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Mountaineers Try to Extend Series Lead Against Horned Frogs

The 2-4 West Virginia Mountaineers will be traveling down to Fort Worth, Texas, to face the 3-3 TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday.  As both teams have experienced their up’s and down’s throughout the young season, they will both be in need of a victory. 

In a series with only ten previous matchups, West Virginia leads with a 6-4 record.  In a short amount of time, the Mountaineers and Horned Frogs have provided fans with drama over the past few years.  Let’s take a look at some of the most entertaining games between the two teams. 

2013 (Fort Worth, TX) 

In the Mountaineers’ first trip to Fort Worth since joining the Big 12, both WVU and TCU were struggling.  WVU came in at 3-5, while TCU sat at 3-5. While there have been more meaningful games in the series, this one stood out because of the back-and-forth nature down the stretch. 

In the first quarter, WVU kicker Josh Lambert made a 24-yard field goal to give the Mountaineers a 3-0 lead.  As the first quarter rolled on, the Horned Frogs took control.  TCU kicker Jaden Oberkrom made a 22-yard field goal to tie the game at 3-3.  Late in the quarter, TCU found the end zone on a 10-yard touchdown pass to Josh Doctson from quarterback Casey Paschall.  The Horned Frogs held a 10-3 lead after a quarter. 

In the second quarter, TCU extended their lead to 17-3 when Casey Pashall found David Porter for a 12-yard touchdown.  The Mountaineers, in need of a score before halftime, found it in University of Houston transfer Charles Sims.  The senior tailback ran a 31-yard touchdown with 8:17 to go in the half to cut the lead to 17-10.  TCU took that 17-10 lead into half. 

The third quarter was rather uneventful as both teams failed to put a single point on the board, so TCU kept a 17-10 lead going into the final quarter.  The fourth quarter is when the game picked up and got interesting. 

Early in the fourth quarter, Josh Lambert stepped up and made a big 42-yard field goal to make the score 17-13.  After a stop from the defense, WVU’s offense claimed the lead for the first time in the game.  Florida State transfer quarterback Clint Trickett threw an 11-yard touchdown pass to tight end Cody Clay to give WVU a 20-17 lead.  They kept their foot on the gas momentarily, as Trickett threw another short touchdown, this time to Charles Sims from 13 yards out.  WVU now led 27-17 with just over seven minutes to go. 

TCU would not go down without a fight, as Casey Pashall led the Horned Frog offense down the field and capped the drive off with a three-yard touchdown pass to David Porter.  The TCU defense came up big, as they forced an important punt from WVU.  After the TCU offense got in field goal position, the game came down to their kicker, Jaden Oberkrom.  Oberkrom was left with a 45-yard field goal with 19 seconds remaining and he made the clutch kick.  This big field goal tied the game at 27-27 and forced overtime. 

On TCU’s overtime possession, the Horned Frogs were plagued by a 15-yard personal foul penalty.  After not gaining a yard, TCU was looking at a 62-yard field goal.  TCU coach Gary Patterson sent out Jaden Oberkrom for a field goal attempt.  The kick had the distance, but it was wide left.  Now, all WVU needed was a field goal to win the game.  The Mountaineers got exactly that when they set themselves up for a short, straightaway kick.  Josh Lambert made the 34-yard field goal, and West Virginia came out victorious in Fort Worth. 

2014 (Morgantown, WV) 

Entering the month of November in the 2014 season, TCU was No. 7 in the country with College Football Playoff hopes still alive.  On the other hand, WVU was No. 20 in the nation after upsetting No. 4 Baylor a few weeks earlier.  This chilly day would provide a great college football atmosphere, as ESPN’s College GameDay made their weekly stop in Morgantown for this matchup. 

In the first quarter of action, WVU’s electric offense got off to a good start when quarterback Clint Trickett found Mario Alford for a 23-yard touchdown to put the Mountaineers up 7-0.  As the first quarter went on, TCU’s offense, led by dual-threat star quarterback Trevone Boykin, struggled to get anything going.  WVU kicker Josh Lambert made a pair of field goals in the quarter to put WVU up 13-0.  Before the quarter ended, TCU’s offense found a spark.  Trevone Boykin completed a short pass to Deante’ Gray, and Gray sped down the field for a touchdown.  After the first quarter, WVU led 13-7. 

The second quarter didn’t provide much action, as both teams played sloppy.  No points were scored and WVU took a 13-7 lead to halftime. 

In the third quarter, Trevone Boykin showed his ability to score the ball with his legs, as he found the end zone from two yards away to give TCU a 14-13 lead.  WVU took the ball and methodically moved the ball near the goal line.  Running back Dreamius Smith scored on a five-yard run to reclaim the lead for WVU.  On TCU’s first play after the WVU touchdown, Boykin completed a first down pass to Josh Doctson, but the ball was ripped out and picked up by Terrell Chestnut.  Chestnut picked the ball up and ran it back 35 yards for the touchdown.  This put the Mountaineers up 27-14 and Milan Puskar Stadium went into pandemonium. 

