STILLWATER, Okla. (AP) — TCU felt ignored heading into its matchup with high-powered Oklahoma State.
The Horned Frogs can’t be overlooked anymore. Darius Anderson ran for a career-high 160 yards and three touchdowns, and No. 16 TCU upset the sixth-ranked Cowboys 44-31 on Saturday to stamp the Horned Frogs as a Big 12 contender.
“People can say what they want to say, but we know what we are, and we try to be the best team every day,” TCU defensive end Ben Banogu said. “But you don’t just get there after one big win, it’s throughout the season. If we can keep the ball rolling and keeping doing what we do, then we’ll find ourselves in that conversation.”
Kenny Hill passed for 228 yards for the Horned Frogs (4-0, 1-0 Big 12), who ran 52 times for 238 yards.
“We want to be relevant, you want to win enough to get noticed,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “It was also an advantage that no one was giving us a chance. We play better that way.”
TCU gave Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph time to throw, but he often couldn’t find enough open receivers and settled for short passes or threw the ball away. He completed 22 of 41 passes for 398 yards and two touchdowns, but he threw two interceptions.
James Washington caught six passes for 153 yards and a touchdown and Marcell Ateman caught six passes for 100 yards for the Cowboys (3-1, 0-1).
TCU focused on taking away the deep ball. The Horned Frogs got burned once, on an 86-yard touchdown catch by Washington. But most of the rest of their passes were underneath, and many required precise throws by Rudolph.
“They feed off of it,” Patterson said. “Their energy, they feed off the long ball and the quick play and all of it, so for us, we wanted to make you pay, and that’s really what the group did. We made them drive it. We made them drive it and then anything can happen.”
The Horned Frogs led 37-17 in the fourth quarter before the Cowboys rallied and cut the deficit to six points. Anderson’s 42-yard touchdown run with 2:37 remaining closed the deal.
Oklahoma State committed four turnovers to one for TCU.
“We didn’t play very smart and very disciplined, and really, we got outcoached,” Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said. “I thought that they had better plans, and their players executed their plans better than we did.”
TCU: The Horned Frogs controlled the clock against Oklahoma State’s previously stingy defense for much of the game. TCU ran 85 plays and kept the ball for just over 39 minutes.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys, who had been averaging nearly 200 yards rushing per game, were held to 101 yards on 31 carries. Rudolph, who had emerged as one of the favorites in the Heisman race, took a step back with the loss.
TCU: Winning against a Top 6 team is rare, especially on the road. Add TCU’s reputation and unbeaten record, and the Horned Frogs should get a significant boost, possibly into the Top 10.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys will likely fall out of the top 10. Though TCU is a good team, Oklahoma State doesn’t have a quality nonconference win to soften the blow.
“We’re ready to win again,” Oklahoma State safety Ramon Richards said. “We’re ready to win. That’s our mindset, regardless of any game, whether we win or not. We always come prepared and ready to win.”
Anderson’s three touchdowns against Oklahoma State were a career high.
“He made some cuts, did some plays, and I told him to keep his nose down because it’s a long season,” Patterson said.
His final touchdown was on a read play.
“They were like, if it’s not clear totally, give it to him and let him go because he was toting it today,” Hill said.
Oklahoma State trailed 37-24 and was driving when receiver Jalen McCleskey threw an ill-advised pass that TCU’s Nick Orr intercepted at the TCU 5 with 6:06 to play.
Gundy said right guard Larry Williams will miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury. An Oklahoma State spokesman said Williams was injured in practice during the week.
TCU: The Horned Frogs have a bye before hosting West Virginia on Oct. 7. The Mountaineers rolled past Kansas 56-34 on Saturday.
OKLAHOMA STATE: The Cowboys play at Texas Tech on Saturday. The Red Raiders are undefeated and just beat Houston 27-24 on the road on Saturday to snap the Cougars’ 16-game home win streak.
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