FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Oklahoma State running back Chris Carson bulled through one defender and then broke two tackles for his touchdown. Chris Lacy almost dragged another TCU player into the end zone on a long catch-and-run that set up another score.
After running all over TCU in a 31-6 victory Saturday, the Cowboys will be playing for the Big 12 championship in their next game. They have won seven in a row since losing their conference opener at Baylor.
“It’s just been a great stretch for us,” said Mason Rudolph, who ran for two touchdowns and threw for another score. “It’s a good position to be in.”
The Cowboys (9-2, 7-1, No. 11 CFP) became the first team with two 100-yard rushers against TCU since 2007. Freshman running back Justice Hill (154 yards on 16 carries) and Carson (146 yards on 17 carries) combined for 182 yards after halftime when Oklahoma State added to a 10-6 lead.
“I told our team that in 2006-07-08-09, that’s how we used to finish games. That’s what we were known for around here a long time,” coach Mike Gundy said. “It makes it a lot easier for me to sleep when we know we can run the ball.”
And it’s a big reason the Cowboys, who finished with 334 yards rushing and 541 overall, can become Big 12 champions if they beat eighth-ranked Oklahoma in their regular-season finale after an open date.
Oklahoma State scored on its only two drives in the third quarter to go ahead 24-6. Carson had his bruising 19-yard TD run and Rudolph scored on a 2-yard keeper after a 63-yard catch-and-run by Lacy , who dragged a defender almost 15 yards before finally being brought down.
“I was just trying so hard to drag him into the end zone,” said Lacy, inspired by Carson’s hard-running style. “I was trying to do the same thing. He just brings some physicality to the team and it’s spreading.”
TCU (5-5, 3-4) had a chance to take the lead in the final minute of the first half after a 40-yard run by quarterback Kenny Hill . But Kyle Hicks took direct snaps in a wildcat formation on consecutive plays from the 1, getting stopped short on a third-down run and then overthrowing an open receiver.
The Frogs, who have two more chances to get bowl eligible, suffered their most lopsided home loss in their 16 seasons under Gary Patterson. It was Patterson’s 200th game as head coach.
“We definitely got our butts kicked. It was embarrassing,” said Hicks, who was held to 47 yards on 25 carries after he had 192 yards and five TDs against Baylor in TCU’s previous game. “You just have to make sure you bounce back next week and be more prepared.”
Oklahoma State: Gundy and the Cowboys won their only Big 12 title five years ago. And they weren’t going to be denied a chance at another. After their last two wins by a combined seven points, the Cowboys responded with 31 unanswered points following TCU’s only score. Rudolph is 21-5 as their starting quarterback.
TCU: There were more designed runs as expected for Hill (eight carries for 79 yards), but he threw two interceptions. The Horned Frogs were coming off a 40-point win over Baylor in their previous game two weeks ago, but reverted back to the kind of inconsistent play that hampered them in losing three of four before that and escaping Kansas with a one-point win.
HE SAID IT
“I’m not even mad. I’m embarrassed because we got our butt kicked. Simple as that. I’m not just talking about the players. It’s our job as coaches to find the answers. I’m embarrassed for them and for me,” Patterson said.
Lacy had four catches for 109 yards, including a 3-yard TD in the first quarter that put Oklahoma State ahead to stay. That score was set up by his leaping 30-yard catch with both hands extended over his head before he came down with a foot in bounds.
Oklahoma State could move up a spot or two , but is in position to make a significant move in the final poll of the regular season if it wins that game and the Big 12 title.
Oklahoma State finishes the regular season with Bedlam at No. 8 Oklahoma on Dec. 3.
TCU goes to Texas on Friday.