No. 16 TCU upsets No. 6 Oklahoma State
STILLWATER, Okla. — TCU, for all its recent road success, had never won a Big 12 game in the state of Oklahoma.
The No. 16-ranked Horned Frogs picked an opportune time for a breakthrough Saturday, upsetting No. 6 Oklahoma State 44-31 before a sellout crowd of 56,790 at Boone Pickens Stadium.
“I love playing here,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “It’s the first time we won here, and I love playing here.”
TCU loved the result. The Horned Frogs used a balanced offense and took advantage of four Cowboys turnovers, three by quarterback Mason Rudolph, who saw his Heisman Trophy candidacy likely absorb a hit.
Horned Frogs running back Darius Anderson rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns, including a 42-yard romp to clinch the outcome with 2:37 remaining. TCU quarterback Kenny Hill played efficiently, completing 22 of 33 passes for 228 yards and a score.
Overall, the Horned Frogs rushed for 289 yards.
“I feel like we have a lot of (of confidence),” Anderson said. “The fact that they trust us helps us to keep working and keep pushing so we can stay on the run game, because we know we excel in that area.”
Rudolph, who entered the game as one of the nation’s top-rated quarterbacks, finished 22 of 41 for 398 yards and two scores but lost a fumble and tossed two interceptions.
“I wish I had the turnovers back, for sure,” Rudolph said.
The Horned Frogs improved to 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the Big 12. Oklahoma State dropped to 3-1 and 0-1.
A double-digit underdog, the Horned Frogs trailed only briefly before taking control in the second quarter, claiming a major road win that puts last year’s disappointing 6-7 season behind them.
Oklahoma State had been 34-7 at home since 2011, with four of those losses coming against Oklahoma and Texas. TCU’s 30-14 road record since 2009 — with seven wins over Top 25 teams — ranked No. 3 nationally.
But the Horned Frogs had never won a Big 12 game in the state of Oklahoma. Now they have, and a big one.
“We wanted to be relevant,” Patterson said. “Our program has had our times when we’ve been relevant, and that’s what you want to do. You want to win enough ballgames that people take notice.
“It was also an advantage for us that no one was giving us a chance. We play a lot better like that. Always have and always will.”
Usually, time of possession isn’t a relevant statistic when it comes to Oklahoma State. The Cowboys score and score fast.
On Saturday, however, it was telling in a first half dominated by TCU.
The Horned Frogs controlled the ball and the clock, owning a 21:11 to 8:49 advantage in time of possession and a 20-10 edge on the scoreboard.
“They did a good job maintaining the ball,” Cowboys coach Mike Gundy said. “Time of possession is usually a non-factor for us, but this game it was big early.
“They did a good job with the run. They rushed for 238 yards — way too many. In the big picture, in most cases, if you don’t defend the run very well, you’re kind of on your heels.”
TCU used more time in marching to field goals on their first two possessions (9:54) than Oklahoma State was allowed through two quarters.
True to form, Oklahoma State’s one first-half touchdown was a quick strike, with Rudolph hitting wideout James Washington for an 86-yard score, completing a two-play, 30-second drive as the Cowboys led 7-6.
But the Horned Frogs surged back ahead.
First, Anderson romped 28 yards for a touchdown to make it 13-7. Then Hill found wide receiver John Diarse for a 9-yard scoring pass, pushing the TCU lead to 20-7.
Oklahoma State’s one extended drive, lasting 11 plays, resulted only in a 29-yard Matt Ammendola field goal that cut the lead to 20-10.
NOTES: Oklahoma State found itself facing adversity for the first time this season, playing the game without three starters: OL Zach Crabtree (toe) and Larry Williams (ankle) and WR Chris Lacy (shoulder). The biggest blow long term is Williams, who is lost for the season after suffering a broken ankle in practice during the week. Crabtree and Lacy will return. ... TCU was without starting RB Kyle Hicks, out with an undisclosed injury. ... The Horned Frogs had scored a touchdown on their first drive of each game this season, and the Cowboys hadn’t allowed a first-quarter point. So something had to give Saturday. And it was the Oklahoma State defense, surrendering two first-quarter field goals.