TCU is down seven starters from an already inexperienced defense. But the Frogs do have quarterback Trevone Boykin and wide receiver Josh Doctson. And for one wild afternoon-turned-night in Lubbock, that was enough. Boykin threw for 485 yards and four touchdowns and Doctson racked up 267 yards and three of those scores as the third-ranked Horned Frogs outlasted Texas Tech, 55-52.
Doctson tied a Big 12 single-game record with 18 catches but, typical of this game, it was the one he didn’t make that secured the win for TCU. Facing a do-or-die 4th-and-goal from the Texas Tech 4, Boykin’s pass deflected off Doctson’s hand and into the waiting arms of TCU running back Aaron Green, who found himself alone in the back of the end zone for just his third catch of the year and the biggest, by far, of TCU’s season.
The game saw nine lead changes, and it was the first that proved most crucial. With the game tied at 7-7 in the first quarter and Texas Tech at its own 20, a snap sailed past an unsuspecting Patrick Mahomes and into Texas Tech’s end zone, giving TCU an easy safety and a 9-7 lead. Those two points allowed TCU to go for two and take a 48-45 lead with 8:22 remaining. TCU converted even though Shaun Nixon‘s pass appeared to split Boykin’s arms and hit the turf but was ruled complete on the field; the call held up under review.
TCU led 33-28 at the half but Texas Tech claimed two fourth quarter leads, the first on a one-yard DeAndre Washington run that capped a 12-play, 86-yard drive, and the second on a 50-yard pass from Mahomes to Justin Stockton that gave Texas Tech a 52-48 lead with 5:55 remaining. The Red Raiders’ defense forced a three-and-out on TCU’s ensuing possession but, with a chance to put the game out of reach with a touchdown, Texas Tech answered with a three-and-out of its own. TCU scored the game’s winning touchdown on the next possession.
The teams combined for 1,357 yards of total offense and 69 first downs on 187 plays from scrimmage. TCU rushed 47 times for 247 yards and three touchdowns, led by Green’s 28 carries for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Boykin added 42 yards on the ground while completing 34-of-54 throws for 485 yards and four scores.
Texas Tech, meanwhile, rushed for 215 yards and five scores on 39 carries. Washington, who extended his lead as the Big 12’s top rusher thus far, racked up 188 yards and four scores on 22 carries. Mahomes connected on 25-of-45 throws for 392 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 36 yards and a touchdowns while fighting through a bum knee. Jakeem Grant led the Raiders with eight grabs for 126 yards and a touchdown.
TCU (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) returns home to face Texas next week, while Texas Tech (3-1, 0-1 Big 12) looks to pick up the pieces of its broken heart against, gulp, No. 5 Baylor next week at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.