Cowboys Have Confidence Back Following Iowa State Win

Zach Lancaster

STILLWATER -- There's no denying that the win over Iowa State was a huge boost for the program. It allowed the fan base to take a sigh of relief and it took a lot of pressure off the team allowing them to breathe.

"It really just brings a lot of hope back into the team," said Johnson. You could just feel it in the air when we came back into the stadium the next day, everybody's just...you could just feel the energy. It's more positive and everybody's more upbeat and uptempo and just ready to get after it again."

The turning point in the game came after the first of three fourth quarter interceptions, a pick six by linebacker Malcolm Rodriguez that put the Pokes back on top by seven points, 34-27.

"I just felt that the game was sealed after that," said Johnson. "It was a big sigh of relief, because we came in really wanting that win because we fell off the past couple of weeks. So, it was a great feeling."

It's not only a big deal in terms of the win, but I got the chance to ask Malcolm Rodriguez about it and going back to when he first started playing football, he doesn't believe that he's ever had another game-winning pick six.

"I don't know if I've ever had any. I'm going to say that's my first one."

But now the Iowa State games behind us, but the Pokes can no doubt use it as momentum moving forward. And they're going to have to because they're facing probably the best defense they'll see all season.

"They're a great defense" said Chuba Hubbard. "They fly around the ball, they obviously played great against Texas. It's just another opportunity to play against a great opponent, so I'm looking forward to it."

TCU enters this contest coming off a 37-27 upset of No. 15 Texas and they're bringing with them the No. 18 overall defense in the FBS. They're giving up just 304.7 yards per game, that's 200.4 yards less than Oklahoma State's offense is averaging, and they're allowing just 25.0 points per game, 12.5 points less than Oklahoma State's putting up per game.

They're led by junior linebacker Garret Wallow, who's averaging, get this, an astounding 72 tackles on the season, 43 of which have been solo stops.

Another guy in the middle that wrecks havoc on a backfield is defensive lineman Ross Blacklock. Through seven games, he's recorded 22 total tackles, with 7.0 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks.

Those two guys alone are going to make it hard on the Pokes' offense as they allow just 103.7 yards of rushing per game.

But the Pokes are optimistic as they enter this weekend, especially riding the high from Iowa State.

"They're probably the best secondary we're going to face this year," said Braydon Johnson. "Real fast, good coming out of their breaks, press coverage. So, it's going to be a tough challenge for sure, but we're going to step up to it."

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