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November 3, 2012
Instant Analysis: TCU shocks West Virginia 39-38 in 2OT
Is there any other way to describe what just unfolded in Morgantown?
TCU used a reverse pass by Brandon Carter to tight end Corey Fuller and a two-point conversion from Trevone Boykin to Josh Boyce to beat West Virginia 39-38 Saturday evening.
The Frogs' freshman kicker Jaden Oberkrom missed a 37-yarder on TCU's first overtime possession, but cornerback Jason Verrett blocked WVU's kick, forcing the game into a second overtime.
After Geno Smith hit Stedman Bailey for a touchdown to go up 38-31, the Frogs pulled out the trickery and then the guts for the win.
Here are some more highlights from TCU's big win, which moved the Frogs to 6-3, making them bowl eligible for the eighth straight year:
-- You just can't say enough about Josh Boyce. The junior receiver has been the veteran presence all season on a young TCU offense, and he saved his best performance of the year for when the Frogs really needed him.
Boyce finished with six catches for 180 yards and two touchdowns, but what mattered most was when those yards were delivered. Ninety-six of them came with TCU trailing the Mountaineers 31-24 with less than two minutes left in the game. Boykin was pressured but scrambled away from defenders and found a wide open Boyce, who turned on the burners for the long score that tied the game and essentially took it into overtime.
And, of course, his catch on the two-point conversion to win the game was quite the play, too. It was similar, at least in design, to Boyce's two-point conversion catch last year at Boise State. He forced some separation between him and the WVU defender and dove forward for the catch, barely scooping before it hit the ground.
--Redshirt freshman Dominic Merka scored his first touchdown -- and the first touchdown by a TCU tight end this year -- when he returned a blocked punt for a score with 9:42 left in the third quarter. Merka's big play couldn't have come a bigger time for TCU, as it cut the West Virginia lead to 24-21 and swung the momentum back in the Frogs' favor.
-- Tavon Austin was a difference-maker Saturday for West Virginia. His 43-yard touchdown catch in the first half, which was essentially a run, tied the game at 14-14, giving the Mountaineers the momentum that led to their 24-14 halftime lead. Then, in the fourth quarter, with the game tied at 24-24, Austin returned Ethan Perry's punt 76 yards for a touchdown to give West Virginia a lead it wouldn't lose with 3:19.
-- Boykin was an inconsistent 12-for-29 passing for 259 yards, but what he was able to do late in the game, both in toward the end of regulation and in overtime, was nothing short of gutsy.
Earlier in the game, he did a better job at converting first downs on the ground, finishing with 29 yards, which would have been more if you take sacks out of the equation. But, at times, he couldn't respond to the West Virginia blitz. The Mountaineers' high risk/high reward strategy on defense benefited TCU as Boykin was able to pick apart the secondary for a couple scores. Later in the game, though, Boykin's throws started falling short or were simply off target. He was under fire in the second half.
For him to steady his composure and deliver several big-time throws to win on the road was more than impressive, especially for a redshirt freshman. He's a tough one, Frog fans.