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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  • 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.

  • Tim C

    We had a 10 point lead and decided that a prevent defense was the ticket. All that accomplished was allowing TCU score 10 quick points. Then in OT we decided to play the same defense that helped build that 10 point lead, hence....a victory! Put that stupid prevent defense away!!!!!!!!!!

    • Lee


    • Oh Did Ya?

      See TCU game last year for rationale on softer defense with a lead.

    • Moon

      Absolutely correct when we were up 10. When we got up 3 you did have to reduce the risk somewhat. But if we had stayed the course and kept up the pressure we would have remained up 10. Even the announcer said...I look for WVU to put pressure here...and we rushed 3...ugh.

  • JHT

    I love the EERs and, I love the way they hung in there, but TCU gave that one away. We'll take it though. A win is a win. The EER's deserve a break to bounce their way. The coach is still learning I guess, but 3 and 7 with 2:12 left in the 4th quarter. They are out of timeouts. A first down wins it. He elects to run the ball. They were hugging the line of scrimmage. They knew what was coming. Of course it is easy for me to Sunday morning coach. Just saying.....

    • Oh Did Ya?

      You answered your own question...TCU had no timeouts. You are playing against the clock at that point. An incomplete pass gives them an extra 40 seconds. An int gives them the win. You run the ball all day in that situation.

    • Concerned

      Of course, throw an incompletion and everyone else is screaming about that. You have to run the ball there.

      • Protechcpa

        O line should have manned up on that play. 3rd and 7 is a tough conversion on the ground, but look at the stakes. Move the chains and the game ends in regulation. Some may think it an over simplification, but our lack of offense this year is 95 % O line deficiency. We have three great backs. Just show them a little crease and we sustain drives and score TDs.

  • leroy j gibbs

    Give holgerson 2 more years and we'll win the big 12

  • Allan

    A tale of two halves. I was so disgusted with the players and play calling in the first half, I just couldn't watch it anymore, but did and began laughing at a team that I believe is the worse team ever to take the field in WVU history. Then in the second half, they kept plugging away, caught a few brakes and somehow pulled out a victory from defeat and of course, we had a little help from TCU who looked every part of being the worse team that ever took the field for TCU.

    • Mike

      Allan, check the stats of the 0-8-2 1960 WVU team. This team looks like some of the 70's Oklahoma teams or the Nebraska teams during the Devaney/Osborne years by comparison.

    • derek

      Young team with talent just got to figure themselves out. I get aggravated but man you gotta love that Blue and Gold. Love the Eers!!!!!!!

    • MIkeD


      You don't have the clout to make that statement. How long have you been here!? You're a great writer and have brought a new point of view to WVU coverage. However, you should know we have had worse! Temple game comes to mind!

    • Will

      Allan must be really young and his 'worst ever' is thru that prism, because I easily remember the 3-8 team of 2001, several bad teams in the '90s, a few in the '80s, and I'm pretty sure the coach before Nehlen was let go because he had too many bad teams. The offense can be hard to watch at times, but this is not the 'worst ever.'

    • Raquel

      Let's hope these players, the "worse" team, you are talking about who work really hard and bust butts in practice while carrying full load in school don't read your negative and harsh comment. They are a growing team. They are learning how to play together - as a team. They have TONS of talent and say otherwise is just ignorant. That does not constitute the worst team in WVU history. Stop watching the games if it is that painful instead of insulting these young men who need positive thoughts, not this kind of negativity.

    • Greg


      See the Cignetti years. Couple those with Joedy Gardner's BB team and you have the darkest era in the history of WVU sports. I was a student then and was first hand witness to it. This is hardly the worst WVU football team ever.

    • Robin

      Allan, there have been worse teams. Just not in recent years.

  • mauldawg

    Ugly win but I will take it. The team never gave up. We as fans and as a team needed this win. Maybe this will carry over for the rest of the season. Lets hope so. Hats off to the team and coaching staff for not rolling over.

  • tw eagle

    it sure wasn't pretty , but there was a contribution from every Mountaineer who hit the field of play . . .this had to feel good for the team , cause it sure made my day . . .

    Let's Gooo Mountaineeerrrsss ! ! !