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TCU CB Jason Verrett smothers Texas Tech WR Eric Ward


With all the crazy things that happened during Texas Tech's 20-10 win over TCU on Thursday night, including a fox scampering on the sideline at one point, the on-field clash between Horned Frogs cornerback Jason Verrett and Red Raiders wide receiver Eric Ward will inevitably be overshadowed.

Verrett blanketed Ward throughout the game, holding the senior without a catch, and reducing the Texas Tech passing offense to working almost exclusively between the numbers. Ward had caught at least one pass in each of his last 25 games.

Despite his listed height of 5-feet-10, Verrett continually frustrated Ward (6-0), disrupting his routes and preventing Texas Tech quarterbacks Baker Mayfield and Davis Webb from even thinking about throwing Ward's way. First-year head coach Kliff Kingsbury adjusted by featuring tight end Jace Amaro (nine receptions for 97 yards).

Verrett, who is rated as college football's top senior cornerback by's Gil Brandt, finished with only one tackle -- a stop for a loss of yards on a swing pass in the fourth quarter, but he also broke up a pass for Amaro on third down to force a punt.

Verrett fared much better than his teammate, sophomore defensive end Devonte Fields. Making his first start of the season after being suspended for parts of TCU's first two games, Fields was never able to unleash his pass-rush skills against left tackle Le'Raven Clark. Though Fields finished with three tackles, including two that resulted in a loss of yards, his impact on the game felt nonexistent.

With the TCU offense a mess, Verrett will need to continue to be a shutdown presence while Fields must rediscover his Freshman All-America form for the team to claw back into Big 12 contention.

Follow Dan Greenspan on Twitter @DanGreenspan.

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