With 29 seconds left in TCU’s matchup with the Texas Tech, the visiting Horned Frogs were faced with 4th and goal from the five yard line while trailing the Red Raiders 52-48. Quarterback Trevone Boykin dropped back to pass and over threw Josh Doctson over the middle. The ball was tipped into the air and was gathered in by TCU running back Aaron Green, whose foot barely stayed inbounds. The Frogs went up 55-52.
After the ensuing kickoff went into the end zone for a touch back, the Red Raiders had the ball at their own 25 with 23 seconds remaining in the game. Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes took the snap with five wide receivers spread out in Hail Mary formation. Although the TCU defense was able to get pressure on Mahomes, he was some how able to escape the arms of several Horned Frog defenders and find running back Deandre Washington wide open with nothing but empty space in front of him. Washington sprinted up the field, then pitched the ball to Le’Raven Clark, who pitched it to Devin Lauderdale, who pitched it to Jakeem Grant, who looked like he could get around TCU linebacker Travin Howard, but he ran out of room 10 yards away from the end zone. When the final whistle blew, the TCU Horned Frogs had defeated the Texas Tech Red Raiders by a final score of 55-52.
The game, as we predicted was nothing short of a shootout. The Horned Frogs and the Red Raiders amassed a combined 1,357 yards of offense. TCU accounted for 750 yards of offense while Texas Tech racked up 607 yards Saturday afternoon.
The star of the night was Doctson, who caught a Big 12 record-tying 18 passes for a school record 267 yards and three touchdowns, which came in the first half.
Boykin went 34 for 54 with 509 passing yards and four touchdowns through the air. It was the most completions and attempts in his career as TCU starting quarterback.
The Frogs were able to get it done on the ground too, especially with Green, who ran for 162 yards on 28 attempts and two touchdowns.
TCU was able to consistently gash through Texas Tech’s defense. Doctson was given a lot of cushion the entire game. It looked like their secondary was trying to play off so he wouldn’t beat them deep, but he did anyway.
The only thing TCU’s offense struggled with was finishing drives. In the first quarter, TCU was able to go on an eight play, 56 yard drive that ended with Jaden Oberkrom getting his field goal attempt blocked. Then in the third quarter, TCU went on a 16 play, 67 yard drive to Texas Tech’s eight yard line and Oberkrom missed wide right.
But the Horned Frogs offense was able to finish when it counted, and according to Gary Patterson, that’s all that matters.
The defense was as bad as the offense was good. The Frogs gave up 609 total yards to the Red Raider’s offense.
Mahomes often had plenty of time to find his wide receivers, some of them left uncovered. If it weren’t for a couple of errant throws by Mahomes, the Frogs may have had to come back from a lot more than just four points down to win the game.
The tackling, at times, was also atrocious. There were several times that Texas Tech receivers and running backs were able to break into the secondary after missing tackles. If that were a stat someone kept somewhere, the defense would have totaled at least three-dozen missed chances to bring down ball carriers.
Washington was menace all day long for the Frogs’ defense. He rushed for 188 yards on 22 carries and four touchdowns on Saturday. The senior’s final average yards per carry end up being a staggering 8.5.
This was the game that really exposed all of TCU’s defensive weaknesses to their future opponents but they also suffered from some self-inflicted wounds.
TCU committed 10 penalties on Saturday for a total of 110 yards. A few of those penalties cost TCU a chance keep Texas Tech of the score board multiple times, and their final infraction nearly cost them the game.
On a 3rd and seven from their own 37, it looked like the Red Raiders were going to be forced to punt after Mahomes’ pass intended for Ian Sadler fell incomplete. But defensive end Bryce Henderson was called for roughing the passer. The next play was a 44 yard touchdown pass to Grant.
Then in the third quarter, defensive end Josh Carraway was flagged for unnecessary roughness after Mahomes was sacked for a two yard loss on third and four. The penalty gave the Red Raiders the ball at the two yard line where Washington was able to find the end zone on the next play.
Then with 9 seconds left in the game on an intercepted Hail Mary attempt, the Frogs were offside and Chris Bradley roughed the passer. If Texas Tech had pulled off their imitation of the Cal-Stanford play, those penalties would have cost the Frogs the game.
More Frogs are dropping like flies every week. This week, it looks like the Frogs have lost wide receiver Ty Slanina for the remainder of the season with a broken collarbone.
Slanina was key receiver for the Frogs out of the slot. Against SMU he made two big third down catches to keep the Frogs’ drives alive. He also had another big one in the first quarter on Saturday.
Kolby Listenbee didn’t play on Saturday and even though he was suited up, the Frogs can’t afford any more injuries if they’re missing Slanina, Listenbee and Gray. Emmanuel Porter also had to come out of the game. Patterson said that Porter will likely be out for a few weeks.
No one had to come out for the defense this week. Carraway went down in the first half, but came back shortly after the training staff massaged his left calf.
The Frog’s host the Texas Longhorns on Saturday at 11 a.m. at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Texas is coming off of two crushing losses after mounting a big come back against Cal last week, but missed the PAT to tie. The on Saturday, they missed what could have been a game-winning field goal against Oklahoma State, before the Cowboys were able to hit the game-winner on the next possession.
Though Texas has struggled this year, Charlie Strong will have his guys ready to play. And with TCU’s young defense going against a steadily improving offense, the Frogs may be in for another high-scoring nail-biter.