FORT WORTH (AP) – An impressive comeback for TCU. Only one problem: that just got the Horned Frogs into overtime.
Seth Doege threw three of his seven touchdown passes in overtime for No. 18 Texas Tech, which after blowing a 10-point lead in the final 2 1/2 minutes of regulation, outlasted the Frogs for a 56-53 triple-overtime victory Saturday.
“We were down 10 points and they already thought they sealed the deal,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “They were jumping around, and we came back and tied the game. You have to give our team a lot of credit to fight back. …. We can’t settle for field goals.”
Not even when freshman Jaden Oberkrom kicks a Big 12-record six field goals.
After Oberkrom’s 38-yard field goal started the third overtime, Doege finished the game with an 8-yard touchdown pass to Alex Torres.
TCU (5-2, 2-2), the Big 12 newcomer, has lost consecutive home games in a single season for the first time since it dropped its final two home games of 1998. Two weeks ago, the Horned Frogs lost their first Big 12 home game to Iowa State.
“Welcome to the Big 12,” Patterson said. “I do believe this. I believe we proved we can play in it. Are we unhappy we lost? Yes, but it was a heck of a game.”
It was the first triple-overtime game in TCU history, and its highest-scoring home game ever. The last time the Horned Frogs were in a game with so many points was their 70-35 loss at Texas Tech in 2004, a year after their 62-55 victory at Houston for the most combined points in a game.
Tech (6-1, 3-1) led 36-26 when Kenny Williams busted loose for a 47-yard touchdown run with 4:06 left in regulation.
Trevone Boykin threw a 60-yard TD pass to LaDarius Brown with 2:25 left before the Frogs failed to recover an onside kick. But they held to Tech to 1 yard before a punt, setting up a nine-play, 56-yard drive capped by Oberkrom’s 42-yard field goal with 18 seconds left.
Boykin, the redshirt freshman who this month replaced second-year starter Casey Pachall, was 26 of 44 for 332 yards with four touchdowns and two interceptions.
TCU had the first shot in overtime, and Boykin threw an 8-yard TD pass to Josh Boyce on the fourth play. Ward’s third TD catch, a 6-yarder, tied the score again.
Texas Tech started the second overtime in a wildcat formation, with Doege lined up wide. Two other players touched the ball before it got to Doege in the backfield on a play the Red Raiders had been practicing for three weeks. He hit Jakeem Grant for a 25-yard score.
Boykin then threw a 7-yard TD pass to Catalon to force the third overtime, but the Frogs had to settle for another field goal before Doege’s final pass to Torres.
“I was hoping they’d call that play. We practice it over and over and over,” Doege said. “Torres does a great job of selling it and he did enough where I could fit it in there.”
Doege completed 30 of 42 passes for 318 yards and Texas Tech quickly became bowl eligible a year after its first losing season since 1992. The Red Raiders were coming off an impressive 49-14 victory over then-No. 5 West Virginia.
After upsetting third-ranked Oklahoma last season, Texas Tech followed with five losses in a row that ended a Big 12-record streak of 18 consecutive seasons of bowl eligibility.
“We made a lot of mistakes,” Tech coach Tommy Tuberville said. “But we’ve been working real hard for a game like this, to win a game when you don’t play your best.”
Skye Dawson had 10 catches for 154 yards and a touchdown for TCU, a 19-yarder less than 2 1/2 minutes into the game.
The Red Raiders were down 17-7 before two touchdowns in a span of just over 3 minutes in the second quarter. They surprised TCU with an onside kick that led to the second score in that span after a replay review overturned an official’s ruling of incomplete pass.
Moore had a 33-yard touchdown catch even with defender Kevin White right with him. That was only three plays after Moore was called for offensive pass interference when he pushed off the same cornerback to make a catch, the penalty wiping out a nearly 25-yard gain to the TCU 22.
Ward was initially ruled out of bounds after making a leaping 29-yard grab and then falling down on the far side of the end zone. But officials reviewed the play, which showed Ward’s right elbow had landed in the end zone before the rest of his body came down on the line for a score that made it 21-17.
“We played a Tech team that was 5-1 and we lost by three points in overtime,” Patterson said. “They made one more play than we did.”