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Cox’s Notebook: OSU’s Defense Couldn’t Do it Alone

Emptying the notebook after an eventful but ugly performance



[Pool photo by Sharon Ellman]

I’ve already laid out my 10 Thoughts on Oklahoma State’s 29-22 loss to TCU. Here’s the rest of my notes from an ugly but eventful game.

  • Opening drive three-and-out for the Pokes.
  • We can complain about Mike Gundy’s recruiting, but Zach Evans is the first five-star recruit ever at TCU.
  • Duggan is starts 2-for-2 on third-down conversions with his legs against the best third-down defense in the Big 12.
  • Rodarius Williams set a record with 48-straight starts at OSU after missing some practice with a foot injury. Having him is huge.
  • Malcolm Rodriguez ripped the ball from the Evans, and Brock Martin scoops the loose ball and lumbered 42 yards to pay dirt. OSU up 7-zip. That’s consecutive weeks with a defensive score after Tre Sterling’s pick-six against Texas Tech.
  • TCU comes in winning three of four but played a front-loaded schedule with Iowa State and OU in the first four weeks.
  • Teams TCU has beaten are a combined 10-22 and teams that defeated the Horned Frogs are 22-12.
  • Dez Jackson picks up a nice 26-yard run to kickstart a drive.
  • Spencer Sanders dropped a dime into Landon Wolf’s mitts that he couldn’t reel it in. He would have strolled into the end zone.
  • Sanders’ designed run was quickly diagnosed by Derius Davis who nails in for a loss, unblocked. Cowboys punting again.
  • Thomas Harper breaks up a would-be first down. That’s a fumble and two three-and-outs for TCU. We’ll see if OSU’s offense can put some points on the board to help out its defense.
  • Tylan touches the ball for the first time on OSU’s third drive, just two yards.
  • Jackson is the motor that drives this offense. The line seems to be working as one unit.
  • Sanders evaded defenders long enough for Stoner to get free and hits him for 29 yards to the TCU 5-yard line. Sets up a Dez TD.
  • Dez Jackson has four TDs (could have had 5) in two games. Chuba has five on the year.
  • Ugh, missed extra-point attempt for (looks at program) Ben Freehill. That’s the first stat for the freshman.
  • TCU’s offense is rolling now.
  • Max Duggan escapes pressure and lobs a teardrop to his RB to convert on third-and-6.
  • On third-and-3, Israel Antwine knifed through the TCU front for the stop to force a field-goal attempt. Defense came to play. TCU will have to wait until the second to kick it.
  • Wide right. The clock iced him.
  • Dez is running through big holes.
  • Spencer takes a shot to Tylan who almost made one of those TYLAN plays. Coulda been a DPI, but I like them stripes letting them play so far today. Drive stalls.
  • Jarrick Bernard-Converse also could have been flagged on a deep-ball to Taye Barber. Again, they’re calling it loose both ways.
  • Jelani Woods just crossed that dude out of his cleats, picks up 46 on third down.

  • OSU is knocking on the door, but a big Dez run is negated by a holding call on Josh Sills that Dusty doesn’t like. Pokes stall and now Brady Pohl is in to attempt a 42-yarder. It clangs off the upright.
  • Goalpost 2, Oklahoma State 0
  • TCU pitch eaten up by Tre Sterling — third-and-3.
  • Duggan fumbles an exchange and has to scoop it up. The Cowboys tackle him for a loss to force another punt.

  • Now I’m for them letting them play, but they are letting them play. Tylan was getting assailed on that play. Pokes gotta punt.
  • After Cam Murray gets a huge sack to plant Duggan at the 6-yard line, Duggan hits Quentin Johnston for 58 yards after a broken tackle.
  • After the big play, OSU’s front stuffs the Frogs with consecutive TFLs. But Duggan converts on third-and-long.
  • And then Thomas Harper hauls in a beaut of an interception. That’s a back-breaker for TCU. OSU starts at its own 2.
  • Are we to a point where teams should stop trying to pump-fake defenses offsides? Maybe come up with a trick play where you play off of those expectations. I dunno.
  • Duggan threw a career-high three interceptions against OSU last year. Looks like he’s trying to match that total. He almost threw his second pick in three throws. Bernard-Converse had hands on the ball in the end zone.
  • They keep taking shots and this one lands. Derius Davis hauls one in at the 1-yard line for a 31-yard gain. Tre Sterling comes up limping on the play.
  • Replay reviewing the catch. There’s a bobble, but he maintained control. First-and-goal at the 1 for TCU.
  • Duggan sneaks into the end zone. T.J. Storment picks up a flag for this. I’ll have to check with Seth Duchworth, but I think Brock Martin should get points for this takedown.

