As if by script, the Big 12 has yet again found one of its season’s beginning National Championship favorites suffering a November loss. The difference this Saturday in Stillwater? The Cowboy team who upset favorite TCU by improving to 9-0 after the 49-29 victory at home, assumed the very title chance TCU lost.
After Oklahoma State scored their first touchdown, the two teams never tied again. TCU answered with a touchdown score of their own, but the Cowboy’s Vincent Taylor blocked the point after; maintaining a one point lead, and that’s as close as the Horned Frogs would get to the Pokes all day.
Mason Rudolph had arguably his best performance all season. He completed 66.7 percent of his passes, averaged 14.7 yards per attempt, and earned four touchdowns. Certainly having teammate James Washington running wild behind the Horned Frog’s defense helped. He took passes of 48, 50 and 73 yards to the house. Washington’s five catches accounted for 184 yards of Rudolph’s 352. The long ball did not stop at Washington though, as the lone reception by Marcell Ateman was an 82-yard touchdown bomb.
Rudolph’s TCU counterpart didn’t have such a great day. Trevone Boykin’s Heisman campaign suffered a setback as he threw four picks to just one touchdown. While it’s tough for any team to overcome a minus four turnover margin, feeding a Glen Spencer Oklahoma State defense that many turnovers is akin to waving raw steak to black bears.
With the home crowd behind Oklahoma State there simply was no stopping, or catching up to them, however early play calling decisions hampered TCU’s ability to keep pace.
In the first quarter, down 6-14, the Horned Frogs failed to get into the end zone following a 70 yard pass to Shaun Nixon that set them up on the 13 yard line. TCU elected for a shot at the end zone on third down, when three yards would have set them up for first and goal from the three yard line. It was a risk that didn’t pay off, and the Frogs settled for three.
Later in the second quarter, after converting one fourth-down conversion in order to keep a drive alive, TCU elected to go for it on fourth down a second time, rather than attempt a 31-yard field goal. Again, it was a risk that didn’t pay off, and the Frogs were turned away with no points to show for the drive. Three plays later Aterman did what he did with his single reception.
Had the Frogs attempted the 31 yard field goal though, there were no guarantees in that department either. Jaden Oberkrom, the TCU career record holder for the most field goals, was less than his normal self. Besides having an extra point blocked, he missed a field goal later in the second quarter.
For TCU, it was yet another costly game. Biletnikoff Award hopeful Josh Doctson left the game with an apparent wrist injury prior to halftime, and did not return.
Oklahoma State grabbed the attention of Big 12 country and the nation Saturday with their statement win, despite still not showing any signs of a sustainable rushing attack. No ball carrier eclipsed greater than the 28 yard mark by Raymond Taylor. Should the Cowboys run into a team that can defend the pass better than some of the blown coverage shown on Saturday, one has to wonder how far this one dimensional offense can take them. For now, it marks frankly the best Cowboy performance all year with a remaining home schedule ideal for sitting in the driver’s seat.
|3rd Down Eff||9-19||2-11|
|4th Down Eff||2-4||0-0|
|Yds Per Pass||7.7||13.9|
|Yds Per Rush||4.2||3.1|
Key Point In The Game
Down 35-9, the Horned Frogs responded with a nine play 54 yard drive aided by a KaVonte Turpin 43 yard kick-off return to get within 19, with an offensive flow that looked to be vintage Sonnie Cumbie offense. Two Cowboy snaps later and Washington was cashing in his longest touchdown catch of the day.
With Boykin back on the field, if felt like shootout mode was going to be in full force following the 18-yard completion to Turpin. The very next play though, Tre Flowers was intercepting Boykin. It was at that point the Horned Frogs had seen three ridiculous touchdown passes to Washington and three interceptions by the Oklahoma State defense on the day. With half of the third quarter now gone, there was no way of corralling Pistol Pete.
Emptying The Notebook
0 – Points scored by TCU in the second quarter. The only other time TCU was held scoreless in a quarter this season? The second quarter of the season opener in Minnesota.
2 – Total number of third downs converted out of 11 attempts for Oklahoma State. The 18% conversion rate was irrelevant especially when Rudolph was dropping hooking up with Washington and Ateman.
4 – Interceptions thrown by Trevone Boykin. This marks a career high for the TCU quarterback.
52.5 – Points per game average by the Cowboys in their last four games, is 1.5 more per game than the Baylor Bears last four.
939 – Number of people short of 60,000 fans in attendance.
How you knew it was going to get crazy
Q1 stats …
Rudolph: 6/9 for 124 and 2 TD
Washington: 4 for 110 and 2 TD
Rudolph is #okstate's leading rusher (two for 10 yards).
— Pistols Firing (@pistolsguys) November 7, 2015
Maybe my guy Tye says it best
Stillwater: where undefeated teams from Texas go to die
— Thai Burger (@Tye_KC) November 7, 2015
And in the “not alone” category
This Oklahoma State performance is on the short list for best single game efforts of the year.
— Zach Barnett (@zach_barnett) November 7, 2015