Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for TCU. Senior wide receiver Josh Doctson, a Maxwell Award semifinalist, left the game with an arm injury near the end of the second quarter, OSU has locked down Trevone Boykin’s other options, and Cowboy quarterback Mason Rudolph has thrown for four touchdowns on just 13 attempts.
Rudolph has had time in the pocket to make the throws he wants, and he connected with wide receiver James Washington on two long touchdown passes in the first quarter that looked to be identical plays.
Boykin, meanwhile, has been severely limited. The Heisman candidate has 241 yards passing, but has found trouble in the red zone, and has yet to throw for a score.
Boykin also threw an interception on a route into the flat on TCU’s second drive of the game.
The Horned Frog ground game has been next to nonexistent, with the exception of a few dazzling Boykin runs, one of which provided the team’s lone touchdown. TCU has only 83 yards rushing on 22 attempts.
The Cowboy defense has held strong on big downs. TCU is 3-10 on third down conversions and 1-2 on fourth downs.
OSU has only faced 5 third downs in the game. The Cowboys have scored in five plays or less on every touchdown drive they’ve had.
Doctson’s injury occurred near the two-minute mark of the second quarter. The receiver hauled in a short completion before landing awkwardly on his left arm, and stayed down on the field before being walked back to the sideline with the training staff.
Penalties have also been a problem for both teams. Each team has had 5 calls against them, most of which came in the first quarter.
The Horned Frogs elected to receive the opening kickoff, but went three-and-out on three consecutive Boykin incompletions.
The Cowboys punted on their opening drive as well, but Rudolph found Washington on their first touchdown pass on the drive following Boykin’s interception.
TCU scored with 6:28 left in the first quarter after an impressive drive, but Jaden Oberkrom’s extra point was blocked.
The Cowboys scored a touchdown on their next drive on the second Washington touchdown catch, and TCU answered with an Oberkrom field goal to make the score 14-9 with 3:24 remaining in the quarter.
That field goal put the senior kicker into a tie with Colorado’s Mason Crosby for the most career made field goals in Big XII history, at 70.
Those would be TCU’s last points of the half.
Rudolph threw for touchdowns on OSU’s next two drives, and the Cowboy defense stifled the normally explosive Horned Frog offense.
TCU was able to hold OSU to a punt on the next drive, and began to march down the field before Doctson’s injury killed the drive’s momentum.
Oberkrom missed a 49-yard field goal attempt with :49 left on the clock, and OSU let time expire to go into the locker room with a lead.