Stillwater, OK – Oklahoma State scored 36-unanswered points to come back from a 14-point deficit to beat TCU 36-14, in front of 57,183 at Boone Pickens Stadium. The Cowboys were led by true freshman quarterback Wes Lunt who threw for 324 yards with one touchdown and kicker Quinn Sharp who kicked five field goals. The Cowboys defense allowed just 344 yards against the Frogs while creating three turnovers.
It didn’t start off well for either team offensively as both teams struggled to move the football.
The Horned Frogs used their defense to get on the board first with an interception return of 11-yards to put the Frogs up 7-0.
The Frogs defense forced a quick three and out on the Cowboys’ ensuing drive and quickly responded with a 6-play 83 yard drive capped by an 18-yard scoring toss from Trevone Boykin to Ladarius Brown. TCU held the 14-0 lead after the first quarter.
From that point on it was all Oklahoma State.
The Cowboys scored on three of their next four drives on field goals from Sharp from 22, 34 and 30 yards that cut the Frogs’ lead to 14-9 at halftime.
TCU head coach Gary Patterson said his team let off the gas for the second consecutive week.
“For the second week in a row when they turned up the gas, we didn’t finish,” Patterson said. “You’ve got to give Oklahoma State a lot of the credit. On offense when you get your chances you’ve got to make plays. It’s two weeks in a row that in the fourth quarter when people turn it up we just didn’t have an answer.”
TCU defensive end Jon Koontz agreed.
“We definitely came out on top early but then we took our foot off the throttle,” Koontz said. “They made plays and we didn’t.”
The Frogs defense came out strong in the second half forcing the Cowboys to a quick three and out but the Frogs offense was unable to produce a long drive. After the Cowboys forced a punt the offense took over and had a 10-play, 64-yard drive that was capped with a 1-yard run by Jeremy Smith to take a 16-14 lead.
TCU used a 9-play 61-yard drive on their ensuing possession down to the Oklahoma State 14-yard line but a Jaden Oberkrom field goal attempt from 31-yards sailed wide left. The Cowboys wasted little time capitalizing on their next drive as they went 80 yards in just 5-plays that was capped by a Lunt to Charlie Moore 20-yard scoring toss. Lunt completed a 46-yard pass to Blake Jackson to help move the ball in Frogs’ territory.
“You’ve got to give him credit, the guy hasn’t played in four or five weeks,” Patterson said of Lunt.
The Cowboys used another 12-play, 64-yard drive to start the fourth quarter and extended their lead to 26-14 thanks to a Sharp 32-yard field goal.
TCU made the game interesting on a 10-play, 54-yard drive down to the OSU 20 but what appeared to be an incomplete pass from Boykin was ruled a fumble that was recovered by the Cowboys’ Nigel Nicholas. Ten plays later Oklahoma State extended their lead to 29-14 on Sharps fifth and final field goal from 27-yards.
“We just didn’t finish two weeks in a row for our offense,” TCU center James Fry said. “We have to do better for the remainder of the season. Coach Patterson mentioned we quit and it kind of felt like we did. I don’t know if we were just shocked that they came back or we just don’t know how to dig ourselves out from being in a corner. We just didn’t fight back.”
Oklahoma State ended the scoring onslaught with a one-yard plunge from Joseph Randle, who finished with 126 yards on 32 carries.
For the first time in the Big 12 era, Oklahoma State held their third consecutive opponent to under 20 points. It was the first time since 1986 the Cowboys have accomplished the feat in conference play.
Patterson gave credit to the Cowboys defense.
“You have to give Oklahoma State some of the credit. We had our chances and we were in the ball game, but we couldn’t do much with it in the second half except that one drive,” Patterson said. “We missed two field goals while they took care of their opportunities. We only scored one touchdown and that’s not good enough to win in the Big 12.”
West Virginia is next on the schedule for the Frogs and Patterson knows his young team needs to continue to grow and mature to turn end the two-game losing skid.
“We’re a proud program, we’re young and play a lot of young players, what they have to understand that losing is a disease,” he said. “You can do something about it or it spreads. We’ve got good players but we’ve got to grow up and get some guys healthy and ready to play.”
TCU falls to 5-3 on the season and 2-3 in Big 12 conference play.