  • Pokes have 37 seconds and start on the 37-yard line.
  • Spencer hits Braydon Johnson for 28 yards to get into FG range. Pohl back in for a 31-yard attempt. Gouda. Pokes take a 16-7 lead into halftime.
  • Tre Sterling not out to start the third quarter after coming up limping on his right leg in the second quarter. Big loss for OSU’s defense, especially the way he was playing early.
  • OSU keeps Duggan just short of making the first down. Will bring up fourth-and-about a foot. Duggan converts it with a keeper.
  • Duggan picks up another first down on a designed run, this time on third-and-3.
  • Scratch that, Duggan was down short after review so is another fourth-and-1. TCU will obviously go for it.
  • Proved to be a good decision. Duggan pulls it on the zone play and scampers 42 yards for a score.
  • After giving up 4-of-5 on fourth downs to Tech last week, TCU is a perfect 2-for-2 on fourth downs today.
  • And that might have been the quickest three-and-out in OSU history. Pokes give the ball back to the home team only up 2 with nine minutes to go in the third, and with none of the momentum. OSU needs its defense to get a stop.
  • And the Frogs are hopping right down the field. It took less than three minutes to gain 68 yards and 7 points. Frogs leap the Pokes to take a 21-16 lead on Senior Day.
  • OSU’s defense was on its heels for that entire possession. The offense needs to put together an extended drive to at least give its D a breather.
  • Cowboys facing a quick third-and-9 then Spencer Sanders hits Tylan Wallace and just makes the first down.

  • Another review. This one was close but should stand.
  • Stands. That was a huge play. Just OSU’s ninth first down in 10 drives.
  • Those chunk plays for Dez Jackson haven’t been there since the first quarter. TCU’s front is filling those holes.
  • Spencer throws one behind Braydon Johnson on third-and-6. At least the Pokes’ defense got a little breather. Let’s see if the group can rebound after another empty offensive possession by OSU.
  • And just like than. There’s two ways for your defense to get off the field after one play, and this is the one you want.
  • #WTIB

  • The review crew is earning its cash today. Stands. Huge play for the Cowboy defense.
  • Sanders had Tylan open in the end zone but was a step behind and throws it out of the end zone. OSU gonna have to settle for 3.
  • Brady Pohl shanked it. That’s 7 points OSU has left on the field thanks to missed kicks. OSU apparently brought one phase of its game to Fort Worth.
  • Calvin Bundage is my favorite OSU player, maybe ever. HUGE sack on third-and-10.
  • Defense gets a big stop and then trots off the field with fingers crossed that the offense can pay it off. Rinse. Repeat.
  • Never had a doubt.

  • That won’t give the defense much of a break, but I don’t think they’ll complain.
  • TCU returner Darwin Barlow just kicked the pylon on a KO return and pins his team at its own 1-yard line.
  • Another call reviewed. Another ruling stands.
  • Duggan throwing it from his end zone, and the officials finally throw some laundry. Christian Holmes picks up a pass interference to dig TCU out of the hole.
  • Duggan takes off again to pick up 28 yards and finish the third quarter.
  • OSU is able to get the stop after Duggan overthrows his speedy wideout Mikel Barley.
  • Sanders kicks off the drive with a nice play to Landon Wolf. Picks up 26.
  • Tylan on the sidelines still after being shaken up on the TD.
  • OSU trying to run clock up a point with over 11 minutes left. Let’s flippin’ go. ?
  • Sanders got blasted on that run. I’d rather take a chance on actually getting a first down that expose your starting QB to get clocked like that with little chance of success.
  • Duggan just crossed up Tanner McCalister. ?
  • OMG another one. Amen Ogbongbemiga gets his second strip. OSU has forced and recovered three fumbles.
  • And the replay booth pages down and wants some more attention.

  • That’s incomplete. Call confirmed.
  • Another turnover by OSU’s offense is answered with a short drive and a quick punt. The only points off four turnovers were Brock Martin’s scoop-and-score.
  • Duggan spun away from Trace Ford. Dude’s a baller.
  • Duggan finds Quenton Johnston, but his foot is on the sideline. This one won’t be reviewed. (Never mind, but call confirmed.)
  • Duggan hits Derius Davis for a 71-yard score. Davis got behind Kolby Harvell-Peel, and it was over. Frogs convert the 2-point conversion and it’s 29-22 in favor of the home team.
  • OSU’s offense will, in fact, have to contribute for OSU to win a Big 12 game.
  • This is a good start.

  • And the crew states Tylan has a lower extremity injury. Said he was pointing to his right knee. Not good.
  • After an 11-yard run and flip, Spencer takes off down the sideline into the end zone. It was originally called a TD, but he stepped on the line.
  • A DPI against Tay Martin gives OSU a first-and-goal at the 2, but a holding call pushes the Pokes back to the 12.
  • Sanders had Jelani Woods in the middle of the end zone for the could-be tying score, but the pass is blown up by Ar’Darius Washington. The ball was tipped off Woods’ hands, and Trevon Moehrig was there to pick it off.
  • Once again, OSU’s defense has to get a stop and fast to keep the season alive.
  • A jet sweep to Taye Barber gives TCU a first down and closes the door even more the Cowboys’ chances.
  • AMEN

That’s three strips by No. 7 today. Just, wow.

  • One last chance for the Pokes offense to do SOMETHING.
  • And this isn’t it.
  • OSU’s defense gets TCU into third-and-14, and the Pokes are out of timeouts. Any chance the Cowboys have to pull this out comes down to this play.
  • A jet sweep for Davis. When he is surrounded by white jerseys he takes a knee to eliminate any chance of another OSU strip. TCU will run down the clock before punting. 45 seconds left.
  • Okay, OSU has 33 seconds to go 75 yards, without any timeouts or any Tylan.
  • Sanders ball is tipped, but Tay Martin makes a great play on the ball and reels it in. A review of that catch gives OSU’s offense an extra timeout.
  • OSU might get two plays here. Incomplete to Wolf.
  • Say your prayers, here’s to a Hail Mary.
  • That’s it. The Pokes lose and are out of the Big 12 title race. TCU earns a nice comeback win on Senior Day.

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