It wasn’t meant to be for TCU, who came into the game ranked eighth in the year’s initial college football playoff rankings. OSU, also undefeated and ranked 14 in the CFP poll, jumped out to an early lead and used several big plays in the passing game to put TCU away.
The Frogs’ defense allowed five touchdowns through the air, as Mason Rudolph picked apart a young secondary and James Washington caught three touchdown passes of over 45 yards.
Head coach Gary Patterson took the blame for the defense.
“I can’t blame anybody but myself,” Patterson said in the postgame press conference. “Part of my job is to stop the other team.”
TCU out-gained OSU by over 200 yards and ran 110 plays to the Cowboys’ 53, but the stats don’t paint an accurate picture of how effective the OSU offense was.
Every OSU scoring drive took five plays or fewer. The Cowboys scored on plays of 48, 50, 12, 82, 1 and 74 yards offensively, and added a 42 yard interception return for a touchdown defensively.
Senior TCU safety Derrick Kindred said that the loss wasn’t a result of being caught off guard by Rudolph’s arm.
“We know guys are going to take shots on us, so it’s just about us going out there and executing,” Kindred said. “[Rudolph]’s a good quarterback, he didn’t surprise me at all. That’s what we should expect from an 8-0 team.”
Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy said that his team took advantage of single-coverage on receiver James Washington, who had three long touchdown receptions.
“We felt like we had an advantage with the way they were defending us and singling [Washington] up,” Gundy said. “He’s certainly got the ability to run down the field and get open.”
Heisman candidate quarterback Trevone Boykin had issues with the Cowboy defense throughout the game. He threw four interceptions for the first time in his career.
Boykin said postgame that the loss affected him hard.
“I wear my heart on my sleeve and put everything I have on the field,” Boykin said. “When stuff like this happens, it’s a huge disappointment.
“You go through your senior year, and you try to be perfect, and one stumble feels like everything just collapsed on you,” Boykin said.
Adding injury to insult was the loss of wide receiver Josh Doctson, a Maxwell Award semi-finalist and Boykin’s favorite target, who left the game in the second quarter with an apparent injury to his left wrist.
Patterson said that Doctson had not been X-rayed.
Although Patterson said the mood in the locker room was “terrible” following the loss, he said he’s not worried about his team’s ability to regroup.
“When you’ve been around for a while, the sky’s not gonna fall,” Patterson said. “You’re gonna write the sky is falling, and I’m gonna try to beat Kansas next week. That’s how I’ve stayed here 18 years.
“The key to it is — okay, maybe the playoffs are out of it. But you can beat Oklahoma and Baylor, and you can have one loss and you can beat Kansas. Now you’re 11-1, and someone else can make that decision.”
TCU finished with 663 yards of total offense. Boykin threw for 445 yards and one touchdown to go along with four interceptions. The Frogs gained 218 yards on the ground, led by Aaron Green with 97 yards and a touchdown.
Boykin added 86 yards rushing, including two touchdowns.
Freshman receiver Shaun Nixon was a bright spot for the Frogs. He finished with 146 yards on nine receptions, including a 70-yard bomb from Boykin that put TCU in scoring position.
For OSU, Rudolph threw for 352 yards and five touchdowns on only 24 attempts. Washington, his primary target, finished with 184 yards on five catches, an average of 36.8 yards per catch.
The Cowboys only had 92 yards on the ground, led by Raymond Taylor and Rudolph, who each had 30.
OSU linebacker Chad Whitener picked off Boykin twice and ran one back for a score with :44 seconds left on the clock. He also had 12 tackles.
Oklahoma State led 28-9 at the half. TCU had the ball in Cowboy territory several times early on, but a missed field goal and a failed fourth-down conversion left the Frogs in a tough position at the break.
Kicker Jaden Oberkrom had his first extra point attempt blocked. His first-quarter field goal tied him with Colorado’s Mason Crosby for the most career made field goals in Big XII history at 70.
OSU got the ball to start the second half and TCU forced a punt, but a Boykin interception gave the Cowboys the ball at the goal line, and J.W. Walsh punched it in one play later.
The Frogs scored on their next drive on a Boykin run to make it 35-16 with 8:56 remaining in the third quarter.
The next OSU drive would prove to be the dagger, however, as Rudolph found Washington on the second play of the drive for a 74-yard touchdown pass that put the game essentially out of reach halfway through the third quarter.
TCU mustered two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to get within 13 with 2:28 remaining, but Whitener’s interception of Boykin for a touchdown put the nail in the coffin.
The loss moves TCU to 8-1 (5-1) on the year. Oklahoma State goes to 9-0 (6-0) on their season.
The Frogs play again next Saturday against the Kansas Jayhawks at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.
Oklahoma State will travel to Ames to take on Iowa State next week before hosting Baylor at Boone Pickens Stadium.
The attendance for the game was announced as 59,061 people, the sixth-largest crowd in the stadium’s history.