A younger Gary Patterson would have been overly frustrated by the 52 points and 607 yards allowed by the TCU defense.
“The older Gary Patterson is just glad we won by three points,” the Horned Frogs coach said.
Another wild shootout in the Big 12 for the fourth-ranked Frogs with their 55-52 escape at Texas Tech on Saturday. They have won 12 in a row since that 61-58 loss last year at Baylor.
Patterson, in his 15th season as coach and still running the TCU defense like he did three years before that, seems willing to maybe accept this as more of the new norm.
Especially with an injury plagued defense filled with first-time starters and youngsters, and a high-powered offense led by Heisman Trophy hopeful quarterback Trevone Boykin and equally talented receiver Josh Doctson.
“Outscoring people for 12 ballgames, why not? Everybody else has been doing it,” Patterson said. “I’ve been having to do it with defense and winning 17-10. How about we go nine and 10 ballgames and outscore people? That would be nice. … If I win 17-10, I have no offense. Now I win 55-52, and you’re going to say we’re going to have to ride Doctson and Trevone.”
All that matters to Patterson and playoff hopeful TCU (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) is winning games by one point — no matter the score in a league where half the teams average more than 41 points a game.
Five Big 12 teams are among the top 12 FBS teams in total yards. Defending league co-champs Baylor (767 total yards per game) and TCU (637 ypg), both snubbed for the first College Football Playoff, rank 1-2 nationally.
TCU, with at least 55 points in three consecutive games for the first time, hosts Texas (1-3, 0-1) next Saturday.
Boykin threw for 485 yards and Doctson matched a Big 12 record with 18 catches for 267 yards and three touchdowns against Texas Tech, which won 56-53 in triple overtime at TCU three years ago in the Frogs’ first Big 12 season.
But Boykin’s fourth-and-goal pass from the 4 was high and deflected off Doctson’s hands. Running back Aaron Green made a diving snag, getting a foot down before falling out of bounds with 23 seconds left.
“You can just go back to last year, and the coaches hate talking about last year and everybody else does, but I mean, just seeing what happened to us in the Baylor game and finishing was our main thing,” Boykin said. “We really just never wanted that feeling again, and since that day we’ve been on the grind, we’ve been pushing each other, trying to make each other the best players we do, and this is just the result.”
The Frogs led 58-37 with 11 minutes left at Baylor last October before the Bears scored the game’s last 24 points.
TCU hasn’t lost since — with a winning streak now equivalent of a full regular season — after the highlight play by Green for the 10th lead change against the Red Raiders.
“We’ve been through a lot. We’ve been through terrible seasons, we’ve been through good seasons,” said Green, who also ran for 162 yards and two touchdowns. “We’ve prevailed. That’s what we do. That’s TCU football.”