Gary Patterson had the right game plan, and his players executed it to near perfection. The Frogs relied on good Kenny Hill, a potent ground attack, and an angry defense to pull off the upset.
Oklahoma State couldn’t offset its offensive woes by shutting down TCU. Horned Frogs running backs Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua churned out 198 yards and four touchdowns on the ground, and quarterback Kenny Hill kept Oklahoma State’s D honest by hitting 22 of his 33 throws for 228 yards.
The Horned Frogs didn’t need to go supernova to cool off the Cowboys and their red-hot offense. Instead, they did a good job keeping Rudolph and Co. off the field. TCU avoided a three-and-out until midway through the fourth quarter and held the ball for 38:43, compared to Oklahoma State’s 20:56.
The Frogs played like the team with something to prove. And then they went out and proved it. That’s the Gary Patterson way.
TCU ran for three touchdowns and more than 200 yards, dominated time of possession and got four turnovers — three out of Heisman trophy candidate Mason Rudolph — in executing an ideal plan to take a 44-31 victory against No. 6 Oklahoma State in a clash of Big 12 leaders Saturday before a sellout at Boone Pickens Stadium.
Darius Anderson went over 100 yards rushing and scored three times — including a victory-sealing 42-yard burst — and Kenny Hill threw a touchdown pass as the No. 16-ranked Horned Frogs (4-0, 1-0) remained undefeated and gained a leg up in the conference race, hurdling one of the key contenders with their first victory at Oklahoma State as a member of the Big 12.
TCU won’t be overlooked much longer, and Kenny Hill seems to be earning the respect of the pundits once again. And for good reason - he’s been awesome.
After obliterating their first three opponents, the Cowboys entered the weekend as double-digit favorites over No. 16 TCU and as a trendy pick for the playoff, thanks to senior signal-caller and budding Heisman front-runner Mason Rudolph and his array of electric receivers.
Hill was the better quarterback on Saturday, however.
And TCU's relatively anonymous secondary outplayed Oklahoma State's hyped receiving corps.
All game long, the Oklahoma State defense had little answer for Hill, who methodically gashed the Pokes for 228 passing yards while keeping Rudolph off the field and out of rhythm.
Hill was especially lethal on key downs, completing 8 of 11 passes for 108 yards on third downs, which resulted in seven conversations and were a big reason why the Horned Frogs doubled up the Pokes in time of possession.
Oklahoma State has the talent to run the table from here, but they have plenty of issues to address. TCU, on the other hand, has the win under its belt to begin to think its a contender.
Coming into the season, the big question mark with Oklahoma State was its defense. The Cowboys didn’t let TCU QB Kenny Hill get too much done through the air — 222 yards, one touchdown and an interception — but their tackling was poor and TCU were the far superior team in the trenches.
It’s obviously early in the season, but TCU showed in this one that the Big 12 will not be a two-team race. Oklahoma is clearly the conference’s top squad thus far, but the Horned Frogs have enough talent on both sides to make some noise as the season progresses.
He’s just got that look about him this year, like he knows something we don’t and he can’t wait for us to figure it out.
Patterson: 'We didn't listen to anybody when they didn't give us a chance. We're not going to listen to anybody now that we're any good.'
Gundy is good, but Gary is better. And Gary has his kind of team to make him look good, too.
“We want to be relevant,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said after the game. “You want to win enough to get noticed. It was also an advantage that no one was giving us a chance. We play better that way.”
Oklahoma State (3-1, 1-1 Big 12) had faced little resistance in its nonconference slate this season, routing Tulsa, South Alabama and Pittsburgh by a combined score of 162-52. But in TCU (4-0, 1-0), the Cowboys faced a team that played with passion and precision.
“We didn’t play very smart and very disciplined,” Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said, “and really, we got outcoached.”
This was... SO... DUMB.
The Cowboys had more yardage (and yards per play), but TCU controlled the ball for almost 40 minutes and road 14 points off turnovers to a 13-point win.
The Cowboys showed some pluck in a fourth-quarter comeback bid, after they’d trailed 37-17 with 12 minutes left to play. The most glaring missed opportunity down the stretch was this interception thrown not by OSU QB Mason Rudolph, but by receiver Jalen McCleskey on a trick play attempt gone wrong.