The Big 12 couldn’t have dreamed of a better match-up than TCU at Oklahoma State on the opening weekend of conference play. The Horned Frogs are having a bounce-back year from a disappointing 2016 and more than willing to throw their hat into the conference championship race. They’ll have to get past an Oklahoma State offense that is putting up video game type numbers though and that, my friends, is a great reason to tune into this one.
Oklahoma State leads the Big 12 in scoring at a pace of 54 points per game, and TCU is just behind them with an average of 49 points per game. Defensively TCU has a slight edge, allowing their opponents just 14.3 points per game. Oklahoma State is pretty salty as well though, giving up just 17.3 points per contest.
This has all the makings of a terrific college football afternoon in Stillwater.
What To Know About The TCU Defense
Opposing quarterbacks are completing just 45.3% of their passes against TCU for an average of 172.7 yards per game. The Frogs have given up three touchdowns through the air in their first three games, but have also nabbed three interceptions. Senior linebacker Travin Howard has one of the three picks and shares a team-high 18 tackles with Montrel Wilson. TCU has recorded eight quarterback sacks on the season, and a fourth of those belong to junior defensive end Ben Banogu who leads the team with four tackles for loss.
On the grounds opponents aren’t finding much success either. TCU is the only Big 12 school giving up less than one hundred yards per contest. The Frogs are allowing their opponents just 2.7 yards per carry and 92.3 rushing yards per game. TCU has allowed just two rushing touchdowns on the season and have forced four fumbles.
What To Know About The TCU Offense
Balance is the key to a good offense because balance is incredibly difficult to defend. Of the 507 yards of offense the Frogs put up per game, 277 comes through the air and 230 is made up on the ground.
Quarterback Kenny Hill is posting a 75% completion percentage and is averaging 8.77 yards per attempt. He has thrown 8 touchdown passes this season, to two interceptions, and has a QBR of 175.4.
A total of 17 TCU players have caught a pass this season, but Hill’s favorite targets have been Desmon White and Jalen Reagor. Both have accrued 126 receiving yards on the season with White leading the team in total receptions (9) and touchdowns (2).
In the rushing attack, sophomore running back Darius Anderson is a key factor in TCU’s success. The 5-11/205 bowling ball type back is averaging 6.2 yards per carry and has a team-high three rushing touchdowns. He’s complimented by Kyle Hicks who is averaging 5.6 yards per carry.
Oklahoma State is going to score points in this game, there’s no doubt about that, but how many are they going to give up. The first three games have been nothing but stat padding for the OSU defense. Tulsa had no idea who their starting quarterback was going to be until game time, South Alabama’s quarterback was injured on the first possession of the game, and Pitt’s Max Browne struggle from the start of the season and was finally replaced midway through last week’s game.
That won’t be the case this Saturday. Kenny Hill and TCU will bring the most explosive, and balanced offense, the Pokes have seen this season. For the first time the Cowboys will be facing an offense that is capable of moving the ball and keeping the OSU offense on the sideline. The challenge the OSU defense faces in containing TCU’s defense will by far be the biggest challenge the Cowboys face on the day.