In today’s Texas Tech football classic, we look back at the thrilling triple OT victory over TCU back in 2012.
There’s no question that Texas Tech football fans didn’t want TCU in the Big 12. There’s also no question that the addition of the Horned Frogs has made life more difficult on the Red Raiders, especially on the recruiting trail, by adding a conference rival that happens to occupy Tech’s primary recruiting grounds.
But on the other hand, there’s also no question that the rivalry between the Red Raiders and the Toads has been rather entertaining. Of the eight meetings in the series since TCU began competing in the Big 12, five had been decided by three points or less.
That includes the first time these programs met as Big 12 foes, 2012. That year, Tech pulled out a thrilling 56-53 triple-OT victory in Fort Worth, the Red Raiders’ first triumph in Cowtown since 1992.
That day, Seth Doege threw for a career-high 7 TDs as the No. 17 Red Raiders took down the no. 23 Frogs. The win moved Tech to 6-1 overall and 3-1 in Big 12 play and came just a week after a stunning 49-14 upset of then-No. 5 West Virginia in Lubbock.
While it was an exciting and unforgettable win, it never should have taken OT for the visitors to prevail. That’s because Tech led by 10 points with just 4:06 to play after an improbable 47-yard TD scamper by Kenny Williams, a RB not known for his breakaway speed by any means.
But to TCU’s credit, they stayed in the fight and rattled off 10-straight points to even the score at 36-36 the end of regulation. They managed to do that despite the fact that redshirt freshman QB Trevoyne Boykin was playing on a sprained ankle that limited his greatest weapon, his ability to run. Making just his third career start at QB after moving over from running back after starter Casey Pachall was kicked off of the team following a DWI arrest, the eventual Big 12 star had a great day himself with 332 yards and 4 TDs.
But in OT, Tech was able to slug out a win by scoring a TD on all three drives. Meanwhile, TCU was held to a FG to begin the third OT, allowing Tech an opportunity to win the game when Doege connected with Alex Torres on an 8-yard score.
The win would vault Tech to No. 14 in the national polls but that lofty ranking was short-lived. A week later, Doege and his teammates were humbled by No. 3 Kansas State 55-24 in Manhattan, the third-straight top-25 matchup for the Red Raiders.
That would start a freefall for head coach Tommy Tuberville’s team which would drop four of the regular season’s final five games. But for one glorious October afternoon in Fort Worth, Tech fans were riding high.
Taking down TCU was important in 2012 because it was a reminder to the Horned Frogs and their fans that life in the Big 12 was not going to be a walk in the park. For years prior, TCU had made a name for itself by taking down the occasional major-conference opponent only to retreat back to the relative safety of the Mountain West or Conference USA where life was much more manageable than in a big boy conference.
Getting up for one game per year against a big-time opponent and treating it like the Super Bowl is a trap that many mid-major programs like SMU, Boise State, or Memphis often spring. But in 2012, TCU learned the hard way that playing in one of the top conferences in the nation takes a toll on a weekly basis.
After starting their Big 12 existence 2-1, the Frogs were knocked back down to earth after losing to the Red Raiders. They would drop four of their last six games that year to finish just 4-5 in league play and their slide began with this wild triple-OT Red Raider win.
So let’s look back on the first meeting between the Red Raiders and Horned Frogs as conference foes since 1995. (You can relive this game in its entirety by clicking here.) And we will start by looking at the edge Tech had in the most important stat in the game of football.