FORT WORTH, Texas – Josh Lambert
’s 34-yard field goal in overtime gave West Virginia a 30-27 victory over TCU in Big 12 Conference football action Saturday afternoon at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.
It was the third field goal of the game for Lambert, the Garland, Texas, resident making his Lone Star State return.
West Virginia appeared to have the game in hand with 7:11 left in the fourth quarter after taking a 27-17 lead, but TCU followed the same formula as last year to nearly pull it out in overtime.
Last year in Morgantown, TCU (3-6, 1-5) came back from 10 points down to win the game on a two-point conversion in the second overtime. Today, the Horned Frogs couldn’t close the deal, mainly because they couldn’t hold on to the football.
West Virginia was able to score 24 unanswered points because of it, yet TCU almost overcame a miserable five-play stretch midway through the fourth quarter to tie the game at the end of regulation.
TCU committed three turnovers during that span to give a struggling Mountaineer offense life. Casey Pachall threw a pair of interceptions and also fumbled, resulting in two Clint Trickett touchdown passes - 11 yards to Cody Clay
and 13 yards to Charles Sims
The Horned Frogs also fumbled at the WVU 2 following an interception by linebacker Paul Dawson, and a personal foul penalty on the TCU defense negated a pick six by safety Chris Hackett.
After West Virginia (4-5, 2-4) got its 10-point lead, Pachall marched TCU right down the field, covering 73 yards in 11 plays before finding David Porter in the back of the end zone for a 3-yard touchdown - Porter’s second TD grab and Pachall’s third touchdown pass of the game.
Pachall tied the game on TCU’s final possession of regulation by marching the Horned Frogs 39 yards to the WVU 35 to set up Jaden Oberkrom's 45-yard field goal with 19 seconds left on the clock.
Prior to that, West Virginia had a chance to run out the clock following Porter's touchdown catch, but on third and seven at the WVU 39, Dreamius Smith
was tackled for only a one-yard gain.
On TCU’s first possession of overtime, a dead-ball personal foul penalty on senior offensive guard John Woolridge forced Oberkrom to try a 62-yard field goal that had the distance but was just wide left.
West Virginia, too, nearly blew up its overtime possession opportunity when Quinton Spain
was called for holding on Charles Sims
’s 12-yard touchdown run to move the ball back to the 19. A two-yard Dreamius Smith
run got the ball to the center of the field at the 17 where Lambert was able to win the game.
It was a victory West Virginia badly needed, snapping a three-game losing streak and keeping the Mountaineers’ chances of extending an 11-year streak of going to bowl games alive. The win was WVU's first on the road in league play since topping Iowa State last November and the third Big 12 road triumph for Dana Holgorsen.
In the first half it was all TCU, Pachall firing touchdown passes of 10 yards to Josh Doctson and 12 yards to Porter, and Obekrom kicking a 22-yard field goal to give TCU a 17-10 lead at the break.
West Virginia got a 24-yard field goal from Lambert, a result of linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski
’s interception at the TCU 23, and Charles Sims
followed with a 31-yard touchdown run with 8:17 left in the second quarter. On the drive, after Sims ripped off a 29-yard run, Trickett completed a 27-yard pass Mario Alford
to the 31 to set up the Sims run.
Turnovers and TCU’s inability to run the football were the stories of the game. The Horned Frogs gave the ball away four times – three of those leading to 13 West Virginia points - and had a difficult time running the football, gaining just 60 yards on 29 attempts.
West Virginia got 148 yards on the ground and also turned the ball over twice – both coming from the arm of Clint Trickett
Trickett finished the day completing 25-of-41 passes for 267 yards and two touchdowns. Daikiel Shorts
caught six passes for 98 yards and Alford had three catches for 62 yards.
Sims led all ball carriers with 154 yards on 24 carries – easily the Houston transfer’s best performance as a Mountaineer.
Pachall was 40-of-58 for 394 yards and three touchdowns. Trevone Boykin, TCU’s backup quarterback, caught 11 passes for 100 yards.
West Virginia returns to Morgantown to face Texas in the 'Stripe the Stadium' game at 7 p.m. at Milan Puskar Stadium. The Longhorns defeated Kansas, 35-13, earlier today to boost their record to 6-2.
Tickets still remain and can be purchased online by logging on to www.wvugame.com