FORT WORTH, Texas — TCU has been to Texas Tech only once since the old Southwest Conference disbanded.
And what a strange game it was nine years ago. The Horned Frogs went from a three-touchdown lead to the most lopsided loss in coach Gary Patterson’s 13 seasons.
“Well, I don’t talk about it,” Patterson said Tuesday. “You know, that 2004 year was the only year we didn’t go to a bowl game.”
The 24th-ranked Horned Frogs (1-1) return to Lubbock for the first time as a Big 12 member when they play Texas Tech (2-0) on Thursday night in the conference opener for both teams.
In that 2004 game, TCU jumped to a 21-0 lead while holding Texas Tech’s big-play passing attack without a score for its first seven possessions.
“First thing that sticks with me is all the boo birds I was getting,” said Red Raiders co-offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie, who was Tech’s quarterback that season. “It was bad.”
Texas Tech, coming off a loss at New Mexico at the time, then scored on five consecutive drives on its way to 56 unanswered points in a 70-35 victory. Cumbie completed 30 of 50 passes for 441 yards and four touchdowns.
“Just kind of got it going,” Cumbie said. “That was a fun afternoon for us. It’s kind of how this offense can go at times. If you get things rolling and things can snowball for you.”
TCU was then in its final Conference USA season before going to the Mountain West. The Horned Frogs were left out of Big 12 lineup when the SWC broke up after the 1995 season, but are now in their second Big 12 season.
Texas Tech played a conference game in Fort Worth last October, winning 56-53 in triple overtime after blowing a 10-point lead in the final 2 1/2 minutes of regulation. It was the second time the Red Raiders had played at TCU since 2006.
Patterson and the Horned Frogs had already avenged that 10-touchdown assault.
“Honestly, it meant enough to me I worked on it for two years,” said Patterson, whose team held the Red Raiders without a touchdown in a 12-3 victory in 2006.
“I think you will always see that this game will be a very high emotional game,” he said.
While Cumbie is on the staff of first-year coach Kliff Kingsbury, another former Red Raiders quarterback, they have a true freshman walk-on in Baker Mayfield. He has thrown for 780 yards with seven touchdowns and no interceptions, and also is the team’s leading rusher with 82 yards and a score on 21 carries.
Texas Tech has already scored 102 points.
The Horned Frogs have dual-threat Trevone Boykin as their starting quarterback again after Casey Pachall broke a bone in his left (non-throwing) arm in last week’s 38-17 victory over Southeastern Louisiana. Pachall had surgery and is out indefinitely.
Boykin threw for 332 yards and four TDs last season against the Red Raiders, who got seven TD passes from Seth Doege in TCU’s highest-scoring home game ever. The Red Raiders got a 47-yard TD run from Kenny Williams with 4 minutes left in regulation, before Boykin threw a 60-yard TD pass to LaDarius Brown and Jaden Oberkrom kicked a tying 42-yard field goal.
“Three of the scores came in the overtimes. They scored one touchdown where I was bringing it all out, and the guy broke loose and ran for about a 40-yard run,” Patterson said. “Then we came back and we made some plays. Still, you got beat 56-53.”