If someone had offered to bet before the TCU Horned Frogs played the West Virginia Mountaineers that redshirt freshman quarterback Trevone Boykin would out-duel Geno Smith, most would have scoffed at that idea and taken the bet. They’d be looking pretty foolish now after Boykin led the TCU Horned Frogs to a 39-38 overtime victory over Smith’s West Virginia Mountaineers in Morgantown.
Boykin’s performance wouldn’t have been possible without the big day he got from wide receiver Josh Boyce, who caught six passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns. His second touchdown was the most impressive as he inexplicably got behind the West Virginia secondary, caught the pass from Boykin and scampered off to the endzone. Then again, the West Virginia secondary has been awful all year. Still, it was a huge play for Boykin, Boyce and the rest of the TCU offense. They were able to come back with a long field in front of them and force overtime.
Both teams made a stand in the first overtime period leading to the second overtime and possibly the biggest play of the season to date for TCU. West Virginia scored on their possession on a Smith touchdown pass, putting the pressure squarely on Boykin and the TCU offense. How do you take pressure off? With the standard wide receiver reverse pass of course. First play of the possession, TCU dialed up the creative play call with Brandon Carter finding Corey Fuller for the touchdown to pull TCU within one.
Head coach Gary Patterson decided to be really aggressive and go for the win. After all, on the road against a ranked team with that offense, it’d be pretty tough to keep matching them score for score. Boykin and Boyce connected one more time as Boykin rolled out and found Boyce for the two-point conversion and the win. Did Boyce make the catch though? After looking at the replay multiple times, it is still really difficult to tell.
It was a huge win for TCU, no doubt about it. Winning on the road against a ranked team should spark this team the rest of the year. Boykin completed less than fifty percent of his passes (12 for 29), but he made the plays when he needed to. His confidence can only get higher after a win like this, as should the rest of the teams’. The defense really stepped up and contained West Virginia’s offense in the second half. With the win, TCU is bowl eligible. They have their sights set higher than just being bowl eligible though. While a Big 12 title is not likely to happen barring an epic collapse from the Kansas State Wildcats, finishing in the top three of the conference is an obtainable goal.
West Virginia was just the first of four straight games against ranked opponents TCU has to end their year. This week they get those undefeated Wildcats at home Saturday, November 10, at 7:00 PM ET/ 6 PM CT on FOX. TCU is looking for their first home conference win as a member of the Big 12. It is going to be a tall task, but if they can carry the momentum from this big win over West Virginia into this week’s game, nothing is impossible.