STILLWATER, Okla. (UPI) — TCU, for all its recent road success, had never won a Big 12 Conference game in the state of Oklahoma.
The No. 16-ranked Horned Frogs picked an opportune time for a breakthrough Saturday, upsetting No. 6 Oklahoma State 44-31 before a sellout crowd of 56,790 at Boone Pickens Stadium.
TCU used a balanced offense and took advantage of four Cowboys turnovers, three by quarterback Mason Rudolph, who saw his Heisman Trophy candidacy likely took a hit.
Horned Frogs running back Darius Anderson rushed for 160 yards and three touchdowns, including a 42-yard scoring romp to clinch the outcome with 2:37 remaining. TCU quarterback Kenny Hill played efficiently, completing 22 of 33 passes for 228 yards with a touchdown.
Rudolph, who entered the game as one of the nation’s top-rated quarterbacks, finished 22 of 41 for 398 yards with two TDs, but lost a fumble and tossed two interceptions.
The Horned Frogs improved to 4-0 overall and 1-0 in the Big 12. Oklahoma State dropped to 3-1 and 0-1.
A double-digit underdog,TCU trailed only briefly before taking control in the second quarter, claiming a major road win that puts last year’s disappointing 6-7 season behind them.
The Cowboys had been 34-7 at home since 2011, with four of those losses coming against Oklahoma and Texas. TCU’s 30-14 road record since 2009 — with seven wins over Top 25 squads — ranked No. 3 nationally. But the Horned Frogs had never won a conference in the state of Oklahoma.
Now they have, and a big one.
Usually, time of possession isn’t a relevant statistic when it comes to Oklahoma State. The Cowboys score and score fast.
Saturday, however, it was telling in a first half dominated by TCU.
The Horned Frogs controlled the ball and the clock, owning a 21:11 to 8:49 advantage in time of possession and a 20-10 edge on the scoreboard.
TCU used more time in marching to field goals on its first two possessions — 9:54 — than the Cowboys were allowed through two quarters.
True to form, Oklahoma State’s one first-half touchdown was a quick strike, with Rudolph hitting wideout James Washington for an 86-yard scoring pass, completing a two-play, 30-second drive, as the Cowboys led 7-6.
But the Horned Frogs surged back ahead.
First, Anderson romped 28 yards for a touchdown to make it 13-7. Then, Hill found wide receiver John Diarse for a 9-yard scoring pass, pushing the lead to 20-7.
Oklahoma State’s one extended drive, lasting 11 plays, resulted only in a 29-yard Matt Ammendola field goal that cut the lead to 20-10.
NOTES: Oklahoma State found itself facing adversity for the first time this season, playing the game without three starters: OL Zach Crabtree (toe) and Larry Williams (ankle) and WR Chris Lacy (shoulder). The biggest blow long-term is Williams, who is lost for the season after suffering a broken ankle in practice during the week. Crabtree and Lacy will return. … TCU was without starting RB Kyle Hicks, out with an undisclosed injury. … The Horned Frogs had scored a touchdown on their first drive of each game this season, while the Cowboys hadn’t allowed a first-quarter point. So, something had to give Saturday. It was the Oklahoma State defense, surrendering two first-quarter field goals.
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