TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin has put up numbers worthy of Heisman consideration, and he has put his Horned Frogs in position to claim a spot in the College Football Playoff.
The senior ranks second nationally in total offense, and TCU ranks No. 2 in the nation in scoring offense and yards per game.
Boykin's most difficult challenge awaits Saturday. He must avoid Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah if he wants to keep the fifth-ranked Horned Frogs (8-0, 5-0 Big 12, No. 8 CFP) in contention. Ogbah ranks fourth nationally with 1.13 sacks per game, and he already has set the school record for quarterback hurries in a season with 14.
''Obviously, he's had a sack in a bunch of games,'' TCU coach Gary Patterson said of Ogbah. ''He's relentless. He comes after you. You've got to be ready to play.''
The Horned Frogs have given up just two sacks in five conference games, but 12th-ranked Oklahoma State (8-0, 5-0, No. 14 CFP) ranks second in the Big 12 with four sacks per game in league play.
''They'll be the best front we've played up to this point,'' Patterson said.
The Cowboys know what they are dealing with. Boykin passed for 410 yards and three touchdowns last year as TCU rolled past Oklahoma State 42-9 in Fort Worth.
''He creates a lot of issues,'' Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Glenn Spencer said. ''It doesn't take long on film to see that he can throw, he can elude the rush, he's got an unbelievable release and he's a tremendous running back with the ball in his hand. He's got great vision.''
TCU has won 16 straight games, but Oklahoma State has won 10 straight dating back to last season. The Cowboys aren't intimidated.
''We'll have our work cut out for us this week, but we're at a point where we're really excited about the game,'' Oklahoma State coach Mike Gundy said.
Here are some things to watch for during Saturday's showdown:
DOCTSON'S DAMAGE: TCU WR Josh Doctson leads the nation in yards receiving per game (156.3). He has joined Michael Crabtree as the only receivers in the nation in the past 20 years to have at least 100 yards and multiple touchdown catches in at least six straight games. Last season, he burned Oklahoma State with seven catches for 225 yards, including scoring grabs of 84 and 77 yards.
STRENGTH vs. STRENGTH: Oklahoma State's Mason Rudolph throws for just over 300 yards per game, but TCU counters with a pass defense that ranks 18th nationally in pass efficiency defense. TCU's Corry Meally leads his team with seven pass breakups in league play.
WALSH PACKAGE: J.W. Walsh takes over as Oklahoma State's quarterback in red zone situations, and he has been masterful. He has completed 18 of 23 passes for 296 yards with nine touchdowns and no interceptions this season. He also has seven rushing touchdowns on 35 carries. The Cowboys rank sixth nationally in red zone efficiency.
GROUND GAMES: The biggest difference between the offenses is that TCU has run the ball well and Oklahoma State hasn't. TCU averages 224 yards rushing per game and 5.8 yards per carry in league play. Oklahoma State averages just 134 yards rushing and 3.5 yards per carry in Big 12 games. TCU is middle-of-the-pack against the run.
JAMES WASHINGTON: Oklahoma State's sophomore receiver broke out against Texas Tech with touchdown receptions of 75 and 73 yards in the fourth quarter. He finished with four catches for 200 yards. David Glidden is the most consistent receiver, but Washington is the most explosive. He's averaged 20.7 yards a catch in conference play, best among the top 10 in receptions per game.
''He's a great athlete, he's got good ball skills and he can jump,'' Oklahoma State cornerback Ramon Richards said. ''It just seems like he gets faster the farther he goes down the field. His downfield speed is tremendous.''
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