Last week was a wild week of Big 12 football. Every team that was favored to win their game was the victim of an upset-special. Oklahoma State and TCU were contributors to this upset-filled week with the Cowboys going to Ames and knocking off the Iowa State Cyclones. Also, TCU welcomed the Longhorns and reminded them that they may not be back just yet.
TCU and OSU have had a competitive series as members of the Big 12, with a record of 4-3 favoring Oklahoma State. Still, the Horned Frogs have won the last two matchups with the previous season coming with a score of 31 to 24 favoring TCU.
The Horned Frogs have become quite the road warriors. They have a combined 40 road wins since 2009, which is tied for third-most nationally. Gary Patterson will have the Horned Frogs primed and ready to add to the number this week as they travel north to Stillwater. One player that will not be making the trip though is right tackle Lucas Niang who underwent surgery for a hip labrum and will be lost for the season.
The Oklahoma State Cowboys have their own trend and big-time injury to deal with Saturday. Over the past three seasons, when the Cowboys are betting favorites, they a record of 17-10, with homecoming against Baylor adding to the total most recently. Thursday, a bombshell was dropped on Cowboy nation, when Tylan Wallace was reported as having a knee injury that will take him out for the season. This record, with all that transpired last week in the Big 12, the Horned Frogs number of road wins, and the injury to Tylan Wallace. Coach Gundy is going to need to have his Cowboys ready to play and avoid being another victim of an upset.
- When: Sat, November 2, 2:30 PM CT
- Where: Boone Pickens Stadium
- Weather: Sunny high of 55°F
- TV: ESPN
- Stream: WatchESPN
- Line: OSU -3.5, O/U: 64
TCU Horned Frogs (4-3)
The offensive identity of the Horned Frogs in 2019 has been heavily run-oriented, to say the least. TCU averages 44.4 rushing attempts per game, and has been one of the more productive running teams in the Big 12 with lead back Darius Anderson. Their offensive line has been mostly good at getting push all season, but that task will be more difficult now that starting right tackle Lucas Niang is having a season-ending surgery and will start preparing for the NFL Draft.
True Freshman Max Duggan was the star of the show for the Horned Frogs last week against Texas, however, posting 273 yards through the air and 72 yards on the ground, all while accounting for three touchdowns. Duggan has been up-and-down in 2019, but the Horned Frogs are entering this week hoping that he can continue last week’s success.
Defensively, TCU has been sound all season. They are the top rushing defense in the Big 12, having allowed only 3.2 yards per rushing attempt through conference play. Defending the air attack of opposing offenses has been more of a challenge for the Horned Frogs, but they’ve nonetheless been able to hold Big 12 passers to a completion percentage of 52.6.
TCU Keys To Victory
Stay Committed To The Running Game: In order to win this one, TCU will need to keep the ball on the ground, and control the clock. That will help limit the amount of possessions given to Oklahoma State’s explosive offense, and begin to eventually open up the passing game for the Horned Frogs.
Prevent Big Plays: Last week, Iowa State was absolutely killed by some of the big plays that the Pokes were able to get with their offensive stars. If the Horned Frogs can be a sound tackling team, it will go a long way to keeping the Pokes from putting up a bunch of chunk plays at home.
Win The Turnover Battle: TCU’s chances of winning this game diminish greatly if they can’t take care of the football, but the Horned Frogs probably will to get at least one turnover to win. If they can get Oklahoma State to make a mistake, it might be the difference in this ball game.
In general, I don’t think there is a large difference between these two teams, which are really polar opposites of each other in terms of their overall strengths and weaknesses. TCU will likely be able to limit Oklahoma State’s offense when the Pokes have the ball, but the Cowboys will no doubt still put up some points. If TCU can get out in front of the Pokes and control the game, they can come away with a win.
In the end, I think the Pokes will have to turn the ball over for TCU to get the victory, and I’m inclined to think that Oklahoma State’s issues with ball security may actually lessen towards the end of the season. That doesn’t bode well for the Horned Frogs, unfortunately, so give me the Pokes to win 35-31.
Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-3)
Is last week’s victory in Ames, Iowa, the swinging point for the Cowboy season? The defense showed up and forced turnovers and paved the way for Spencer Sanders and Co. to operate and score points. However, as nice as that win is, the Cowboys cannot stay focused on it. This week the TCU Horned Frogs are coming into Stillwater and are looking to continue the trend from week ten and knock off another favorite.
This week, the defense is going to need to force turnovers and bring the pressure to an offense that has just lost its starting right tackle for the season. Now, last week saw three Cowboys record the first interception of their career, and that anomaly will not occur every week. But, as Cowboy fans are aware, freshman quarterbacks can become flustered, so look for the Cowboy defense to try and confuse freshman starting quarterback Max Duggan.
The Cowboy offense put together a strong game last week and put Sanders in situations to get the ball out quick and facilitate his playmakers. For Oklahoma State to win this week, the same will need to be said. With Tylan Wallace out with an injury, Jordan McCray, Brayden Johnson, and Dillon Stoner are going to need to step up and produce even more. But, it all comes back to the Canadian Express, Chuba Hubbard. Last week his 116 yards were his second-lowest of the season, but for the offense to operate at its highest level, Chuba needs the ball and just let him find space.
Oklahoma State Keys To Victory
Keep Spencer clean: Last week, the offensive line kept Spencer clean and did not give up any sacks. Surprising to everyone, not giving up a sack led to more points being scored, and a win followed. For the Cowboys to win this Saturday, do the same thing, and keep the pocket clean and let Spencer find his rhythm again.
Force turnovers: Last week, Malcolm Rodriquez won the game with a pick-six in the fourth quarter. This combined with the other turnovers, gave Oklahoma State free possessions or points each time. If the defense can cause turnovers again, and give the offense more chances, the Cowboys will have a great shot to win.
Start fast: The Horned Frog defense does not allow many yards, with only a total of 304 per game. If the Cowboys can start fast and put up quick scores and keep the crowd into the game, then Boone Pickens can start rocking and take the Horned Frogs out of the game mentally.
Oklahoma State remembers what happened during their last home game. They will not let TCU stay in the game late and leave Stillwater with a win. Look for coach Gleeson to get Spencer into a rhythm and Chuba to make some massive runs. The defense is going to bring the momentum they built last week against Iowa State into Saturday and force Duggan into tough decisions and turnovers.