Geoff’s Game Plan vs. Oklahoma State
The 16th ranked Horned Frogs travel to Stillwater, OK to face off with the 6th ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys in the biggest game in the young Big 12 season. The Cowboys have a 15-10-2 edge in the all-time series and the Horned Frogs haven't won in Stillwater since 1991 in the Southwest Conference. The last victory for the Frogs over the Cowboys was in 2014 at home. Can the Horned Frogs get a huge win in Stillwater and put the Big 12 on notice or will the Cowboys let everyone know they are the class of the Big 12? Here are the keys to victory for each team.
Pound the Football
The key to the Oklahoma State offense is balance between the run and the pass. The Cowboys have done a great job through three games of setting up the pass by establishing the run early in games. They love to run up the middle with smaller, quick backs. Preseason All-Big 12 running back Justice Hill leads the Cowboys with 250 yards and three touchdowns. A couple of freshmen, J.D. King and LD Brown have run for 194 and 138 yards, respectively.
Play Action Passing
Once the Cowboys get Hill, King and Brown going in the run game defenses have to start bringing up an extra defender in to the box. This opens up the middle of the field and creates one-on-one matchups for receivers James Washington, Jalen McCleskey and Marcell Ateman. The trio have combined for 38 receptions for 789 yards and nine touchdowns. The Cowboy receivers will test the TCU secondary for 60 minutes.
Make Kenny Hill Beat You
TCU has run the ball 58 percent of the time this season and the emphasis is to have Kenny Hill manage the game rather than try to win it for them. The Frogs will likely be without Kyle Hicks this week so the Cowboys can focus their attention to sophomores Darius Anderson, who leads the Frogs with 286 yards on the ground, and Sewo Oloniliua. The duo have combined for 377 yards and five touchdowns on the season. Kenny Hill struggled last season against the Cowboys throwing for only 166 yards with two interceptions.
Stop the Run
Last year the Cowboys ran for 334 yards against the Frogs with 154 of those yards coming from Justice Hill. The increased size on the defensive line should help fix a major problem from last year. The Frogs are only allowing 92.3 yards rushing per game this season. If they can slow down the running game, they have a good chance of winning on Saturday.
Locate James Washington
James Washington is the most explosive player on the Cowboys. In 2015, Washington gashed the Frogs secondary to the tune of five receptions for 184 yards and three touchdowns in the Frogs worst loss of the season. Last year the Frogs held Washington to just four catches for 27 yards. So far through three games Washington has 13 receptions for 367 yards and three touchdowns. The success of Washington depends on the success of the running game. He thrives off of play action and getting one-on-one matchups with cornerbacks. Find Washington and keep him in front of you no matter the situation.
Protect the Football
Another achilles heel for the Frogs in recent years has been been turnovers. In 2015 they out-gained the Cowboys 663-to-456, but Trevone Boykin threw four interceptions and fumbled once leading to 28 points. In 2016, Kenny Hill threw two interceptions and the team turned the ball over on downs twice. If the Frogs don't give the ball to the Cowboys, we should see a battle in Stillwater.