The Times West Virginian

Bob Herzel

November 3, 2013

HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU redeems last season’s OT loss

MORGANTOWN — Life is strange.

Really, there’s no other way to put it for there is no logical explanation of what transpired Saturday afternoon in Fort Worth, Texas, when West Virginia University went in and got redemption for an overtime loss last year to TCU that was surely the most wild and whacky game you could ever imagine … until this one.

If you were looking for a theme in the way the game was won, officially on a 34-yard field goal by redshirt placekicker Josh Lambert, 30-27 in overtime, it had to be redemption.

It was as if this was a day of forgiveness for West Virginia for all it had done wrong and could go wrong.

Three straight losses, forget them. They have become a one-game winning streak.

Two interceptions that clearly should have given this game away by quarterback Clint Trickett? TCU wasn’t about to take those gifts, and when he had to do it, Trickett threw completions, not interceptions.

And even the way they won.

Go back to last year. You might remember it, for it was an unforgettable game.

Tavon Austin had returned a punt 76 yards for a touchdown to give WVU a seven-point lead until TCU got the ball with just over two minutes to play. That’s when quarterback Trevone Boykin

hit Josh Boyce with a 94-yard touchdown pass on which the Ishmael Banks blew his coverage.

Earlier this week he admitted as much.

“My safety tried to give me a check, but I didn’t hear it — the crowd was real loud,” Banks said. “I thought it was Cover 2.”

So, instead of jumping Boyce’s route, he turned him over to Cecil Level … he thought.

Only Level was covering a different receiver.

“He was playing one coverage and I was playing another,” Banks said. “We just broke down and gave up a play.”

Quite a play, one that wound up forcing double overtime as WVU botched a field goal with 18 seconds left in regulation.

So where does the redemption for Banks come in.

Fourth quarter, TCU leading, 17-13, with the ball when Banks was in the right coverage and did it perfectly, intercepting a pass by Casey Pachall that completely turned the game around.

It gave WVU the ball and gave Clint Trickett a chance to make up for what really had been a frustrating day to that point.

“You never have to worry about that kid letting one mistake lead to another,” said offensive coordinator Shannon Dawson of Trickett.

He’d thrown two interceptions and had two others that should have been interceptions, one dropped and the other taken into the end zone only to have a holding call against All-American Jason Leverrett negate it.

Even one that counted and seemed to be a disaster, the ball winding up on the WVU 2 yard line, proved to be as harmless as week-old kitten, Boyce going from a hero a year ago to a goat, fumbling the ball and losing it when TCU was poised to virtually clinch the game.

 Trickett wound up following Banks’ interception hitting Cody Clay with a swing pass on which the big man made a Mary Lou Retton-like move diving for the end zone for a go-ahead touchdown.

 And, of course, there was redemption, too, for the WVU defense, which had been battered as badly as … eh, as … as badly as it battered TCU quarterback Casey Pachall all day.

 What WVU did to Pachall would be considered criminal in nearly every state but football mad Texas, knocking him around all day. There were sacks, yes, but just as important he was punished over and over just as he got the ball off.

In the end, by the time the game got to overtime, he had to be looking over his shoulder to see where Will Clarke was.

And speaking of overtime, we get back to redemption.

Overtime was a nightmare for WVU last year after the 94-yard completion tied the game.

After an 18-yard field goal that would have won the game in regulation was missed, another one that would have won the game in the first overtime was blocked by Jason Verrett.

 In the second overtime, after WVU had turned a Geno Smith-to-Stedman Bailey TD pass into a seven-point lead, TCU scored and opted to either win or lose the game right there, going for two.

The Horned Frogs made it on a pass from Boykin to Boyce, who managed to go down and catch the ball just before it hit the turf.

Overtime was not so kind to TCU this time around as they wound on their overtime possession facing a fourth-and-30, trying a 62-yard field by Jaden Oberkrom, which believe it or not was easily long enough but wide left.

Call it redemption.

Follow Bob Hertzel on Twitter @bhertzel.

1
Text Only
Bob Herzel
  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Watson tees off a new century at The Greenbrier

    You knew this was going to be one of those unpredictable, memorable days when you drove into the Greenbrier Resort and headed to the Old White Golf Course and found the best parking place in the joint.
    As Bob Uecker would say, right there in the front rooooow.

    April 20, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Under pressure, NCAA decides to change rules

    At first glance, it appears that they do not go hand-in-hand, a pair of rules changes the NCAA’s Legislative Council approved this week, sending them off for what seems to be smooth sailing toward becoming rules.

    April 18, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: WVU gymnast hopes to stick her final landing

    The reaction, one suspects, was the same as most people who see either a picture of West Virginia University gymnast Hope Sloanhoffer or meet her for the first time in person — a quick double take, maybe even stumbling over the first few words of an introduction.

    April 17, 2014

  • Bussie looks forward to WNBA

    On Tuesday, the weather turned cold, the wind blew and amongst the raindrops that fell a few snowflakes fluttered quietly to Earth.
    It was as if it was a celebration of Asya Bussie being drafted on Monday night by the Minnesota Lynx, champions of the WNBA, with the third selection of the second round, the 15th overall pick of the draft.

    April 16, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN: Jackie Robinson’s impact extends beyond baseball

    It is Jackie Robinson Day as I sit here writing this today, and I feel as though I am doing it in a world gone mad.
    Every player in Major League Baseball wore No. 42 on Tuesday in honor of Jackie Robinson, the man who took racism’s best shot and integrated the game that was known then as the National Pastime even though it was as white a Ku Klux Klan robe.

    April 16, 2014

  • Gyorko, Padres agree to extension

    Jedd Gyorko, who hasn’t hit much of anything with a .178 start on this season, hit the jackpot on Monday, signing a six-year contract extension with the San Diego Padres for $35 million with a one-year club option at $13 million.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Spring game showed defense has improved

    From Dana Holgorsen’s viewpoint, which was standing right behind the offense, West Virginia’s Gold-Blue Spring Game on Saturday was a rousing success for it showed very little of what the Mountaineers will be in this coming season, probably not even showcasing the man who will direct the offense in the quarterback position.

    April 15, 2014

  • WVU signs guard; Adrian arrested for DUI

    There was something good and something bad for West Virginia men’s basketball coach Bob Huggins this past weekend as Kansas junior college player Tarik Phillip committed to play for the Mountaineers but rising sophomore Nathan Adrian was charged with Under 21 DUI after he was stopped at 1:20 a.m. Sunday for an expired registration sticker.

    April 15, 2014

  • HERTZEL COLUMN- Garrison still proving he can carry the ball

    The running back raves from the West Virginia coaching this spring have been directly mostly toward Wendell Smallwood, and rest assured he earned every one of them with his versatility, but it was a reborn running back who well may have taken the biggest jump up the depth chart.

    April 14, 2014

  • WVU baseball drops seventh straight game

    One’s athletic skills are tested on a daily basis but every so often other aspects of an athlete’s makeup are tested, often far more important aspects in the game of life.

    April 14, 2014

House Ads
Featured Ads