No. 16 TCU puts Big 12 on notice with road upset over No. 6 Oklahoma State
The Horned Frogs entered Saturday’s game at No.6 Oklahoma State undefeated and ranked No. 16, but they were 12.5-13-point underdogs.
TCU turned that low expectation to their favor in a game that will likely move them into the top ten in the AP poll, as they played keep away and forced four turnovers that led to a 44-31 victory in Stillwater.
“It was an advantage for us that no one was giving us a chance because we’re a lot better like that,” TCU head coach Gary Patterson said. “Always have been, always will be.”
Some other advantages for the Horned Frogs were its ground game that saw Darius Anderson post career-bests with his 26 carries, which resulted in 160 yards rushing and three touchdowns, including the final 42-yard touchdown that put the game on ice for TCU. Anderson’s three scores gave him six rushing touchdowns on the season, the most of the team.
“As the game went on, we knew the run would work, so I just carried the load for the team,” TCU running back Darius Anderson said. “It felt good.”
TCU running back Sewo Olonilua also contributed to the Horned Frogs 137-yard edge in rushing yards with 38 yards on nine carries, including another touchdown from one yard out, which was his third of the season. The Horned Frog’s hyper-effective ground game was just one of the main factors that allowed TCU to hold onto the football for more than OSU, 39:04 for TCU and 20:56 for OSU.
“If you want to be able to win championships, you have to be able to run the football, especially when you go on the road,” Patterson said. “I think the rotation of running backs has really helped us.”
That running game allowed TCU to continue doing what they’ve done better than any other team in the country, which is move the chains on third down. They entered the game leading the nation on third-down conversions, moving the sticks at a 65.8 percent clip. During the game they had success on third down as they were 11-of-18 (61.1 percent) on third-down conversions.
Another reason was the efficient play of TCU quarterback Kenny Hill who completed 22 of his 33 passes for 228 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Hill was eight of eleven passing on third down against the Cowboys, and he picked up the first down through the air on those plays seven times.
“It’s just feeling comfortable within the game plan for those situations,” Hill said. “Coach Cumbie talks about it all the time; we want to get yards on first down, second down we got to get yards because we are not trying to be in third and long.”
The final piece that factored into the significant time of possessions edge was the way TCU’s defense played, forcing OSU star quarterback Mason Rudolph into three turnovers, a couple of interceptions and a fumble.
All of his turnovers came via the Horned Frog defensive line: defensive tackle Chris Bradley had an interception on a screen pass, defensive end LJ Collier had the other on a tipped pass, defensive end Ben Banogu collected a strip-sack against Rudolph and defensive end Corey Bethley recovered Rudolph’s fumble, which aided in slowing down what was the fourth-highest scoring offenses in the country entering Saturday. Those four turnovers turned into 14 Horned Frog points, the difference in a 13-point TCU victory.Read More