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Oklahoma State vs. TCU Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Oklahoma State at Texas Christian

Here is everything you need to know about the Oklahoma State Cowboys home game against the TCU Horned Frogs with our preview and prediction.

Broadcast Info

Date:  Saturday, September 23rd, 2017  |  2:30 PM CT  |Boone Pickens Stadium, Stillwater, Oklahoma

TV: ESPN (Steve Levy, Brian Griese, and Todd McShay)

Radio: Cowboy Radio Network: Dave Hunziker, Dave Holcomb, and Robert Allen

Horned Frogs Radio Network: Brian Estridge, John Denton, Kyle Crews

Satellite Radio: Sirius (108); XM (199); Internet (953)

Internet Radio: http://okla.st/osutunein

Fun fact: It’s a homecoming of sorts for some of the Horned Frogs’ coaching staff. TCU defensive coordinator and safeties coach Chad Glasgow was a three-year letterman (1991- 93) at linebacker for Oklahoma State. He was also a graduate assistant (1994-95) under former head coach Bob Simmons. TCU running backs coach Curtis Luper played at Oklahoma State (1984-87) before returning to Stillwater as a Cowboys’ assistant coach (2005-08).

 

Key Players

TCU Horned Frogs

QB Kenny Hill

Hill is an absolute playmaker…… sometimes.  His career, which started at Texas A&M before he transferred to TCU, has been equal parts fireworks and frustration for Horned Frog fans. He has single handedly won and lost multiple games for his team. There’s Good Kenny Hill and Bad Kenny Hill, and the swings are drastic!  This season he’s been more steady, managing the game instead of trying to win it himself which has helped keep him out of trouble.  He needs to be Good Kenny and keep his head straight against the high powered Cowboy offense. If he lets himself get sucked into a big play shootout with Cowboy QB Mason Rudolph things might get ugly fast.  If Hill can trust the system, let his stout running attack paired with Gary Patterson’s defense control the game and avoid the unnecessary heroics of Bad Kenny he may just pull off the upset.

TCU running backs

Where their opponent this week has too many receivers, TCU has too many running backs.  Kyle Hicks, Darius Anderson, Sewo Olonilua, and Kennedy Snell are all quality players and each have a different style of running.  They all have at least one touchdown this year, and all average over five yards a carry.  With last years 1000 yard rusher Hicks a game time decision the depth they have is suddenly important.  Anderson has toted the rock the most this season with 42 carries, and also has the highest per carry average at 6.2 yards, but Olonilua and Snell might be the most important in this match up.  At 6 foot 3 and 225 lbs Olonilua can punish the Cowboys aggressive linebackers and wear them down.  The freshmen Snell is a speedster and is dangerous in the open field.  One missed tackle on a jet sweep, a problem OSU has had on the edges, and Snell is gone.  Add in Kenny Hill’s ability to scramble and the Oklahoma State front seven might have a long day chasing ball carriers.

 

Oklahoma State Cowboys

RB J.D. King

The true freshmen has proven himself invaluable by being willing to drop his shoulders and run into the middle of a pile for three hard yards, something starter Justice Hill doesn’t do very well.  With the trending defensive game plan against OSU being to load the box to try and pressure and sack Rudolph those tough yards are important.  While Hill will probably have the flashier stat line King may end up having more carries, and more important ones.

WR Dillion Stoner

Last game versus Pitt OSU was down two receivers.  Tyron Johnson didn’t make the trip due to suspension and Chris Lacy dinged his shoulder on the first possession.  Being down two starters would cause a lot of problems for most teams, but the story this season has been Cowboys have an embarrassing amount of quality wideouts and Stoner helped prove that Saturday.  He had 100 yards and a touchdown on just five catches playing mostly in the slot. Expect him to get more playing time moving forward, starting this weekend.

LB Calvin Bundage

Bundage is barely controlled chaos. He does everything at 200% percent effort.  While this is lauded by his coaches it sometimes causes him issues.  If he makes a bad read he runs so hard at it he can’t recover when he realizes his mistake.  He missed the first half of the Pitt game due to a targeting call after he crushed a South Alabama running back.  Look for TCU offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie to try to find a way to use Bundage’s gusto against him to get him out of position.

 

Key Storylines

TCU Horned Frogs

Gary Patterson prides himself on coaching defense, so the question beckons: can he slow down the Cowboys?  Against Pitt OSU looked like the best offense in college football but TCU should prove a bigger challenge than the Panthers did.  It’s a must that the head coach schemes up a way to slow down the Cowboy big strike air attack.  On the other side of the coin is if Kenny Hill and company can score enough to win against an improved defense in Stillwater.  The offense needs to hit on all cylinders from the opening kickoff.  A quick start is important against a team that holds a 59-0 scoring advantage in the first quarter so far this season.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

After a step up in competition last week the Cowboys didn’t disappoint, but how will they fare with a giant leap up?  TCU is the real deal!  They are a top 15, well coached team with playmakers all over the field.  After meeting almost no resistance for the first three weeks how will the Cowboys respond if TCU punches them in the mouth?  College kids are just that, kids.  And this week there has been a lot of talking heads going on about how good the boys in Stillwater are, including a leap to number six in the polls and some serious Heisman love for Mason Rudolph.  If Mike Gundy’s team is going to meet the lofty expectations the suddenly have they’ll have to stay focused.

 

Prediction

Oklahoma State 48, TCU 27

The last two meetings have been one sided affairs with OSU winning convincingly with offense in 2015 and playing outstanding defense in 2016.  TCU dominated on defense on the road at Arkansas but the Cowboy attack is a different kind of animal than the three yards and a cloud of dust offense the Razorbacks run.  Against SMU’s spread attack the Horned Frogs gave up 36 points and 463 yards, including 339 yards passing.  I expect that to continue against the Cowboys.  Mason Rudolph and his receivers are in another class than SMU’s guys and they have another big day.  They go up early and Kenny Hill tries to do too much to keep his team in it, leading to turnovers.  James Washington goes for 150 plus and three touchdowns.

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