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No. 8 Oklahoma State will be on the road Saturday at No. 13 TCU in a battle of the Big 12’s last two remaining undefeated teams and conference championship game implications on the line. The Cowboys outlasted a feisty Texas Tech team 41-31 last week behind 18 unanswered points, with quarterback Spencer Sanders posting 353 total yards and three touchdowns.
TCU followed up its massive win over Oklahoma with a 38-31 victory over No. 19 Kansas. The Frogs, which trailed 17-10 early in the third quarter, scored a go-ahead touchdown with just 1:36 remaining. Wide receiver Quentin Johnston had a breakout game with 14 catches for 206 yards and a touchdown in the back-and-forth shootout.
The last time these two teams played, Oklahoma State crushed TCU 63-17, handing the Frogs their worst loss in the history of the series. The Cowboys rushed for 447 yards and eight touchdowns against a putrid Frogs defense, including 134 yards and two touchdowns from running back Dominic Richardson.
Date: Saturday, Oct. 15 | Time: 3:30 p.m. ET
Location: Amon G. Carter Stadium — Fort Worth, Texas
TV: ABC | Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free)
Quarterback battle: Sanders and TCU quarterback Max Duggan have quietly been two of the most explosive players in the nation. Sanders ranks No. 10 in total offense at 327 yards per game, while Duggan ranks close behind at No. 19 with 301.8 ypg, despite beginning the season in a reserve role. Both players are on the periphery of the Heisman conversation after leading their respective teams to undefeated starts, and they can make some real moves toward national recognition with a big performance.
Fast improvement: TCU averaged just 5.3 wins per season over the past three years, but it already has five wins five games into the Sonny Dykes era. Dykes and his staff have simplified the game and allowed the impressive playmakers on TCU’s roster to just go out and execute. The last three games — at SMU, vs. Oklahoma, at Kansas — were big, emotional games with national attention. However, TCU has handled the moment well and given itself a chance to reach bowl eligibility halfway through the season. The bulk of the Big 12 schedule remains ahead, but the Frogs deserve credit for finding a plan of attack so quickly.
Dynamic passing: Oklahoma State leaned heavily on the ground game during its run to the Big 12 Championship Game in 2021, but Sanders and the receiving corps have taken center stage in 2022. Four different receivers have at least 200 yards, with Braydon Johnson leading at 360 yards on 21.2 yards per catch and three touchdowns. Running back Richardson also has 14 catches of his own, so the Oklahoma State pass offense will spread out TCU’s defense and force it to make plays in space.
TCU has been one of the best stories this season, but Oklahoma State is a different kind of challenge. The Cowboys are deep, physical and equally as well-coached. Oklahoma State’s defensive line is good enough to cause problems for a shaky TCU offensive line, especially against the tackles. It will be a close game, but Oklahoma State will pull off the betting upset. Prediction: Oklahoma State +3.5
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