No. 6 Oklahoma State has not been challenged this year, winning their first games against Tulsa, South Alabama and Pitt by a combined score of 162-52. The Cowboys’ prolific quarterback Mason Rudolph is averaging 387.3 passing yards per game and ranks second nationally with 11 touchdown passes. He’s connected on 72.3% of his throws for 1,135 yards
In last week’s mauling on the road in Pittsburgh, four of his receivers surpassed the 100-yard plateau as he passed for 497 yards and five scores.
Despite the fact that Rudolph has been resting comfortably on the bench in the fourth quarter of every game thus far, Oklahoma State has one of the most explosive offenses in the country while averaging 607 yards per game. And they’re scoring at a ridiculous clip of 54 points per contest.
Oklahoma State quarterback Mason Rudolph set a Cowboy school record by throwing for 423 yards and five touchdowns in the first half Saturday afternoon against Pitt. Rudolph completed 20 of 28 passes in a half that included 49 Oklahoma State points.
Running backs Justice Hill, J.D. King and La’Darren Brown are averaging 6.8, 6.5 and 7.3 yards per carry respectively.
And the Cowboys’ depth and talent at the receiver position is deeper than the mind of astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson. That unit is led by the utter ridiculousness of James Washington, one of the best and most consistent deep threats in the college game over the last three years. His started the year with a career average of 19.2 yards per catch and 26 career touchdown receptions.
Through three games, the future NFL stud is averaging 28.2 yards per catch, with 13 receptions for 367 yards and three touchdowns, the longest of which went for 77 yards.
On Saturday afternoon at Boone Pickens Stadium in Stillwater, in their first conference matchup of the season, they should see some form of resistance in No. 16 TCU.
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Both squads walk in undefeated at 3-0.
The Cowboys were expected to be this good, with many observers picking them as a dark horse candidate to snag a playoff spot this year.
But the Horned Frogs, despite their lofty ranking, which some don’t feel is quite deserved at this point, will have to prove they belong among college football’s best. Their 28-7 win at Arkansas two weeks ago was impressive.
With SMU scoring 36 points against them last week, the question that begs asking is how their defense is going to handle an offense like Oklahoma State, that swings on every possession with the viciousness and effectiveness of Gennady Golovkin?
In order to win, one thing’s for certain. They’re going to have to score a boatload of points. And they’ll present the Cowboys with something they’ve yet to see this year – a real defense.
Horned Frogs senior QB Kenny Hill, the Texas A&M transfer who started for the Aggies as a freshman before deciding to leave College Station, has connected on 75% of his passes for 737 yards and eight touchdowns thus far.
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At his best, he is a debonair playmaker extraordinaire. At his worst, he looks like Kenny from South Park, destined to lead his team to an unfortunate ending.
TCU runs the ball very well, with Kyle Hicks, Darius Anderson, Sewo Olonilua, and Kennedy Snell all averaging over five yards a carry. Hicks rushed for over 1,000 yards last year, Anderson leads the running back corps with 6.2 yards per carry and Olonilua and Snell are a supreme combo of thunder and lightning.
Snell is quicker than a hiccup and only needs a slice of daylight the size of a malnourished supermodel to break free towards a breathtaking open field scamper. Olonilua is a battering ram.
The Horned Frogs player to keep your eyes on is the diminutive, electric junior KaVontae Turpin. The 5-foot-8, 150-pounder astounded with his big-play capabilities as a true freshman. Last year, injuries slowed him down. I’m hoping that we can see him at his best this year, and specifically this weekend. Thus far, he’s been more of a possession receiver, but it’s only a matter of time before he does something that makes you delirious enough to mistakenly slap your grandma.
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TCU has playmakers on both sides of the ball, and they’ve got a shot to give Oklahoma State a real punch in the mouth. Their defense is good. But they’ll need to go from good to great in a hurry to thwart the offensive firepower of that Cowboys offense.