AMES — It seemed like, finally, the stars were aligned.
Homecoming weekend. Two big special teams play. A strong second-half surge. Two late interceptions to stall potential game-changing scoring drives.
Everything seemed to be set up for Iowa State to finally earn a Big 12 victory, snap a six-game losing streak and end the bowl eligibility hopes of visiting TCU.
Then, Aaron Green hit a big run on fourth down with under two minutes to go in regulation. Another big run by Green on third-and-3 put the Horned Frogs on the doorstep of a go-ahead touchdown with under a minute to go.
Finally, three plays later, Trevone Boykins took in his third rushing touchdown of the day with just 38 seconds to go. Suddenly, TCU was able to escape Jack Trice Stadium with a 21-17 win.
And suddenly, another frustrating Saturday came to an end for the 1-8 Iowa State Cyclones.
“It’s hard to express it because there are a thousand things that are running through your mind after a loss like that,” senior linebacker Jeremiah George said. “You think about all the plays that you could make that would have put you in a better position to win.”
George looked like he had made the game-winning, or at least game-saving play, to end TCU’s drive prior to the go-ahead touchdown. With the Horned Frogs driving to the Iowa State 22, senior quarterback Casey Pachall looked to hit Brandon Carter for a second big pass over the middle to either keep the drive going or get TCU closer for a game-tying field goal with 5:18 to go.
Instead, Carter bobbled the ball right into the hands of George, ending the drive with Iowa State still holding on to a 17-14 lead.
“I wasn’t sure if it was a fumble recovery or an interception,” George said of the play. “I don’t really care. I was really happy for Jevohn Miller. He made two big back-to-back plays to set up that third down. It was a really exciting moment for all of us.”