FORT WORTH, Texas – The highest point total in TCU history came three days before the release of the first rankings from the College Football Playoff selection committee.
Coincidence? Coach Gary Patterson says so after the Horned Frogs surpassed 70 for the first time, and then 80 for good measure, with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns in an 82-27 embarrassment of Texas Tech on Saturday.
"I didn't want to score that last touchdown," Patterson said of a 25-yard run by Trevorris Johnson with 1:16 to go that gave the Horned Frogs the most points in an FBS game since Oklahoma State opened the 2012 season with an 84-0 win over Savannah State.
"We didn't go into this saying we want to run up the score. That's not what TCU is all about," Patterson said.
TCU, which had a previous scoring high of 69 three years ago, does want to make the first four-team playoff, and there's work to do even for the highest-ranked team in the Big 12.
The blowout of Texas Tech didn't help much in The Associated Press poll released Sunday, with the Horned Frogs staying at No. 10, followed for the second straight week by Kansas State at 11th and Baylor at No. 12.
While TCU (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) ran away with 45 second-half points while holding the Red Raiders to 112 yards after halftime, they gave up 287 yards in the first quarter — and four plays of 48 yards or longer.
"When people first see the number 82, they'll be like 'Whoa,'" said receiver Deante Gray, who caught two of Trevone Boykin's school-record seven touchdown passes, including a 92-yarder in a 31-point third quarter. "But if you look at the game, we definitely struggled in a couple areas."
That's just what Patterson wants to hear.
The Horned Frogs were coming off 4-8 season and had a Big 12 record of 6-12 since joining the league two years ago, but they're not the only surprise in the conference. In fact, they get to see another one next weekend — on a long road trip.
West Virginia moved up to two spots to No. 20 after winning at Oklahoma State 34-10 for its fourth straight victory. Patterson doesn't care that the Mountaineers (6-2, 4-1) needed a last-play field goal two weeks ago in Lubbock to beat a team that just lost to TCU by 55 points.
"I'm keeping my nose down," Patterson said. "I know we have a good football team. I understand the level of play that they can lay. I've seen them do it, now we have to be able do to that. Next we have a very good West Virginia team that we have to play at their place."
TCU will carry a pair of injury concerns to Morgantown in receiver Josh Doctson, who hurt an ankle on a third-quarter catch, and a shoulder problem that limited running back B.J. Catalon to nine carries.
Even before Catalon got hurt, Aaron Green was well on his way to his first career 100-yard game, finishing with 105 fueled by a 62-yard touchdown. Thanks to the blowout, the freshman Johnson got his first career 100-yarder as well, also going for 105 and two touchdowns.
"We just had some guys make plays all over the field, and it was great to watch 'em," said Boykin, who moved up a spot to third nationally in total offense at 383 yards per game.
Now the Horned Frogs will watch for Tuesday's release of the first playoff rankings.
Follow Schuyler Dixon on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apschuyler