TCU (3-3) at (21) Oklahoma State (4-1)
Saturday, October 19, 12 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Lucas Gulotta, Associate College Football Editor
GAME NOTES: The 21st-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys hunt for their seventh straight win at Boone Pickens Stadium as they welcome the TCU Horned Frogs to Stillwater for Big 12 Conference action.
TCU improved to 1-2 in league play last week as it notched a 27-17 decision over Kansas. The Horned Frogs are now 3-3 on the season after starting off the campaign ranked in the Top 25. Coach Gary Patterson's squad lost both of its road games this season to Big 12 foes Texas Tech (20-10) and Oklahoma (20-17). TCU tied its season-high of 207 yards rushing last week against the Jayhawks and is now 65-4 under Patterson when running for at least 200 yards.
Mike Gundy's Cowboys are coming off a bye week with a 4-1 record that was most recently bolstered by a 33-29 win over Kansas State. Oklahoma State coasted through its non-conference slate before being upset, 30-21, at West Virginia in its Big 12 opener. The Cowboys have not lost at home since they were defeated, 41-36, by Texas on Sept. 29, 2012. They have also defeated 20 straight unranked opponents at home.
Oklahoma State holds a 12-9-2 all-time series lead in its history with the Horned Frogs. The series was revived after 19 idle years last season and the Cowboys extended their edge with a 36-14 win at home.
The Horned Frogs had one of their best offensive outputs of the season last week against Kansas with only 380 yards of total offense. The passing attack has digressed a great deal since starting quarterback Casey Pachall was sidelined with a wrist injury. Trevone Boykin completed 14-of-22 pass attempts for 173 yards and a touchdown last week, but was also intercepted twice and sacked three times. He added 71 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries to contribute to TCU's rushing outburst.
B.J. Catalon also rushed 12 times for 91 yards and a score, while Aaron Green registered 14 attempts for 37 yards. Due to the team's strong defense, establishing the run is clearly the priority. TCU is third in the Big 12 in rushing defense with only 118.7 yards allowed per game, which is just over two yards more per game than the second-place Cowboys. None of the Horned Frogs' wideouts have more than 200 yards receiving through six games. A go-to-guy may have emerged last week.
"It motivates us when we have guys who can step up and make big plays," said Boykin. (David Porter) hasn't played much, but he came in and made some big plays that boosted our confidence."
Redshirt senior David Porter made his first career start last week and made it memorable with four catches for 118 yards, including a 75-yard touchdown catch.
TCU held Kansas to 198 yards of total offense and only seven first downs last week. Despite playing a schedule with only one opponent not from a BCS conference, the Horned Frogs have limited their opponents to only 21.3 points and 328 total yards per game to rank second in the Big 12 in total defense. Marcus Mallet registered nine tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss versus the Jayhawks. Phil Dawson made his first career start and made a career-best 17 tackles.
TCU's dominance last week was expected against the least productive offense in the Big 12. It will struggle containing Oklahoma State's attack that generates 38 points and 445.2 yards of total offense per outing. Sophomore quarterback J.W. Walsh is the team's leader and ranks third among Big 12 players with 294.8 total offensive yards per game. Walsh led the team down the field for two late scoring drives to push OSU past KSU its last time out. He finished the game 24-of-38 for 245 yards and a touchdown.
The team's leading receiver, Josh Stewart, was limited to just two catches and 20 yards by the Wildcats. He is still the eighth most productive pass catcher in the conference with an average of 66.4 receiving yards per contest. Jhajuan Seales paced the Cowboys with 87 yards on four receptions versus KSU. Ben Grogan was reliable as he made four of his five field goal attempts, including a game-winner with just over two minutes remaining.
OSU had little success on the ground in its last game with only 85 yards on 25 attempts. Jeremy Smith and Walsh both registered 11 carries and scored one touchdown each as well.
The Cowboys forced five total turnovers and held KSU to only 336 total yards in their last appearance. The defense recorded interceptions to stop the Wildcats' final two drives and secure the victory.
"There's been a number of games here in the last 20 years that I've been involved with where teams went right down the field at the end and scored on the defense," said Gundy after last week's clutch play. "That was different here with these guys. They continue to get better. They worked hard. They've bought into the system, they've bought into our coaches and they're finding a way to get it done in the end."
Shaun Lewis had a monster performance with eight total tackles, one interception, a forced fumble and a recovery. Caleb Lavey also made a mark with seven stops, two tackles for loss, a forced fumble and a pick. Lavey is averaging eight tackles per game, making him the seventh leading tackler among Big 12 players.
OSU's defense is much more vulnerable against efficient passing attacks as it thrives on mistakes. TCU will need Boykin to threaten as a pocket passer to keep the Cowboys' secondary from creeping towards the line of scrimmage to clog running lanes. If Walsh struggles against the Horned Frogs' elite defense, OSU's home-winning streak will be in serious danger.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Oklahoma State 34, TCU 31
10/16 10:34:17 ET