Since 2011, Oklahoma State has won 3 of four games by an average margin of victory of 18.6 points per game. Last year the Cowboys won by 20 points and knocked the Horned Frogs out of contention from the college football playoff. TCU is coming off of a bye week in preparation for this game. TCU is sitting at 5-4 and looking to become bowl eligible while Oklahoma State controls their own destiny for the Big 12 title.
The Cowboys are averaging 41 points per game and have had a balanced attack rushing for 148 yards per game on the ground and passing for 348 yards per game through the air this season.
Quarterback Mason Rudolph has engineered an offense that looks to pass first and stretch opposing defenses vertically on every down. Rudolph is a very accurate passer that has completed 65% of his passes for 3,384 yards with 24 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. If given the time, Rudolph can pick apart opposing secondaries and will look for the home run ball early in the game to set the tempo for the Cowboys.
The offensive line is very critical in this match-up because they have struggled against active defensive fronts this year. Entering this game, the unit has allowed 27 sacks through 10 games and will face an aggressive Horned Frog defense that will bring pressure off of the edge.
Running back Justice Hill leads the team with 789 rushing yards averaging 5.0 yards per carry with five touchdowns. Hill is a slashing runner that can work between the tackles as well in moving the chains for the Cowboys.
Wide receivers James Washington and Jalen McClesky are possible the best duo in college football. Both players have combined for 118 receptions for 1,852 yards with 16 touchdowns. Washington is the speedster that can take the top off the defense while McClesky is a young version of Torry Holt (N.C State, St. Louis Rams) that is not afraid to work the middle of the field on dig routes.
Defensively, the Cowboys are allowing 29 points per game and had a very solid game plan last year against TCU in Stillwater that forced the Horned Frogs offense to methodically work down the field. The unit is allowing 196 rushing yards per game and is giving up 254 yards per game through the air this season.
The Cowboys enter this game +1o in turnover margin, however, the team is +10 in turnover margin at home and -2 on the road. They will need to force turnovers this weekend to get the win.
Oklahoma State has recorded 26 sacks and has held opposing offenses to 38% of their third down conversions this season.
The offense is averaging 37 points per game and is rushing for 196 yards on the ground per game while passing for 314 yards per game this year.
Quarterback Kenny Hill has shown glimpses of greatness, but has lacked consistency each week with his reads and progressions in the passing game. On the year, Hill has completed 61% of his passes for 2,694 yards with 14 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. Hill is a mobile runner that can put pressure on the edge of the Cowboys defense when he breaks contain. He has rushed for 330 yards with 7 rushing touchdowns this season.
Running back Kyle Hicks is leading the team with 789 rushing yards averaging 6.0 yards per game with 12 touchdowns. Hicks is a deceptive runner that runs bigger than his size and is not afraid of contact. TCU will need Hicks to keep the Cowboys defense off balance on Saturday and take the pressure off of the offensive line in pass protection.
Wide receiver Taj Williams leads the team with 33 receptions for 643 yards with 5 touchdowns.
Defensively, TCU is allowing 29 points per game and is giving up 148 rushing yards per game along with 262 passing yards per game to opposing offenses.
TCU has recorded 34 sacks and the extra week of preparation should allow head coach Gary Patterson the opportunity to come up with a defensive game plan to put pressure on Mason Rudolph.
In order to get the home win, TCU must keep Oklahoma State in third down and long situations and force the Cowboys to become one dimensional in critical downs.
TCU enters this game -2 in turnover margin.
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