Sunday, November 3, 2013

Checking out the competition, again: TCU v. WVU

Baylor was off Saturday, getting ready for the biggest game of the year (so far) against Oklahoma on Thursday.  So when Kelly's dad offered his tickets to the TCU game, Elliot and I took him up on it.  Zippy was not interested in going, of course.  Elliot dusted off his TCU cap and t-shirt, invited his friend Levi, and we headed over to Amon Carter Stadium for the showdown with West Virginia.  Both of these teams were sitting on 1-4, 3-5 records and needed this win to remain bowl eligible.  TCU was picked to win by 14, but I figured it might be closer than that.

Anyone who was hoping for a close game was not disappointed!  TCU came out strong, for a change, and led 17-3 in the second quarter.  It was no blowout, yet, but TCU looked like the better team, no question.  However, WVU came back to score to make it 17-10 at the half.  After a scoreless 3rd quarter, WVU scored on 3 consecutive possessions to take a 27-17 lead.  With 8 minutes left, many TCU fans headed to the parking lot.

But the Frogs weren't done!  They scored 10 quick points to tie it up and go into overtime.  Unfortunately for them, they made a mess of their OT possession and missed a 62 yard field goal attempt.  WVU came back to score an easy FG for the win.  A great game, start to finish, if you like football drama, but not so great if you like great football.  Each team threw 2 interceptions, and TCU coughed up 2 fumbles, which made the difference in WVU's fourth quarter scoring streak.  WVU showed some signs of the team that upset OSU in September, but TCU looked nothing like the team many thought would be in the mix for a Big 12 championship.  Not only are they out of the Big 12 championship conversation, they may not qualify for a bowl this year.
I don't want to rag on the TCU fans too much, but they have not been showing up for the games this year.  The above picture is at the opening kickoff.  Lots of empty seats.
This picture is a few minutes before the end of the second quarter.  A few more students showed up, and the upper deck is a little bit fuller, but it's still pretty empty.  A few notes: the weather was perfect, so they can't use heat or rain as an excuse this time.  I was a little chilly on the shady side of the stadium.  Sitting in the sun must have been nice.  Besides, as I noted, this game was crucial for TCU, as they are playing for bowl eligibility now.
The cancer awareness halftime show was pretty cool.
This girl had the best costume of all.  The pink outfit would have looked sort of freaky without the bubble.  She rolled around on the field like a gerbil.
As cool as the Baylor card section is, these banners that cover a whole section have the advantage of being legible, easier to deploy, and not requiring 100% participation of the crowd.  However, if you're under it, you miss any football action that might be going on at the time.  By the way, notice the empty stands here in the fourth quarter.
The comeback begins!  If you look carefully, you can see the football about to be caught in the back of the end zone.  This TD brought TCU within 3.
Here is TCU kicking the tying 45-yard field goal to take the game into overtime.  Taking good action pictures from the upper deck with a point-and-shoot digital camera isn't all that easy, but the way.  (I'm not saying these are good, I'm just making excuses for my photography!)
And here's WVU's easy 34-yard field goal for the win in overtime.  Sorry, Frogs.
30-27.  A great comeback, and a terrible overtime loss.  The scoreboard reminder of TCU's last remaining home game should also remind TCU fans that they have little chance of another home Big 12 win this season.  If Baylor beats TCU on November 30, as I expect they will by a large margin, that will mean that in 2 seasons in the Big 12, their only home Big 12 win is this season's win over a hapless Kansas team in the middle of their streak of 20-something Big 12 losses.  Welcome to Big 12 football, TCU!

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