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Five Thoughts on Oklahoma State’s Loss to TCU

The Cowboys saved their worst for last

Oklahoma State v TCU Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

The Oklahoma State Cowboys brought a frustrating 2018 regular season to an end on Saturday with a 31-24 loss to TCU.

It was the worst performance of the year in a season full of bad ones. The Cowboys allowed a beat up and inept TCU offense to put up 31 points with both sides of the ball contributing to the loss. It really was an awful game to watch and one that will leave a bad taste in the mouth of the Cowboys’ players and fans until the bowl game.

Since I don’t think anyone wants to spend a lot of time reliving the game, we’re going to keep this week’s thoughts a little shorter than usual.

This team REALLY missed Justice Hill this week.. and JD King.

The team has gotten by the past couple of weeks without Justice Hill. This week though? They could have really used him. Chuba Hubbard is the future of the running back position for the Cowboys, but after a fantastic peformance against West Virginia the week before, Chuba was unimpressive against the Horned Frogs.

He racked up just 42 yards and one touchdown on 13 carries and was a liability in the passing game. His decision making was questionable at times, making the wrong reads and moves.

Hill’s would have been better looking for those openings, being patient for them, and being aware of what the defense was giving him.

Also, the Cowboys could have really used J.D. King. I like LD Brown, I think he’s a nice back, but there’s a reason he was essentially the fourth string. As many times as the Cowboys wanted to run it up the middle, a strong back like King would have been really useful in those situations.

Let’s talk about the roughing the kicker penalty.

I saw some people on twitter after Logan Carter went after the punt and ran into the kicker, asking why OSU was even going after the ball.

It was the right call by the coaches to go after the kick. If you’d been watching, OSU looked like they were going to get there to block one multiple times. It’s part of why TCU punter Adam Nunez ran to the right and made a kick that went off his foot wrong. Had Carter not hit him, OSU would have had great field position.

You go after the kicker to try and affect the way they kick the ball. Yeah, it was another penalty on the special teams that extended a drive, something we’ve seen too often this year. The decision was right, the execution by Carter was wrong.

Where is the discipline?

Penalty costs Oklahoma State a touchdown.... is something we have seen all season. Honestly, when the first touchdown to Tyron Johnson was negated by a penalty and OSU had to settle for a field goal, you knew immediately what kind of game it was going to be. Oklahoma State went into half time with three penalties for 41 yards. They added another three penalties and another 35 penalty yards after that.

Of the penalties, the ones committed by the special teams are embarrassing. Numerous times we’ve seen the defense make a huge stop, only to gift the ball back to the opposing team because of a ridiculous mistake.

The other issue? Chopped blocks. How do those keep happening? Seriously? I realize this isn’t OSU’s best offensive line, but the same penalty continuing to happen game after game is just unforgivable.

At this point in the season, we have to point a lot of the fingers at the players. We’ve talked about this ad nauseam this season, and about the lack of vocal leaders on the field, but you can’t blame the coaches here. You know Gundy is harping on them in practice. And yet?

I hope there are players for 2019 that are ready to step up and be vocal leaders on the field. If not, this won’t change.

That was the worst half of football we’ve seen from Oklahoma State this season.

At the half, Oklahoma State had 56 total yards of offense and 41 penalty yards. There was really nothing positive to say about the offense in the first half. The best play, a touchdown throw to Tyron Johnson, didn’t count because of an offensive PI call on Tylan Wallace.

In fact, OSU had more drives with negative net yardage (4) in the first half than drives with positive net yardage (3).

As much as we have to give some credit to TCU’s defense for taking Hubbard and Wallace away, and as much blame as we have to throw at the feet of Taylor Cornelius, who played like he did in the Kansas State game again, this is one of those games that anti-Yurcich fans are going to point to until he’s gone.

What was with all of the laterals and swing passes? Why was LD Brown getting run up the middle three times in a row? Or for that matter, at all?

Also, if I never see another backwards pass by an Oklahoma State quarterback, it will be too soon. Despite one turning into a TD for TCU, Yurcich still called another one later in the second half that did... you guessed it... nothing!

Like most of Oklahoma State’s losses this year, there are a lot of people to point fingers at for why the Cowboys were so bad. And that really is the problem.

What is this team?

I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like this team in my life.

3-2 vs. ranked teams with the two losses by a combined seven points.

3-4 vs. unranked teams, including by 19 to Kansas State (5-7) and 24 to Texas Tech (5-7).

At this point, OSU fans should HOPE that the Cowboys end up facing a ranked opponent in whatever bowl they play in. That’s unlikely since they’ll probably head to the Armed Forces Bowl in Fort Worth, but seriously.

I don’t know that I’ve seen a time with as high of highs and as low of lows. Gundy coached OSU teams are generally consistently good against bad teams and “okay” against the really good ones.

Even national writers took notice after the game.

All I know is that I have zero idea what to expect in the bowl game and will likely feel the same way going into 2019.

Bonus Notes:

  • This was the moment the game ended.

Oklahoma State had finally started putting things together on offense, scoring 14-straight points to get within seven. Then... the defense made a huge mistake. There were a lot of moments in the game where it felt like it was over for Oklahoma State. This was the one where you just knew it wasn’t OSU’s night.

  • We, and I do mean the fans, are really going to miss Justin Phillips next year. His 12 tackles in the game were the second most in a game in his career, and there were some fantastic ones. I really hope we get so see a few more highlight makers in the bowl game.
  • The White-White-Black uni combo is great. But the brand on the helmet makes it fantastic. That helmet deserves to be worn a LOT more often.
  • Why does it seem like every time A.J. Green has a great game, he follows it up with a bad one? If there is one thing he needs to work on for 2019, it’s consistency.
  • TCU started the second half with one offensive snap and 14 points. So... not great.
  • I said last week that it was really important for OSU to get to a bowl game. The one other reason that I left out; keeping OSU’s 12-year run of winning seasons going.