Under normal circumstances, turning the ball over three times – all in your own territory – in one quarter is an automatic death sentence against TCU. This, however, is not normal circumstances.
Playing its first game outside the state of Texas all season, No. 10 TCU trails No. 20 West Virginia and its swarming, aggressive defense 13-7 before a raucous Milan Puskar Stadium crowd on a rainy Morgantown day.
The Mountaineers built a 13-0 lead after marching 75 yards in 10 plays to open the game, capped by a 23-yard pass from Clint Trickett to Mario Alford. West Virginia then moved another 51 yards in 14 plays, but Dreamius Smith was stuffed on a 3rd-and-2 near the goal line, forcing a Josh Lambert 21-yard field goal. West Virginia then recovered an onside kick and turned it into a 44-yard Lambert field goal at the 3:52 mark of the first quarter.
TCU quelled thoughts of a blowout by responding with a six-play, 83-yard drive, punctuated by a 47-yard screen pass from Trevone Boykin to Deante’ Gray.
The Horned Frogs had plenty of chances to take the lead in the second quarter, but capitalized on none of them. The Frogs recovered a Rushel Shell fumble at the WVU 43, but lost three yards before punting. Chris Hackett intercepted Trickett and returned it to the West Virginia 21, but a chop block sabotaged the TCU possession. Later in the quarter Hackett forced a Wendell Smallwood fumble at the West Virginia 23, but Boykin threw an interception two plays later.
Outside of the 47-yard touchdown, Boykin is 4-of-15 for 26 yards and an interception, and the TCU ground game has mounted only 56 yards on 13 carries. The Frogs have just five first downs and are 2-of-7 on third down.
West Virginia has managed 128 rushing yards and Trickett has thrown for 108 more.
TCU receives the ball to open the second half.