For the fifth time this season, the Oklahoma State offense failed to score 25 points, but for just the second time, it led to a loss for the Cowboys.
Oklahoma State lost 29-22 for its third defeat in the four visits to TCU with the Horned Frogs as a Big 12 Conference program – and the program is 1-5 at TCU dating back to 1990. With the loss, the Cowboys dropped to a 6-3 record.
“Pretty rare game when you score on defense and get that many turnovers to not be able to find a way to win,” Cowboy coach Mike Gundy. “But we just couldn’t muster much offensively. We couldn’t get much stability.”
The Cowboy defense nearly matched the team’s win total with takeaways against the TCU offense.
Oklahoma State forced five turnovers, and had a plus-four advantage with the OSU offense turning the ball over just once.
However, the Oklahoma State offense never took advantage of the turnovers.
The defense scored on a scoop and score by Brock Martin on the first TCU drive of the game, but those were the only points scored off of turnovers by OSU.
“I held my breath, I couldn’t breathe,” Martin said. “I’d never really had the ball in my hands before. It doesn’t happen often for a guy like me, so I’m just blessed that I got that opportunity.”
The best chance for points by the OSU offense off of turnovers came late in the third quarter when the Cowboy defense set up the offense on the edge of the red zone. However, Brady Pohl missed a 37-yard field goal after the offense mustered just three yards.
Most of the damage done by the defense came from Amen Ogbongbemiga.
The senior linebacker forced three fumbles – which was a school record – and came up clutch late in the game to give the offense one more shot to tie the contest.
With TCU looking to milk clock late in the game, Ogbongbemiga stripped TCU quarterback Max Duggan on a first-down play to set up the offense at the TCU 26-yard line with 3:25 remaining.
However, the OSU offense went backwards, losing two yards and going four-and-out to turn the ball back over to the Horned Frogs – who were able to drain nearly two minutes off the clock.
Oklahoma State did have one more shot, starting at its own 25-yard line with 33 seconds remaining and no timeouts. The offense got the ball to midfield and Spencer Sanders heaved a Hail Mary that was batted down at the goal line as time expired.
Some of the struggles down the stretch for the OSU offense came with the loss of star receiver Tylan Wallace at the end of the third quarter.
After hauling in a 55-yard touchdown pass, Wallace grabbed at his right knee after being dragged down in the end zone. He would not return to the game, and the offense would collect just 110 yards on 24 plays (4.6 yards per play) with the only real threat ending with a red zone interception by Sanders on a ball slightly overthrown to 6-foot-7 Cowboy Back Jelani Woods in the end zone.
“It was big because they could load up the box a little bit more, put more pressure on the run game, and at the end of the day, that’s what hurt us,” OSU offensive coordinator Kasey Dunn said of losing Wallace. “We couldn’t run the ball effectively in the second half. We have a lot of things we create off the run game, and we just weren’t able to do it.”
While the Cowboy defense did force five turnovers, some of its issues from the Texas Tech win a week earlier were present again.
A week after giving up nearly 100 yards to two running backs, the run defense struggled once again.
However, it was largely TCU’s quarterback who victimized OSU, rushing for 104 yards on 19 carries with two touchdowns. As a team, TCU ran 52 times for 236 yards, while Duggan coupled it with 12 of 26 passing for 265 yards, one touchdown and one interception.
By contrast, the Cowboys had 148 yards rushing on 40 carries with Dezmon Jackson working as the only tailback – running 29 times for 118 yards and a score, with the remaining rushing coming from Sanders (11 carries, 30 yards).
The Cowboy signal caller also completed 16 of 34 (47 percent) for 270 yards passing with one touchdown and one interception.
Oklahoma State will remain on the road with its next game starting at 6 p.m. next Saturday at Baylor. OSU is 0-3 since Baylor opened McLane Stadium, with the last Cowboy win in Waco, Texas, coming in 2009.