Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-1 SU, 3-3 ATS) vs. TCU Horned Frogs (4-1 SU, 4-1 ATS)
College Football Week 8
Date and Time: Saturday, October 18, 2014 at 3:00PM EST
Where: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
TV: Fox Sports 1
by Scott, Football Handicapper, Predictem.com
Point Spread: OKST +8.5/TCU -8.5
Over/Under Total: 61.5
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Saturday features a key Big 12 matchup, as the 15th-ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys come into Fort Worth to face the 11th-ranked TCU Horned Frogs. Oklahoma State is coming off a 27-20 road win at Kansas on Saturday. TCU, meanwhile, lost their unbeaten record in a painful come-from-behind win by Baylor in a 61-58 shootout. They will need to lick their wounds quickly, as a talented Cowboys team with a lot of momentum now comes into town.
Oklahoma State opened the season with a narrow 37-31 loss to top-ranked Florida State and has since rebounded with wins over Missouri State, UTSA, Texas Tech, Iowa State, and Kansas last week. Saturdays win over KU was their only non-cover of the year and its safe to say the supposed falloff hasnt really taken hold this season. The defense, which was supposed to take a huge step back this season, has actually been quite serviceable.
TCU has also done better than what was initially projected. Their first 3 wins over Samford, Minnesota, and SMU were expected. But in their 4th game, the Horned Frogs scored a major upset in beating 4th ranked Oklahoma, 37-33. But their bid to beat two top-five teams in consecutive weeks came to painful end against Baylor.
TCU held a 51-37 lead over Baylor with 11 minutes remaining, only to see the Bears mount an incredible comeback to win by 3 points. TCU allowed 782 yards of total offense, including 510 to Baylor QB Bryce Petty. On one hand, Baylors offense is explosive and beating two top five teams in consecutive weeks is asking a lot of TCU, but it was doable and TCU frankly blew it. One has to wonder if they enter this game a bit crestfallen or if they can hold up playing such a tough stretch of games, even though theyve only played 5 so far.
Contrast that with the Cowboys, who have been beating up Big 12 filler en route to this game. You have to wonder if theyll be a bit fresher, with their toughest game having been in week one. They can approach this game with a renewed focus. QB Daxx Garman has been competent after the Cowboys lost JW Walsh. Running backs Desmond Roland, Tyreek Hill, and Rennie Childs make up a nice ensemble package, though the Cowboys are averaging under 4 yards a carry as a team. And Oklahoma State also features a quartet of nice pass-catchers with Brandon Sheperd, David Glidden, Marcell Ateman, and Jhujuan Seales. They are actually better than they look on paper, getting the most out of a unit that lost a ton of guys from last season.
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One potential problem is that Oklahoma State has been a bit leaky against the pass this season, against teams that feature a lot less explosive potential than TCU. The Horned Frogs have been getting good performances from QB Trevone Boykin, with 1463 yards in 5 games, with 11 TD passes and just two picks. Boykin is also the teams leading rusher, illustrating his dual-threat capability. A tough schedule has served as a growing process for Boykin and hes actually shown hes very much up to the task, with only his D costing him consecutive wins over top-five teams.
With 45.3 points per game, TCU has the third best-scoring offense in the country. Their 12th-ranked passing attack should give Oklahoma State major issues. But its just a matter if the TCU defense can keep the Cowboys in check. But judging the TCU defense off of the Baylor game could be a mistake, as a lot of defenses have been made to look foolish against the high-octane Baylor attack. Lets face it, Oklahoma State is no Baylor when it comes to offense. Its still the same TCU D that kept Oklahoma to a respectable total and has been solid during most points of the season. Dont be too hypnotized by what really amounts to a one-quarter collapse against Baylor last week.
The Cowboys are pretty solid in all aspects of the game and should be able to give TCU a good go, even on the road. It comes down to TCU and if they can surface this week in peak form. They really played well against Baylor, despite the late collapse. And truth be told, it seemed like the refs gave Baylor a big assist in that comeback, with a late pass-interference call of a very dubious nature helping tip the scales in their favor.
TCU really has a team, but one cant be so sure if theyll see a Horned Frogs team shot out of a cannon this week. They should be able to win, but I look for Oklahoma State to give them a really tough game that could come down to the end. Getting 8.5 points, I find it difficult to go against the Cowboys this week.
Scott’s Pick to Cover the Point Spread: Im taking the Oklahoma State Cowboys plus 8.5 points.