Frog 5: Thoughts on TCU-Oklahoma State
A quintet of observations from the weekend that was for TCU Football.
by Caroline Collier '98 and Rick Waters '95
Updated: Monday, October 20, 2014
Defensive tackle Davion Pierson pressures Oklahoma State quarterback Daxx Garman. The TCU defense did not allow a touchdown in a 42-9 rout of the Cowboys. (Photography by Sharon Ellman)
The Horned Frogs were hosting Oklahoma State for the first time since 1992 and first as a Big 12 foe. The game was supposed to be TCU football’s last contest in a grueling three-game stretch against Top 15 opponents. The Cowboys entered the game atop the conference with a 3-0 league mark, but by the time it was over, the Frogs had emerged as the Big 12’s strongest contender. The offense rolled up 676 yards, fifth-most in program history, behind career days from quarterback Trevone Boykin and receiver Josh Doctson. Equally impressive, the Frog defense kept OSU out of the end zone for the duration and held the Cowboys without a pass reception in the second half. Concerns about a hangover from last week’s excruciating loss to Baylor were answered with resounding fury.
Five things that stood out from where we sat:
1. The Angry Frogs are the Danger Frogs
Some TCU fans fretted about whether the team might fold after last week's heartbreaker. Not so. Instead, they intensified the battle. This squad is starting to exhibit the special kind of character we hoped it would. The guys took out their frustration with precise routes, merciless blocking and spectacular plays. Poor OSU. And poor Baylor for failing after having to run with the Danger Frogs last week. No sympathy here, though.
2. Smells like team spirit
We could list everyone who played well right here, but we should just give kudos to everyone on the team. These guys have no quit, embodied in Trevorris Johnson’s running like a mad hornet at the end of the game. Kudos to the entire team for playing as a cohesive unit on both sides of the ball. With everyone performing solidly in his role, the schemes work, and work well. The offense has moved from 106th in total yards after 2013 to 6th right now, despite having just played three Top 15 teams. Defense? Brutal as usual. Just ask OSU, who couldn't complete a pass in the second half.
3. You say Ta-hey-da, I say Texada
"Young Rant" not only has the most mellifluous name on the team (Texada - how cool is that?), but he is also the face its resilience. Bryce Petty beat him a few times last week with perfectly placed deep balls, but Texada stepped up on Saturday and was instrumental in the fact OSU didn't score a single touchdown. Playing corner in the Big 12 is no easy task, especially as a freshman, but this guy is emerging onto the big stage with ease and heart. Salute.
4. Too many stars
Still trying to decide which TCU player deserves the Heisman. B.J. Catalon continues evolving into a feature back who has the intuitive sense about when to stall and when to burst for a big gain. Josh Doctson, who we knew could jump through the roof, turned on impressive blazers en route to the second-highest yard total ever for a TCU receiver. And then there is Trevone Boykin, who went from scrambling for his life last year to being the most collected dude in town this year. He made 400 yards look downright easy. Guessing his detractors from previous seasons are now wearing their lucky No. 2 jerseys to every game. Don't know how the Heisman committee is going to decide, but the winner has to be a Frog, right?
5. Easy to get carried away
Okay, yes, a dominant win in which No. 15 Oklahoma State looked more like the Wyomings of yesteryear is a good reason to be excited. And with Baylor and Oklahoma going down, the Frogs are right back in the thick of the conference championship hunt and perhaps consideration for a playoff berth. Yes, of course they still need to win one more to even be bowl eligible. Crushing Texas Tech in the "Riff Ram vs. the Riff Raff" game next week is next up on the to-do list, but why contain this excitement? The 2014 Frogs are as thrilling and as full of potential as any recent TCU team. And one thing is certain: anyone who gets to be a fan this season is an exceptionally privileged person. The fun is back in Frogtown.
And here are five stats that put the game in perspective:
1. TCU improved to 16-15 against ranked opponents in 14 seasons under Coach Gary Patterson. From the beginning of the year, Patterson had been talking about this three-game stretch in October that would show what his team was made of. They went 2-1, but there’s no time to rest
easy. Ranked foes No. 22 West Virginia and No. 11 Kansas State are on the November horizon. And perhaps we’ll stop worrying about hangovers and letdowns after losses. With the 42-9 rout of Oklahoma State, TCU upped its record to 29-11 in games following a loss in the Patterson era.
2. For the first time in its history, TCU had a 400-yard passer (Trevone Boykin), 200-yard receiver (Josh Doctson) and 100-yard rusher (B.J. Catalon) on the same day. Boykin totaled a career-high 451 yards of total offense (410 passing, 41 rushing), while completing 26-of-39 passes with three touchdowns. His 410 yards passing is fourth-best in program history. Doctson’s 225 yards receiving marks the second-best single-game total in TCU history. (Jimmy Young’s 226 against Wyoming in 2008 is most.) Catalon’s 102 yards rushing on just 10 carries was only his second game over the century mark in his career. His first half touchdown runs of 34 and 35 yards gave him a team-high eight rushing scores this season, surpassing the total (six) from his first two years combined.
3. TCU’s 676 yards of offense ranked fifth all-time in school history and is the most since the Horned Frogs rolled up 694 at San Diego State on Nov. 24, 2007. Who would have thought the Frogs would rank fifth nationally in points per game (45.2) and seventh in yards per contest (538)? And while having to punt on its opening drive for the first time this season, the Frogs jumped to a 14-0 lead for the sixth time in six games in 2014.
4. With two sacks and two picks against the Cowboys, TCU has had at least one sack and one interception in eight straight games, the longest streak in the nation. The TCU defense also halted Oklahoma State’s 58-game streak of scoring at least 20 points, dating back to the start of the 2010 season. The Frogs limited the Pokes to just 258 yards of total offense, marking the fewest yards for the Cowboys since Nov. 28, 2009, against Oklahoma.
5. The 33-point margin of victory was TCU’s largest since joining the Big 12 in 2012. Patterson has long said that it would take three to five years for the Frogs to build the depth they need for the weekly grind of the Big 12. Three years might be right. Over the past three games against Top 15 foes, the Frogs have scored the most they ever have against Oklahoma (37), Baylor (58) and Oklahoma State (42).