FORT WORTH, Texas -- The game seemed lost when Clint Trickett threw his second interception with 14 seconds left in the third quarter, leaving TCU 2 yards away from a two-touchdown lead.
"I was in a bad place right there," West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen said afterward.
It's hard to blame him. All signs pointed to the Mountaineers losing a fourth consecutive game, remaining winless on the road and on the verge of not reaching a bowl for the first time since 2001.
Seven minutes and three forced turnovers later, though, West Virginia turned a near-14-point deficit into a 10-point lead.
But TCU didn't go away, storming back in the final three minutes to tie the score and force overtime. Eventually the Mountaineers pulled it out with a defensive stop and then a 34-yard field goal by Josh Lambert for a 30-27 overtime victory.
West Virginia (4-5, 2-4 Big 12 Conference) left Amon G. Carter Stadium Saturday with momentum and a good feeling about its chances to win two of its final three games to become bowl-eligible.
"These are games you love," said running back Charles Sims, who rushed for a season-high 154 yards. "Fighting for four quarters, going to overtime, coming out with the win ... it felt good."
Closing out a game is something the Mountaineers struggled with the previous two weeks, losing late third-quarter leads against Texas Tech and Kansas State, and this win should serve as a confidence boost down the stretch.
The Mountaineers trailed, 17-10, at halftime and were close to falling too far behind late in the third quarter.
The Horned Frogs (3-6, 1-5) had a chance to extend their lead when Trickett made a poor read and floated a gift into the hands of linebacker Paul Dawson, who returned it to the West Virginia 2 with 14 seconds left in the quarter.
A TCU score would have put the Mountaineers in a 14-point hole, but instead their defense bailed Trickett out. Linebacker Isaiah Bruce forced a fumble on TCU's first play of the drive and Jared Barber recovered it.
"You never know what's going to happen and we got the ball right back after it," Trickett said. "You've got to keep a level head through the highs and lows."
TCU coach Gary Patterson mentioned the fumble near the goal-line in his postgame news conference, saying it was one of the plays that led his team to "give one away."
West Virginia might disagree with that assessment.
The Mountaineers put together a field-goal drive after the fumble, then forced two more turnovers in the fourth quarter that resulted in touchdowns.
Cornerback Ishmael Banks intercepted TCU quarterback Casey Pachall on West Virginia's 44 with 12:04 remaining. Seven plays later, Cody Clay rumbled his way into the end zone on an 11-yard touchdown reception that put the Mountaineers ahead, 20-17, their first lead since early in the first quarter.
Then defensive lineman Will Clarke sacked and stripped Pachall, and Darwin Cook recovered the ball on the TCU 17 with 8:02 remaining. West Virginia capitalized when Trickett and Sims hooked up for a 13-yard touchdown and a 27-17 lead.
That lead vanished in the final three minutes, but the Mountaineers found a way to win in the end.
"We've lost a lead before," Trickett said. "That shows how tough these guys are -- to have that happen to us twice the last two weeks, to have the lead and lose it, we did that again but then we still finished. We're a mentally tough team."
Said Holgorsen: "We were up 10 points in the fourth quarter and all of a sudden they come storming back and they tie it up. The whole sideline could have said, 'Well, here we go again.' But they didn't. They played hard and found a way to get it done."