencer Roth punted for the Bears and TCU true freshman Cameron Echols-Luper returned the punt 41-yards down to the Baylor 21. One play later Trevone Boykin hit Ladarius Brown with a 21-yard touchdown pass to take a 17-13 lead.
The Frogs momentum continued on defense as they forced yet another Baylor punt.
However, a loss of 21-yards by Brandon Carter on a reverse pass and a Catalon fumble on the next play gave the Bears the ball at the TCU 1-yard line. The Bears scored one play later on a run by Petty to take a 20-17 lead.
The Frogs threatened to cut the lead later in the second quarter, driving the ball down to the Baylor 26 but Pachall's pass was intercepted by Orion Stewart and returned 82-yards the other way to give the Bears a 27-17 lead at halftime.
"I made quite a few mistakes that cost us the ball game. It was a little confusion on my end; I thought they were doing something they weren't," he said. "That was 100% my fault. I thought we all had a great game, but it came down to my three interceptions that cost us the game."
Baylor forced another mistake on the Frogs' opening drive of the third quarter. With TCU driving, Bears linebacker Eddie Lackey intercepted Pachall's pass over the middle which was intended for Boykin and raced 54 yards for the score to give the Bears a 17-point cushion.
The Frogs got new life on their next possession thanks to a "targeting" penalty by Baylor safety Ahmad Dixon. The penalty continued a Frogs' drive and ejected Dixon from the game. Five plays later Pachall scored on a four-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to 34-24.
TCU senior defensive end Jon Koontz said the play did spark the team.
"When you see one of your teammates go down like that especially what I would consider a pretty dirty play it definitely lights a fire under you," Koontz said.
TCU forced another three and out on Baylor's next possession thanks to a sack by Koontz on Petty. On the Frogs ensuing drive Pachall completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Doctson to cut the lead to 34-31.
Baylor used a quick 7-play, 70-yard drive that was capped by a 33-yard touchdown pass from Petty to Levi Norwood to put the Bears back up 41-31. The offensive touchdown was the first for the Bears in the game since early in the second quarter.
Just as they've done all season, the Frogs showed they weren't going to give up.
After the Bears forced an Ethan Perry punt they took over at their own 4 after a brilliant 57-yard kick by Perry. On 3rd and 7, Sam Carter recorded his fifth interception of the year and gave the Frogs excellent field position to end the third quarter.
It didn't take the Frogs long to capitalize on the turnover as Pachall tossed his second touchdown pass of the night, this time to David Porter for 22-yards to bring the Frogs within three points; 41-38.
That would be the closest the Frogs would get the rest of the night as both teams traded offensive series in the fourth quarter before Pachall's third and last interception eleven seconds left.
The Frogs lost their fourth game by three points or less on the season. TCU head coach Gary Patterson said his team isn't into moral victories.
"I told them downstairs that I was proud of them," he said of his team. "But, it's not okay to finish short. But moving forward, instead of being a three point loss, it needs to be a three point win. I said this a long time ago here; we're not into moral victories. I didn't come into this game to play this game close, we felt like we could beat Baylor."
Pachall finished the night completing 20-of-45 passes for 267 yards and 2 touchdowns. Catalon led the Frogs rushing attack with 93 yards on 11 carries while David Porter led Frog receivers with 5 catches for 74 yards.