FORT WORTH, Texas - In the moment, West Virginia's defense probably couldn't have envisioned a worse situation than trailing TCU 17-3 in Saturday's second quarter.
In retrospect, it was probably best thing to happen.
After falling behind by two scores and seeing his defense exploited by things he couldn't have anticipated, WVU defensive coordinator Keith Patterson scrapped his game plan and came up with something else. The adjustment worked as the Mountaineers allowed no points and only 138 yards while forcing three turnovers for 17 points on the next nine drives.
"Once we got down, I said, 'Forget it,'" Patterson admitted after the 30-27 win in overtime. "We started playing man and started bringing some pressure."
TCU was averaging fewer than three points in the first quarter against Football Bowl Subdivision opponents this season. The Horned Frogs had only scored three touchdowns and held two leads in the first quarter, but they kicked a field goal and scored a touchdown to lead 10-3 at the end of Saturday's first quarter.
A touchdown on the first drive of the second quarter put the Horned Frogs ahead 17-3 and equaled their point total from the previous two games.
Again and again, TCU picked on WVU with a pass play where quarterback Casey Pachall extended the ball for the running back and keep alive the possibility he'd hand it off until a defender had to react to the run and open a spot for a pass.
"They had a good plan," Patterson said. "As soon as our flat defender on the edge would come forward, (Pachall would) stick it in there. That's tough. I just said, 'Forget it, let's start blitzing.'"
The Mountaineers stopped playing zone coverage and peppered Pachall to get three sacks and force a fumble and an interceptions and a number of bad throws. Pachall, who hadn't started since breaking his left arm Sept. 7 and had only returned Oct. 26, started 13-for-17 for 170 yards and two touchdowns when TCU led 17-3. He finished 40-for-58 for 394 yards, three scores and two interceptions.
"We just executed much better once we got settled down and got a feel for him," Patterson said. "We didn't know what we were going to get. We hadn't seen him on film, really. You had to go all the way back to the LSU game (in the season-opener), and what LSU does defensively is completely different than us.