WVU largely rode the back of Charles Sims all day and held off a late rally by TCU to win in overtime 30-27. WVU was largely stagnant on offense early but rallied in the second half, building a ten point lead while capitalizing on four TCU turnovers. TCU mounted their own rally tying the game with only 19 seconds on the clock, forcing overtime.
The Horned Frogs got the ball first in overtime and were moving the ball well within field goal range when an unnecessary roughness penalty pushed them out of range. WVU took over and looked to win the game on a Sims touchdown run, but a holding penalty pushed them back. Josh Lambert then coolly split the uprights for WVU's first road win of the season.
Those are the facts. Now for some conjecture.
For the WVU offense, it was a tale of two Tricketts. For the better part of three quarters, Trickett was erratic at best. That was until the fourth quarter and it was like a switch had been turned on and all of the sudden the wild throws were finding their targets and mix in a few nice runs...all of the sudden WVU is moving the ball. Despite what appeared to be a dismal day statistically for Trickett, he did finish with 267 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs while connecting on 61% of his passes. Watching the game live, until the fourth quarter, no one would have believed he connected on that high of a percentage.
Charles Sims, this was the game we've been waiting to see from you ever since we got word that you were coming to Morgantown. Today he showed the gamebreaking ability that up til today, was only hearsay to Mountaineer fans. One drive was a Mario Alford sandwich on Charles Sims bread covering 87 plays in only three long plays. Sims finished with 154 yards on the ground with a touchdown and 35 yards receiving with another nifty touchdown (see above image).
Thankfully the defense was on their game, for the most part, and was able to force those turnovers, keeping WVU not only in the game, but setting up scores. Yes, they allowed TCU to come back and force overtime late, but this was a far cry from the collapse of a year ago. After the first quarter, they kept Casey Pachall uncomfortable, hitting him over and over again.
Turnovers were the name of the game for the Mountaineer defense today. Hell, they even forced an interception on the first play from scrimmage (which was converted for an early field goal). When WVU turned the ball over INSIDE of their own 5 yard line, the Mountaineer D responded and got the ball back on the very next play.
What does this game mean? For one, WVU is now one step closer to completing "Operation Bowl Eligibility." The remaining schedule sets up nicely for gaining that eligibility IF the team continues to show the resolve they showed today, especially in the fourth quarter. It was a resolve that hasn't really been seen since the Oklahoma State game and it's hopefully just the first step to getting this season back on track.
Now, let's keep this Longhorn winning streak of ours intact next week, shall we?