FORT WORTH, Texas – TCU head coach Gary Patterson was confident last Sunday that his team had moved past its heartbreaking 61-58 loss to Baylor.
Saturday against Oklahoma State the No. 12 Frogs proved Patterson correct as they steamrolled the 15th-ranked Cowboys 42-9.
The win by TCU (5-1, 2-1 in the Big 12) came the same day both Baylor and Oklahoma were upset and the Frogs are suddenly right back in the thick of the Big 12 race. While that’s a plus, it wasn’t something the Frogs were thinking about coming into Saturday’s game.
They just wanted to get back to playing the style of ball on both sides that they started the season playing. It was mission accomplished as TCU dominated Oklahoma State (5-2, 3-1) on offense and snapped a streak of games with at least 20 points scored by Oklahoma State at 58 games. They did some in an emphatic fashion as one week after giving up seven touchdowns the Frogs didn’t allow one.
"Nobody flinched," said Patterson, whose 33-point win was the largest for the Frogs in three seasons of Big 12 play. "But that’s really what we’ve done always here at TCU. You can’t last 17 years, 14 as a head coach and not outlast some hard times, some close games, some heartbreaks. You go from the highest high of beating Oklahoma (two weeks ago) to the lowest low of losing like we did last week to coming back and beating Oklahoma State, the 15th-ranked team in the nation."
TCU answered plenty of questions in the rout of the Cowboys too. Anyone concerned about the left (non-throwing) arm injury to junior quarterback Trevone Boykin can rest easy. Boykin, who played the game with protective sleeve on the arm, threw for 410 yards and three touchdowns. The running game that struggled last week rolled up 261 yards as TCU accrued 676 total yards, the fifth-highest total in team history.
And a defense that allowed more than 700 yards to Baylor came back and gave up just 258 yards to an Oklahoma State team that was averaging 420.7 yards a game.
Not a bad way to bounce back indeed.
"Guys knew how to finish this week," said defensive back Kevin White, who had one of the two TCU interceptions. "We saw last week what happened last week when we don’t finish. We made a conscious effort to make sure we finish this week, no slack, no plays off, and finish it and play four quarters."
The Frogs started fast again, scoring three first-quarter touchdowns in less than a five-minute span with all three coming on big plays.
B.J. Catalon’s 34-yard run got the scoring starter and then Boykin hooked up with Josh Doctson on a pair of scoring plays that Oklahoma State never recovered from. He found Doctson in the slot midway through the first quarter and Doctson did the rest, outrunning the OSU defense for a 77-yard score. Three minutes later Doctson bailed out Boykin on a jump ball by getting higher than two defenders and turning the jump ball into an 84-yard score.
It was part of a historic day for the duo. Doctson had seven catches for 225 yards, the second most receiving yards in a game in school history. In a little more than three quarters of work Boykin set a career high for total yards (451 yards).
"Oklahoma State’s a good football team," said Boykin. "Coming into this game we knew it was going to be a fight and that we’d have to play for four quarters. Coming out with a large victory really motivates us a lot going into next week. We really had guys make good plays and Josh had a great first half and a great second half."
So did the TCU defense. Oklahoma State had scoring chances in the first half but was only able to answer touchdowns with field goals. One of the reasons was because Patterson changed up the defense following the loss to Baylor. He said he put too much on his defense against the Bears and he simplified things Saturday.
That made easier for the Frogs but tougher for the Cowboys. Once the Frogs built a 28-9 halftime lead the defense set the tone by limiting Oklahoma State to 51 yards in the second half and two first downs.
It was a big win and keeps the Frogs one game behind Kansas State, which in the lone Big 12 unbeaten. But Patterson isn’t seeing the big Big 12 picture.
"Two weeks ago I had Oklahoma and then I had Baylor and now I have Oklahoma State and now I have Tech (next week)," Patterson said. "If you’re not watching the scores, as close as every team is, my advice to everybody is to try and win the game you’re playing and don’t worry about anything else."