FORT WORTH, Texas — Baylor and TCU threw their game plans out the window on a rain-soaked night and fought for every yard in an unusual Big 12 showdown.
TCU prevailed when quarterback Trevone Boykin tossed an 8-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver KaVontae Turpin in the second overtime, lifting the 19th-ranked Horned Frogs to a 28-21 victory on Friday night at Amon G. Carter Stadium.
Horned Frogs cornerback Julius Lewis stopped Baylor running back Devin Chafin for no gain on fourth-and-1 from the TCU 16 on the Bears’ second-overtime possession.
TCU coach Gary Patterson said the Horned Frogs were shuffling players in and out on the final sequence, trying to account for what Baylor might run on the key play. In the end, TCU made the right adjustment.
“We called a play that we hadn’t worked all week,” Patterson said. “We brought one of the corners off the edge and he got a hold of his legs. Sometimes I guess practice is overrated.”
Horned Frogs fans spilled onto the field afterward to celebrate the victory over seventh-ranked Baylor.
TCU, the fifth-ranked passing offense in the country, completed 18 of 33 passes for 148 yards. Baylor, the ninth-ranked passing offense nationally, connected on 7 of 24 for 62 yards.
But Boykin, who returned after missing last week’s game at Oklahoma with an ankle injury, ran for a crucial touchdown in the first overtime and connected on the pass that mattered most in the second overtime.
“It was a little shake route and Turp broke free and I tried to put the ball in the air and just hope he catches it — and he did,” Boykin said. “I was proud. I was happy.”
Chris Johnson, Baylor’s third-string quarterback at the start of the season who was making his first start in place of injured backup Jarrett Stidham, couldn’t drive the Bears’ usually dynamic passing game. But that likely had more to do with the driving rain than Johnson’s ability to hit receivers.
“I think the elements had a whole lot to do with it, without
question,” Baylor coach Art Briles said. “I thought Chris played hard, I thought he played valiantly. It’s just hard to execute in those conditions.”
Neither the Bears (9-2, 6-2 Big 12) nor Horned Frogs (10-2, 6-2) scored for more than 42 minutes of game time, setting the stage for Boykin’s overtime heroics.
“It was a 12-round fight, to be honest,” Boykin said. “It was something that we were fully prepared for to play to the end. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We knew the whole game we had to fight through the weather, the distractions and all the adversity and just play football.”
The first half started with the Baylor and TCU offenses swinging at each other like heavyweights.
The Bears marched 61 yards in 11 plays to score the game’s initial touchdown. Baylor benefited from pass-interference and roughing-the-passer calls to extend the drive, which running back Devin Chafin capped with a 1-yard touchdown run.
But TCU answered with a four-play, 63-yard drive to tie it at 7. Boykin hit wide receiver Jarrison Stewart for the 25-yard touchdown.
As the game progressed, though, and rain continued to soak the ball and field, and neither team established much traction on offense.
Baylor grabbed a 14-7 lead as running back Johnny Jefferson broke loose for a 44-yard run to the TCU 17 and Chafin finished a productive possession with a 5-yard touchdown run.
However, Baylor didn’t score again in the first half and committed three turnovers before the break.
“I think at the end of the day, turnovers was the telling tale of the game,” Briles said. “You just can’t have that many turnovers and expect to win the football game, especially late in the year.”
TCU converted one of the takeaways into points when Horned Frogs middle linebacker Travin Howard stripped the ball from Johnson and defensive end Josh Carraway scooped it. Carraway rumbled 44 yards with a convoy of blockers behind him and scored to tie it at 14 with 12:55 left in the second quarter.
The normally prolific offense were mired in a stalemate for the rest of the first half after Carraway’s touchdown and went to the break with the score 14-14.
Baylor, which came in averaging 644.1 yards per game, managed just 188 yards through the first 30 minutes. The Bears still outgained the Horned Frogs by 40 yards.