Before the third quarter ended, TCU quieted the crowd with a 23-yard touchdown run by B.J. Catalon.  WVU held a 27-21 lead going into the fourth quarter. 

On the first play in the fourth quarter, WVU kicker Josh Lambert made a 23-yard field goal to extend the lead to 30-21.  Halfway through the final frame, TCU was in dire need of a score.  The Horned Frogs got what they needed when B.J. Catalon found the end zone again, this time from six yards away.  The WVU lead was now 30-28. 

Late in the game, TCU had the ball and had just crossed midfield trying to take a late lead.  WVU’s defense forced a fourth down and got the big stop on an incomplete pass from Trevone Boykin.  WVU’s offense got the ball with three minutes to go.  TCU had two timeouts remaining, so the Mountaineers needed a couple of first downs to put the game away.  Dana Holgorsen played it conservatively and ran the football all three downs, which were promptly stopped every time.  WVU had to punt to TCU and give the ball back to Trevone Boykin. 

With just under two two minutes to go, Boykin led the Horned Frogs down the field, completing a backbreaking 40-yard pass to Kolby Listenbee to put TCU right near field goal range.  TCU ran a few more plays for positive yardage, wasting WVU’s timeouts in the process.  This series of events lead to the game coming down to two seconds left with TCU down by two points.  Head coach Gary Patterson sent out his kicker, Jaden Oberkrom out for a 37-yard kick with the game on the line.  Oberkrom rose to the occasion and made the clutch field goal.  TCU escaped with a 31-30 victory and left the Mountaineer faithful heartbroken. 

2019 (Fort Worth, TX) 

In the first season under head coach Neal Brown, the Mountaineers came into the final game of the season 4-7, with no bowl game in sight.  On the other hand, TCU was 5-6, and a win against the Mountaineers at home would send Gary Patterson’s team to a bowl game. 

The Mountaineers were starting current quarterback Jarret Doege, but this was only his third start, as Austin Kendall was the starter most of the season. 

Early on in the first quarter, Jarret Doege found running back Leddie Brown on a short pass that was taken in for a three-yard touchdown.  West Virginia’s 7-0 lead didn’t make it out of the first quarter, as TCU found the end zone when Sewo Olonilua ran in a two-yard touchdown.  The game was tied 7-7 after the first quarter. 

In the second quarter, the only action was a pair of field goals.  TCU’s Jonathan Song made one from 30 yards out, while WVU’s Evan Staley made his from 40 yards.  The game was tied 10-10 going into halftime. 

In the third quarter, the tide seemed to shift against West Virginia when TCU hit a huge special team play.  Jalen Reagor took a punt from West Virginia’s Josh Growden and shifted his way around WVU’s coverage team.  Reagor took the punt back 70 yards for the TCU touchdown.  Before the quarter ended, Evan Staley made another kick, this time from 24 yards out to cut the TCU lead to 17-13. 

In the fourth quarter, both teams had to settle for punts on longer drives.  This took the clock down fast.  With under five minutes remaining in the game, WVU’s offense moved the ball downfield well.  They got down to TCU’s 35-yard line, when Jarret Doege would come up big after throwing three interceptions.  Doege stepped up and threw a deep ball to Isaiah Esdale in a very tight window.  Esdale was near the front of the right side of the end zone, and he made the spectacular grab.  The catch forced Esdale’s momentum right to the pylon, and he stayed in bounds for the touchdown.  This big play gave WVU a 20-17 lead with 2:10 remaining. 

WVU’s defense needed a big stop to close the game, and they got it when they stopped TCU on a fourth down from TCU’s own territory.  This gave the Mountaineers the ball in TCU territory needing just a first down to wrap the game up.  TCU had all three timeouts, so they made WVU earn it.  As one could predict, WVU did not get the first down, and with risk of getting a field goal blocked, Neal Brown ran another play on fourth down.  The ball fell incomplete, which gave the Horned Frogs another shot. 

When TCU got the ball back, quarterback Max Duggan found Jalen Reagor for a first down that put the Horned Frogs near midfield.  WVU’s defense came up big again, forcing pressure on both the quarterback and the wide receivers for the next three plays.  Needing another first down to have a shot at a field goal, WVU forced two incompletions to bring another fourth down.  On fourth down, WVU sent pressure, and Darius Stills put a hard hit on Max Duggan, forcing him to just get rid of the football.  The ball fell incomplete and West Virginia held on for the 20-17 win.  This loss sent TCU home for the bowl season. 

The 2-4 Mountaineers will be looking to steal a road win to hopefully turn the tides in their 2021 season.  The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. from Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas. 

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