FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) -- Peter LoCoco made up for his missed
kicks and gave TCU a wild season-opening win.
After the walk-on kicker missed his first extra point, then had
a 25-yard field goal blocked in the first overtime, LoCoco made a
47-yarder in the second overtime Thursday night to give the Horned
Frogs a 48-45 win over Northwestern.
"It started out a little rough with my first collegiate kick
hitting the upright," said LoCoco, who took over after
record-setting kicker Nick Browne graduated. "After that first
one, all my teammates were still behind me and patted me on the
A game that featured 1,152 total yards and 12 touchdowns came
down to the kickers.
Brett Huffman missed five field goals for the Wildcats,
including both of his attempts in overtime.
"He hasn't missed six kicks all camp," coach Randy Walker
said. "He just wasn't striking the ball ... but he's a good
kicker. He's devastated as you might guess. It wasn't him kicking
out there. I don't know who it was, but it wasn't him."
Northwestern never led, but came back to tie the game three
times. The last rally came with 13 seconds left when Brett
Basanez's 8-yard TD pass to Shaun Herbert forced overtime.
After his first overtime attempt was blocked, LoCoco got another
chance when TCU went backward on its second overtime possession.
Tye Gunn was sacked by Adam Kadela for a 6-yard loss, and then
threw an incomplete pass before the go-ahead kick.
The Wildcats got one more possession, but Huffman's 38-yard
field goal was wide right to end the four-hour game. He had missed
from 25 yards in the first overtime.
Gunn threw for a career-high 368 yards on 20-of-38 passing with
four touchdowns in his return as TCU's starter to remain
Basanez also had a career night, completing 39 of 62 passes for
a Northwestern record of 513 yards and four touchdowns -- matching
his total from last season.
On the last drive of regulation, Basanez converted a
fourth-and-3 with a 20-yard pass to Ashton Aikens and then
completed five more passes in a row to move to the 8. After an
incompletion, he threw the tying TD.
That made up for his only interception, a pass that deflected
off Mark Philmore to Marvin Godbolt. The safety returned the ball
31 yards, and a late-hit penalty moved the ball to the Northwestern
44. The Frogs needed just five plays before Gunn's 24-yard pass to
Rogers provided a 45-38 lead with three minutes left.
Reggie Harrell, who last season year became TCU's first
1,000-yard receiver, had two touchdowns among his five catches for
95 yards. Michael DePriest had three catches for 125 yards,
including an 82-yard touchdown, and Lonta Hobbs ran for 142 yards
and two scores.
And all 525 yards of total offense and all those points almost
weren't enough for the Frogs.
Northwestern ran 100 plays for 637 yards.
"That will keep me upset for about six months," said TCU coach
Gary Patterson, the team's former defensive coordinator.
Jonathan Fields had eight catches for 202 yards and three
touchdowns for the Wildcats. Philmore caught 12 balls for 131
yards. It was the first time Northwestern had two 100-yard
receivers in a game since Nov. 21, 1998 against Hawaii.
"Whatever we or I did, how many yards we had, we were short
there at the end," Basanez said. "As an offense, you don't have a
good day unless you win. We had plenty of chances there at the end
of the game."
Northwestern tied the game at 31 with 17 points in the third
quarter, aided on two of its scoring drives by huge penalties
against safety Flander Malone.
A roughing the passer penalty against Malone wiped out an
interception, and Northwestern drove for Huffman's 41-yard field
goal -- the only one he made.
Three plays after LoCoco's 37-yard field goal, Basanez hit
Fields for a 63-yard touchdown.
Northwestern faced third-and-5 at the 31 on the next drive.
Basanez threw a pass that seemed out of Herbert's reach, but Malone
was called for pass interference. Noah Herron's 16-yard run on the
next play tied the game for the first time at 31.
TCU took a 14-0 lead in the first quarter, after Gunn threw TDs
to Harrell and DePriest.
Gunn is 9-0 in the starting role, having won four games in each
of his first two injury-plagued seasons.
Coach Gary Patterson named Gunn the starter again just this
week. He was chosen ahead of Brandon Hassell, who was 7-2 with
2,039 yards passing when Gunn was out with a separated right
shoulder and then a groin injury last year.
Huffman missed three field goals in the first half, two of them
hitting the upright.