Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia’s Charles Sims (3) celebrates a second-quarter touchdown, part of his 154-yard rushing day.


FORT WORTH, Texas — A deeper look at five plays that loomed large as West Virginia edged TCU 30-27 in overtime:

1. Charles Sims races 31 yards to launch WVU’s comeback.
Facing a 17-3 deficit in the second quarter, West Virginia was playing the knockout victim to script—at least until Sims raced over left end to cap a three-play, 87-yard drive.

Sims’ scoring burst was an easy jaunt through the left-side gap created by tight end Cody Clay blocking down on the defensive end and pulling guard Mark Glowinski locking up a linebacker.

“The end crashed down, so I followed the (pulling) guard, and the hole just came wide-open,” said Sims, who finished with 154 yards on 24 carries, both season-highs.

2. Clint Trickett’s pick-six erased by holding penalty on TCU’s Jason Verrett.
Frogs linebacker Chris Hackett picked off Trickett’s worst pass of the day and returned it 37 yards for a would-be touchdown. But a few yards away from the spot of the turnover lay a flag, where Verrett was ruled to be holding receiver Kevin White, who was not making a play on the underthrown ball.

“I thought it wasn’t catchable, but (White) kind of crossed my face and I grabbed him,” said Verrett, projected to be among the top corners chosen in the 2014 NFL draft. “That would have been a game-changer. So I take blame for that.”

The play had coaches on both sides seething. TCU’s Gary Patterson said he didn’t ” think (the flag) had anything to do with the play,” and Holgorsen was steamed at Trickett forcing the pass into coverage.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

TCU’s Chris Hackett returns an interception for a touchdwon that was later negated by a defensive penalty.


3. Linebacker Isaiah Bruce strips TCU’s Trevone Boykin at the West Virginia 3.
Starting at the WVU 2-yard line after an interception, TCU looked to pad a 17-10 lead. But Bruce turned back the Frogs on first down.

Replaced in the starting lineup by safety K.J. Dillon, Bruce played limited snaps as WVU went with a nickel package in search of more perimeter athleticism against TCU’s spread attack.

On this third-quarter goal line scenario, however, TCU’s jumbo package resulted in Bruce being inserted and he promptly wrestled the ball from Boykin on the quarterback keeper. Linebacker Jared Barber recovered, costing TCU what seemed to be an easy score.

“We told (Bruce) before the game we’re going to go with the flow so just be ready,” said WVU defensive coordinator Keith Patterson. “When they go multiple tight-end set, he comes in and—Bow!—causes a turnover.”


4. Cody Clay’s first career touchdown puts WVU ahead 20-17.
The tight end, previously targeted twice on third-down incompletions, got his chance on this second-and-8 play from the TCU 11.

As Trickett rolled right on the naked bootleg, Clay caught an underneath pass and barreled down the sideline, lunging over linebacker Paul Dawson to stick the ball inside the pylon.

Said the sophomore from George Washington High after he was mobbed by teammates: “They’ve been waiting for it for a while.”

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

West Virginia tight end Cody Clay dives for a touchdown over TCU linebacker Paul Dawson.


5. TCU offensive lineman John Woolridge flagged for late-hit in overtime.
Stuck with the opening possession in OT, the Frogs lost 6 yards on first down before Woolridge’s overexhuberance backed up TCU into a third-and-30 from the WVU 45.

That led to Jaden Oberkrom’s desperation 62-yard field-goal miss, which allowed WVU to play conservatively for the winning kick on its series.

“If people are trying to blame (Woolridge) for that costing us the game, that’s not it at all,” Pachall said. “We never should have been in that position in the first place. There were a lot of mistakes from myself and from others that caused us to have to go to overtime and let (West Virginia) come back into the game.”

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  • Lee

    Tim C and big Tom are both correct. No one wants Trickett to succeed more than I do, but he does not check down and as Tom aptly points out is inconsistent, and does not have his head in the game. If Pat White had screwed up that bad, he would have taken himself out of the game!

