TV cameras caught Gary Patterson smiling on Saturday afternoon. That’s not an occurrence that has happened very often during what so far has been an injury-riddled, mistake-filled 2015 campaign.
Patterson’s expression of glee came about following an improbable last-minute touchdown catch by RB Aaron Green that gave the Horned Frogs the decisive score they needed in their 55-52 victory over Texas Tech.
It’s only fitting that such a wild shootout would have such a wild ending.
On a critical 4th and Goal from the four-yard line, Trevone Boykin’s overthrown pass to Josh Doctson was tipped and happened to land right into the opportunistic grasp of Green, who had just inches to spare to score in the back of the end zone.
It was a play that sent shock waves throughout the stunned Red Raider crowd and sent a smile to a relieved head coach’s face, as he exhaled and thanked the football gods for the good fortune they bestowed upon his team.
Patterson knows that there’s still plenty of work that needs to be done to fix a banged-up defense that allowed 607 total yards of offense and 52 points to a frisky Texas Tech attack. It’s a unit that clearly isn’t close to championship caliber at this point in the season. Luckily, the defensive-minded head coach has been known to work his magic with his patented 4-2-5 scheme.
Luckily, the only number that really matters right now isn’t on the defensive stat sheet. Instead, it’s the zero in the loss column of TCU’s unblemished overall record. As the first month of the season draws to a close, it’s a number that signifies the Horned Frogs are still right in the thick of the hunt for a playoff berth,
With bouts against Baylor, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Oklahoma State still left on the schedule, this game likely won’t be the last shootout that Patterson’s squad gets involved in this season.
Every championship team needs to get a few favorable bounces throughout its run to a title. TCU got its first big season-shifting bounce in Lubbock, which means the Frogs’ Final-Four aspirations are still alive.