Frogs Look to Play Spoiler to OSU
FORT WORTH—On Saturday morning, the TCU Horned Frogs host the Oklahoma State Cowboys at Amon G. Carter Stadium. For the Cowboys (8-2, 6-1 Big 12 Conference), currently ranked No. 11, the goal is simple — win and remain in contention for the conference title.
Mike Gundy’s Pokes have won six straight conference games and four of their last five against the Frogs. But due to previous scheduling quirks, the Cowboys, 2-1 on the road this season, haven’t won in Fort Worth since 1947.
OSU brings its high-powered offense which features a passing attack averaging 348 yards per game, sixth-best in the nation, to Fort Worth to face a pass defense allowing 262 passing yards per game, 101st in the nation. Despite that glaring discrepancy, Gundy isn’t taking Gary Patterson’s Frogs lightly.
“They’re a good team. They’ve got a good coaching staff,” Gundy said on his weekly radio show earlier this week. “(Patterson) has been there a long time and is a good football coach. They always have speed and traditionally play well on defense. They’re a good football team.”
TCU (5-4, 3-3), who had last weekend off after blitzing Baylor 62-22 at Waco’s McLane Stadium on November 5, needs one more win to become bowl-eligible. And the Frogs would love nothing more than to spoil the Pokes’ aspirations of remaining in contention for the Big 12 title.
On paper, stopping the vaunted OSU offense appears a tall order. But it was Patterson who devised a great game plan to stifle the Texas Tech Air Raid offense, the Big 12’s best, on October 29. The Frogs’ defensive strategy forced Tech to run the ball, which the Red Raiders did effectively in what was a 27-24 double-overtime win for the visitors.
Patterson didn’t underestimate how potent that Tech offense was through the air, and he also won’t short sell the OSU air attack.
“A very good Oklahoma State team coming to Fort Worth,” Patterson said to open his weekly press conference on Tuesday. “Offensively, they’ve got a lot of weapons. Quarterback’s playing well. Wide receivers, they don’t just have one, they got two or three. Really they have three or four [guys] that can carry the ball, depending on the situation.”
OSU might have the No. 3 scoring offense in the Big 12 at 41.3 points per game, but there are several numbers which skew heavily toward the Frogs that show this game should be anything but a blowout. For one, TCU ranks second in the conference in total defense at 407.4 points per game and they also rank fourth in scoring defense at 29.2. And if oft-maligned Frogs signal caller Kenny Hill brings his A-game on Saturday, then he could exploit an OSU pass defense which has allowed 2,545 yards through the air, fourth-most in the Big 12.
TCU won the last meeting between these Big 12 bunkmates in Fort Worth, 42-9 in 2014. This one should be much closer and if the Cowboys are to leave town with a win, it will be a victory they will definitely have to earn.