It didn't look good at first, but by the time Oklahoma State shut off the lights in Boone Pickens Stadium, they had the biggest win of the season so far.
After falling into an early 14-0 hole at the end of the first quarter, a hole fueled by an interception returned for a touchdown and a turnover that resulted in a short field and eventually a score, the Cowboy defense decided that enough was enough.
"You have to give Oklahoma State some of that credit," TCU coach Gary Patterson said of his offense's lack of production. "We had our chances and we were in the ball game, but we couldn't do much with it in the second half."
For the second-consecutive game, the Cowboys forced their opponent into more punting yards than overall yards, as the Horned Frogs booted eight of them for 382 yards while the offense was held to 344.
"We're healthy now," coach Mike Gundy said. "I thought our guys did a good job of covering down the short throws on third and four to six."
On the other side of the ball, freshman quarterback Wes Lunt made his return to the field after injuring his leg against Louisiana on September 15th.
Though he wasn't quite at the level he had played at to begin the year, it was obvious that Lunt had the talent and physical demands to manage the explosive Oklahoma State offense. After shaking off some rust in the first half, he finished strong, throwing for 324 yards and a touchdown.
"He got better as it went on," Gundy said of Lunt. "I think his confidence is good. He's very level headed and he's a very cerebral young man. I don't think he doubted himself, I just think it's human nature and he had to grow out of it. He got hit a few times and realized he was going to be okay."
Lunt's offense finished with a solid day at the office, accumulating 471 yards.
The biggest component of that was the play of running back Joseph Randle. Randle eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the sixth time in seven games this season, and added a late score to move to 12th on the scoring list in school history with 228 career points.
"When our quarterback makes good decisions, we have the chance to run the ball effectively," Gundy said. "I did feel like our offensive line was physical enough for us to win this game. They were good last week, and I thought they were good in this game of being physical run blockers."
Oklahoma State continues their season with a trip to Manhattan, Kansas next weekend to take on third-ranked Kansas State. The Wildcats are coming off 55-24 win over 14th-ranked Texas Tech.
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