Saturday, October 27, 2012
With win over TCU, OSU controls Big 12 fate
By Brandon Chatmon
TCU won the first quarter, Oklahoma State won the game.
As a result, the Cowboys control their own destiny in the Big 12 title race.
OSU defeated TCU, 36-14, at Boone Pickens Stadium on Saturday, scoring 36 unanswered points after facing a two-touchdown deficit in the first quarter. At 3-1 in Big 12 play, OSU joins in-state rival Oklahoma as the lone Big 12 squads with one loss and fingers crossed hoping for a Kansas State loss. The Cowboys will play both teams in their final five games and would take the Big title if they win out.
OSU’s win sets up a key Big 12 matchup between the Cowboys and Wildcats in Manhattan, Kan., next Saturday. Unlike the Sooners, OSU doesn’t have to hope for a K-State loss -- it can knock the Cats from the ranks of the unbeaten in their head-to-head matchup. OSU also travels to Norman, Okla., for Bedlam on Nov. 24. Thus, Saturday's victory combines with Texas Tech's 55-24 loss to KSU to put OSU in position to control its fate.
Cowboys quarterback Wes Lunt was shaky early in his return from injury, throwing a interception for a touchdown to TCU safety Elisha Olabode on OSU’s second possession. Lunt, a true freshman, played in his first game since injuring his knee against Louisiana-Lafayette on Sept. 15.
When Lunt finally found his groove in the second half, the Cowboys began to pull away. Lunt seemed to regain confidence after sitting out for over a month -- an encouraging development for coach Mike Gundy's team.
In the first half, OSU had three red zone opportunities and settled for three field goals as Lunt searched for his rhythm. In the second half, the Cowboys scored on five of their six possessions, including three touchdowns before running the clock out on their final drive.
The OSU defense was stellar in the victory, allowing one touchdown to a TCU squad that had scored 53 points in a triple-overtime loss to Texas Tech last weekend. The Cowboys allowed 344 total yards -- 4.8 yards per play -- and were particularly stout on third down, allowing the Horned Frogs to convert just 2 of 14. The Cowboys will need to continue to play defense at that level if they hope to win their second consecutive Big 12 championship.
The loss dropped TCU below .500 in the Big 12 (2-3) with West Virginia, Kansas State, Texas and Oklahoma remaining on its schedule.
To make matters worse for the Horned Frogs, quarterback Trevone Boykin went down with 1:26 left in the game with an left knee injury and was replaced by Matt Brown on their final drive. So TCU could be looking at the roughest stretch of its conference schedule with its third different starting quarterback.