The Horned Frogs have been bad in Stillwater since joining the Big 12, winning just once in one of the league’s most menacing environments. With both teams coming off of the high of an upset win, this showdown in Stillwater looks much more appealing than it did a week ago. We spoke with Micah Allen of Cowboys Ride For Free to talk all things Gundy, BPS, and Chuba.
Frogs O’ War: Mike Gundy and Gary Patterson are the two longest-tenured coaches in the Big 12 by a wide margin, with a bunch of fresh faces making big impacts across the rest of the conference. Much like the Frogs, the Cowboys have been a little up and down this season -- do you sense any frustration from the fanbase about the state of the coaching, or are people will to let the Mullet write the end of his own story in Stillwater?
Cowboys Ride For Free: We have a mixture of both. We have fans that are to the point that if something doesn’t change and soon they’re ready to see him go. However, most know that no matter how much they want it to, that’s not gonna happen. If I’m remembering correctly he’s got two or three more years left on his contract. OSU isn’t gonna want to pay that buyout unless something goes horribly horribly wrong. You also have the fact that what snazzy hire could they get right now? Fans wouldn’t be happy replacing him with just anyone.
FOW: TCU Football has struggled in Stillwater, winning just once at Boone Pickens Stadium since joining the Big 12. Is there some bad juju there, or has it simply come down to OSU being the better team when these two match up?
CRFF: I mean BPS can be a tough place to play. The Paddle People and all the fans being so close to the field is kinda terrifying. I think sometimes that was just something hard for TCU to overcome. There have been years where OSU was the better team though, I feel like it partially has to do with the fact that when TCU has had years where they struggled, they happen to play OSU in Stillwater. Look at 2014. the Frogs stomped the Cowboys in Fort Worth. But then in 2015 the Cowboys won big in Stillwater. I don’t know I think i’m going with bad juju.
FOW: Chuba Hubbard has been unbelievable in 2019, averaging over 170 yards per game and 5.7 yards per attempt. He seems, quite simply, unstoppable. What does he do so well, and how are the Cowboys maximizing his abilities?
CRFF: He’s sooo fast. He’s got some power to him as well. You have have him tackled and he can break away and he’s off to the races. If a back gets behind they pretty much had 0 chance of catching up with the Canadian Speedster. What OSU has done to maximize this is getting their O-line in a position where he can get some decent protection and just getting him the ball. Running plays where he’s able to get holes to come through has been big.
FOW: The strength of Oklahoma State’s football team has generally the receivers, but outside of Tylan Wallace, not a single receiver has accumulated 250 yards on the season. Have guys not developed as expected or is this the growing pains of a first year quarterback?
CRFF: This is 100 percent growing pains of a first year QB. He’s comfortable with Tylan and when he gets covered Spencer hasn’t learned how to make another play quite yet. Dillon Stoner is a good player and when him and Jordan McCray get the ball good things can happen it’s just a first year QB. The coaches also are a bit skittish with Spencer airing it out at this point and you can look as his interception numbers and see why.
FOW: Let’s talk a little more about that first year quarterback. Spencer Sanders, at times, has reminded people why he was such a highly-tout recruit. At others, he has looked every bit a redshirt freshman. At Iowa State, he was really solid - making a couple of big plays and generally avoiding the big mistake. Is this the start of him figuring it out, or what are folks hoping to see in the next stage of his development?
CRFF: I think he’s growing up. The biggest thing for me is him learning how to hold on to the football. I can live with some interceptions, that happens to even the most experienced QB. What annoys me is running with the football 2 feet away from you and fumbling it. That didn’t happen as much on Saturday which for me is progress. As long as he’s making progress I think that’s what people want to see. He’s gotta make better reads in the next step as well. Lean on other receivers and not just Tylan.
FOW: Talk a little bit about your defense -- it seems as if it has been boon or bust in 2019. TCU’s offense has been suspect; do you expect the Cowboys to be able to contain the Frogs’ rushing attack and fluster their true freshman QB in a tough road environment?
CRFF: You’re exactly right with boom or bust. They’re starting to come together though. I really like Malcom Rodriguez and Amen Obongbeminga. Those guys have been a workhorse for this defense. Oklahoma State has had an issue this year with running backs so I do worry about that. However I don’t expect them to let Duggan sit in the pocket as he pleases and think they’ll be in his grill.
FOW: Give us a player or two to watch on both sides of the ball that we may not know much about.
CRFF: Offense: MATT AMMEDOLA DESERVES THE PRAISE! He’s been good this season and our special teams is lightyears better than last year. On defense, Kolby Harvell-Peel broke up six passes last week so look out for him.
FOW: And finally, what’s your prediction on what does down Saturday afternoon? Who gets the win and how do they do it?
CRFF: It’s gonna be a good game. These teams are both riding the big win waves and will be on a high. These team will play each other close. That being said, I just think OSU has the talent around Sanders to win this game. 45-35 Pokes.