Sims, West Virginia slip past TCU in overtime
FORT WORTH, Texas — West Virginia had been making a bad habit out of giving up leads the past two weeks, and it was making the Mountaineers' fight to become bowl eligible a tough one.
Last week, West Virginia gave up a five-point third quarter lead and lost to Kansas State, 35-12, and the week before, the Mountaineers led Texas Tech by 11 points in the third before falling 37-27.
On Saturday, West Virginia gave up a 10-point fourth quarter lead to TCU but came back in overtime with a Josh Lambert 35-yard game-winning field goal for a 30-27 victory.
“That shows how tough these guys are — to have that happen to us twice the last two weeks, to have the lead and lose it — we did that again, but then, we still finished,” West Virginia quarterback Clint Trickett said.
“We're a mentally tough team. We prepared for this, and our guys deserve it.”
Charles Sims rushed for a season-high 154 yards and 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 continued to fight for bowl eligibility with games at Texas, at Kansas and at home against Iowa State remaining.
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.
“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,” WVU 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.”
In their overtime possession, the Horned Frogs had minus-5 yards, a 15-yard personal foul and an incomplete pass.
Jaden Oberkrom, whose 45-yard field goal tied the game 27-27 with 19 seconds to play, missed a 62-yard attempt in overtime. Oberkrom's career-long field goal was 53 yards.
The Horned Frogs (3-6, 1-5) have lost three in a row, their first three-game losing streak in coach Gary Patterson's 13 seasons at TCU.
Patterson's only losing record at TCU is 5-6 in 2004.
TCU will have to win its last three to become bowl eligible and finish the season at .500.
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 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.
“We set ourselves back a couple of times,” Patterson said. “Four turnovers. You're not going to win many ballgames doing that.”