TCU pummeled Oklahoma State in Fort Worth last year by winning 42-9, and was able to pick up its first win against the Pokes since joining the Big 12. That game came a week after the emotional loss in Waco, and the Frogs took their anger out on Mike Gundy's team not allowing the Pokes to find the end zone once. For some reason the Frogs had to play in Stillwater two years in a row, in 2012 and 2013, and were bullied on both occasions. Despite inheriting A&M's unfortunate schedule, there isn't really any bad blood between these two fan bases, so we hollered at the good folks over at Cowboys Ride For Free, and their Managing Editor, Gerald Tracy III (@GeraldTracyIII) was willing to sit down and give his thoughts about these two undefeated teams. If you want to see my flawlessly articulated answers to his questions, all you have to do is take a look at their astounding website.
1) How is everyone over at CRFF and in Stillwater in general, feeling about this weekend's match-up?
People are definitely nervous I'd say. It's a big game. Not as worried as I think they should be, however. The biggest worry anyone is talking about is Boykin. He's a man, but he's not 40. The guy seems unstoppable and our defense is getting banged up enough to be exposed, especially in the passing game. However, a lot of OSU fans are surprisingly sticking with the Cowboys. I think it's a mix of the record and the fact that every game this year, they've been told their team isn't good enough but then they come out and win.
2) Since joining the Big 12, the Frogs have found little to no luck when it comes to playing in the Pickens, with Boykin having less than stellar performances in 2012 and 2013. That being said, what can the Pokes do to keep it close against the new and vastly improved Trevone Boykin?
Hit him early and often. Don't let him get comfortable. He's still a college quarterback, and just like every other one out there, if he's hit from the start, he'll get uncomfortable. If the Cowboys can take his ability to scramble away and force him to try to force it into what can be a pretty good secondary, it could be a good game for the Pokes. However, that's a very hard thing to do against this Boykin, who seems to be a completely different player than the first two times I saw him.
3) As the season has progressed the Pokes have seen more and more of a split under center between Mason Rudolph and J.W. Walsh. Walsh's ability with his legs came in clutch against the Red Raiders and he just appeared to have the hotter hand in the second half, since Rudolph didn't play much of the 4th. Who do you think is going to get the majority of snaps this week?
It'll still be Rudolph. Walsh is a running back who can throw occasionally. I wouldn't be surprised to see some of this "two quarterbacks at once system" that Gundy acknowledged exists this week, which would be awesome. Also, note that Rudolph is so much better at home, I think it'll be Rudolph's game for the most part.
But all year we've said that. It's been Rudolph doing the work and getting the team to the red zone and Walsh finishing it from the 20. So we'll see.
4) TCU, Baylor, Oklahoma State, and OU all play each other in November. However, the Pokes have the most favorable schedule of those teams and get to play all 3 of them in Stillwater. How do you think the Pokes will fair in their final 4 games?
Irrational me says they go 4-0. It's not impossible, either. Baylor with a new quarterback to end the year, TCU with all the unfortunate injuries, Iowa State is better but not sure if they're there yet and OU still lost to Texas so what do we actually know about them? Mix that in with three of those teams coming to what can be a very loud BPS, there's a good argument you can use for OSU to end undefeated.
Then again, as I said about OU, what do we actually know about OSU? What do we know about the Big 12 in general? I think a realistic outlook is 2-2 in the final four and 10-2 overall. Iowa state win and one win against BU/TCU/OU. I'll have a much better understanding of at least one of the other teams after we see Stidham play, though.
5) Does Bob Stoops wear jorts or panties with leg warmers?
Bob Stoops wears jorts and on the other side of his sunglasses it reads "when in doubt, punt twice."
6) Emmanuel Ogbah has been getting hype since the beginning of the season and Mason Rudolph has shown that he can ball with the best of them. On both sides of the ball, who else would you say has really stepped up and become a difference maker?
Jimmy Bean, the other defensive end, is amazing. Kevin Peterson has also been a great defensive back when he's playing. On offense, it's been really amazing to see James Washington when he's on his game. Last week he touched the ball four times and was able to get more than 200 yards. Granted, it was against a really bad Tech defense, but still, amazing.
7) Dez caught it or no?
He caught the ball. I'm not even a Dallas Cowboy fan and he caught that ball.
8) How do you think this game will play out? What do you see the score being when the clock hits 0?
Right now, I've got TCU by about four or five. I'd say 38-34 or something like that. I just don't know that OSU can stop Boykin. Top that with the fact that Peterson and Lampkin, the starting corners, are both hobbling out onto the field each drive, Doctson could have a field day. I think OSU offense could make it a good game, but an injured Cowboy defense just can't hold up.
I want to extend a huge thank you to Mr. Tracy for taking the time to answer the hard questions! After this weekend I'll be rooting for the Cowboys almost every Saturday. If you guys want to go read about what's going on in Stillwater, then head on over to Cowboys Ride For Free.