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TCU (5-2) at Oklahoma State (4-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, October 27, 3:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Boone Pickens Stadium (60,218) -- Stillwater, Oklahoma. Television: FSN. Home Record: TCU 2-2, OSU 3-1. Away Record: TCU 3-0, OSU 1-1. Neutral Record: TCU 0-0, OSU 0-0. Conference Record: TCU 2-2, OSU 2-1. Series Record: Oklahoma State leads, 11-9-2.
GAME NOTES: The TCU Horned Frogs and the Oklahoma State Cowboys square off in a Big 12 Conference showdown in Stillwater on Saturday afternoon, with the winner looking to join the ranks of the league's elite.
TCU started the season as one of the country's best teams, rising to No. 15 in the national rankings following a 4-0 start. The Horned Frogs have fallen off the pace of late however, losing two of their last three in conference play, including a triple-overtime heartbreaker to Texas Tech last week, 56-53.
Oklahoma State has had a shaky start to the season, but it has won two of its three conference games, beating Kansas (20-14) and Iowa State (31-10) in back- to-back weeks. The Cowboys have been one of the better teams in the Big 12 over the past few seasons as they have won 22 of their last 28 games against conference opponents.
Oklahoma State clings to an 11-9-2 advantage in the all-time series with TCU, although the two teams haven't met since 1993.
TCU's offense has been strong, putting up 36 ppg and 441.7 ypg. It scored six touchdowns last week in a 53-point effort, but it could have been much more as it had to settle for six field goals from Jaden Oberkrom. Still, the Horned Frogs have scored 20 points or more in 33 straight games -- the longest active streak in the nation.
Since taking over for Casey Pachall, Trevone Boykin has been impressive both passing the ball (937 yards, 10 TDs, five INTs) as well as rushing it (233 yards, two TDs). He has thrown for at least 270 yards in all three games he has started, including a career-high 332 last week.
Skye Dawson set career-highs with 10 receptions and 154 yards and was one of four receivers to score a touchdown in the loss to Texas Tech. Josh Boyce (37 receptions, 433 yards, five TDs) and Brandon Carter (28 receptions, 446 yards, four TDs) have been consistent threats on the outside.
The Horned Frogs share the wealth in the backfield, with four players tallying at least 48 carries and 200 yards. B.J. Catalon leads the way with 319 yards.
Allowing 56 points last week to Texas Tech certainly stung a defense that had played very well up until that point, but the unit still has strong stats on the season (20.4 ppg, 313.4 ypg).
TCU is one of the best in the nation at forcing turnovers, logging 14 interceptions and six fumble recoveries. Jason Verrett has four picks, and Kenny Cain, Elisha Olabode and Chris Hackett have two apiece. Devonte Fields is one of the best pass-rushers in the conference with 14 tackles for loss and eight sacks.
Oklahoma State's offense is one of the best in the country, ranking fourth in points per game (45.7) and first in yards per game (605.3), but it suffered a huge blow this past week, losing starting quarterback J.W. Walsh for the rest of the season with a knee injury.
Walsh completed more than 66 percent of his passes for 1,467 yards and 10 touchdowns and he also contributed 254 yards on the ground and three rushing scores. In his absence, it appears Wes Lunt (51-of-75, 588 yards, four TDs, three INTs) is in line for the starting job, although Clint Chelf (4-of-8, 51 yards, TD, INT) could also see time.
The Cowboys will need to lean even more heavily on their potent running game with Walsh out, which has tallied more than 254 ypg. Joseph Randle (765 yards, eight TDs) is one of the best backs in the country, averaging 127.5 ypg. Desmond Roland (198 yards) and Jeremy Smith (181 yards) also get their share with four touchdowns apiece.
Josh Stewart will hope to boost the play of whoever's throwing him the ball as he leads the team with 42 receptions and 454 yards. Tracy Moore (20 receptions, 259 yards, four TDs) has also been a valuable weapon, but he missed last week's win over Iowa State with an ankle injury.
The Cowboys defense has been a Jekyll and Hyde unit this year, allowing 12 ppg in four wins, and 37 ppg in a pair of losses.
The turnovers haven't come, recording only four interception and two fumble recoveries through six games. Shaun Lewis has a team-high 2.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for loss.
Both these teams have strong offenses and very capable defenses, so this game could very well go down to the wire. Oklahoma State has a leg up in terms of having the home field advantage, but Gary Patterson's bunch have not been intimidated on the road, winning all three games away from Fort Worth. Without Walsh, the Cowboys will come up a play or two short of pulling this one out.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: TCU 38, Oklahoma State 35
10/24 10:33:39 ET
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