When it comes to college football, one of the near-certainties in life is a Gary Patterson-coached squad going bowling. This season, though, will be decidedly different.
Entering Week 14 as a 13½ favorite over West Virginia, TCU exited as a 20-17 loser thanks in very large part to a late Mountaineers’ touchdown that culminated a drive greatly aided by a pair of boneheaded Horned Frogs penalties to keep the possession alive. Jarret Doege connected with Isaiah Esdale from 35 yards out with 2:10 left in the fourth quarter on said drive for what proved to be the game-winner.
TCU actually had two more possessions to at least tie the game and send it into overtime, but, as had been the case throughout, the Horned Frogs’ offense was unable to muster much of anything.
Defenses dominated the day on both sides, with the two teams combining for just 541 yards of offense — 297 for TCU, 244 for WVU. The two quarterbacks combined for five interceptions — three for Doege, two for Max Duggan — while the teams posted a shared 80.2 passer rating.
The loss drops the Horned Frogs to 5-7 on the season, meaning the school won’t be playing in a bowl game for the first time since 2013. This will mark the third time in Patterson’s 19 full seasons that TCU won’t be bowling at season’s end, the other being in 2004.
For WVU, the win improved them to 5-7 in the first-year under Neal Brown. Coming off an eight-win 2018 season for the Mountaineers, Brown’s five wins are the fewest for a first-year head coach since Rich Rodriguez went 3-8 in 2001.
RichRod, of course, went on to win 57 games the next six seasons before hightailing it out of Morgantown for Ann Arbor.