    Tim is correct. If they had maintained the pressure defense, I doubt TCU would have scored another point. I remember Marshall doing that a couple of years back when they had us beat and Geno, along with the dynamic duo and the rest of the team, pulled out a win. Maybe the coaching staff will learn something from their mistakes.

  • eduardo

    fl eer: We have a four star dual threat recruit coming in next year. He is tearing it up in h.s. We are gonna be fine if we keep Coach. Can you imagine what a legit dual threat qb can do in this offense? Sky's the limit.

  • fl eer

    If I'd fault Holgs for anything I'd ask why you couldn't get a better qb. Anybody they have right now is simply a band-aid at best(thats all 3 guys) Just a poor job recruiting the qb position.

  • Mister Man

    I visited the Marshall boards. I visited three of them. Each board had one comment. All three were mine.

  • Rock Solid

    Clint is a nice kid, but he has a kid's arm. He should be advertising Calvin Cline not trying to throw through a keyhole. Everything long that he throws looks like it is floating and takes forever to get in the vicinity of a receiver. Not his fault, just genetics. Thanks Mom! Proud of the team, they have not quit trying in spite of the lack of big time talent.

  • hoosier

    I agree we will beat Texas if we play all four quarters!!!

  • big tom

    for goodness sakes, get rid of the yellow helmets and unis,,, they remind me of puke.
    now, understatement of the season, we need a qb in the worst way,,, ,,clint was so lucky to have only thrown 2 intercepts,,,he is just not a div 1 qb...sometimes he looks so lost ,and then he's on the sidelines laughing it up,,, his head certainly isn't in the game.
    our def. before this game was 102th, and this game probably didn't improve our standing.
    we are just very bad,,i don't think marsha could beat us but it would be a scoring fest.
    thank God for Sims.
    Now, is childress is ready to go, let's have another look at him,,, clint is so inconsistent and just seems to throw the ball up in the air and pray.

  • Mike

    Damn! I was hoping Texas would sneak into the AP poll so we'd have another chance to beat a ranked team. Tech fell to #25

  • Mountaineer fanatic

    I am a happy camper. We Won.
    If our defense plays the same next week we will beat Texas. Must play all four quarters.


  • mauldawg

    Up by ten and we only rush 3. I am not a football coach and don't pretend to be. It seems like you would want to pressure the QB and make him move to get away from a rush and not let him sit in the pocket and take his time looking for someone open. I don't like the bend not break def. Teams can score to quickly with the hurry up offence. I still would like to see the blitz and pressure def. when the game is on the line. We seem to have a hard time covering the middle and sidelines when we are protecting a lead with little time left. Is it just me or does anyone else see this problem? How many times have we lost games by giving up big plays when we don't try to disrupt the QB. I will still take this win!!

  • Protechcpa

    Hard to believe that was Cody's first TD. And what an athletic move. I hope they look for him more often. We seem to have no clue how to defend a good tight end or use one to our advantage. That needs to change.

  • William101

    The Texas recruits came up big for us yesterday, especially Charles Sims and Josh Lambert. Noble N. played defense the entire day too, and Jordan Thompson had 3 or 4 catches.

    Our own Cody Clay catches his first pass for a TD, and our own Justin Arndt played special team well enough that he was recognized by the ESPNU announcer (No. 30).

  • WVU_93

    This is the kind of win we haven't been able to get. 2 more wins and we can get those critical December practices that will build towards next year.

  • Jordan

    "Replaced in the starting lineup by safety K.J. Dillon, Bruce played limited snaps as WVU went with a nickel package in search of more perimeter athleticism against TCU’s spread attack."

    -So we played a 3-3-5 defense

    • Moon

      Actually we may have but that was not the key. The key was that we rushed 5 and sometimes 6 and beat this QB up pretty good. Banks interception was all about a mental breakdown by the QB because he was tired of getting hammered. Pressure works and it works even when they know it is coming. Overwhelming, suffocating pressure....need to keep that up.

  • Kevin

    Great Job Holgs! Great job Team! Despite all the naysayers and fair weather fans, you still have a lot of support. Ignore them. This was a great win and a huge stepping stone. Go and get Texas now because MP stadium kid gonna be rockin Saturday night.