Preview: No. 13 TCU football hosts No. 8 Oklahoma State with undefeated records on the line


Esau Rodriguez

TCU running back Emari Demercado celebrates in TCU’s victory over No. 18 Oklahoma on Oct. 1, 2022.

By Micah Pearce, Staff Writer

63-17. That was the score of last year’s matchup between TCU and Oklahoma State. One year later, the two are poised for a top-15 matchup.

Both teams are undefeated coming into the game on Saturday, which will kick off at 2:30 p.m. and air on ABC. 

Wide receiver Taye Barber said the team has a chip on their shoulder due to last season’s matchup with the Cowboys, but they also “just try to forget about that game.” 

There may be a bigger chip if the Frogs were fully healthy that season.

“We were pretty shaken up at the end of the season,” said Barber. “This year we have a full team.”

The interim head coach for the Frogs last year, Jerry Kill, said after the game the team was “depleted” and “beat up.” 

The Frogs have kept a healthy roster for the most part, with Chandler Morris’ injury against Colorado being one exception. Morris is healthy now, but fighting to get snaps behind a standout QB Max Duggan. 

“[Morris] is about 95% right now,” said Dykes. “And the 5% is just confidence and hesitation, but that’s natural when someone is coming back from injury.” 

Not only are the starters healthy and performing well, Dykes said the depth of the team going into this week is strong.

“We feel like we have five really good running backs, but Kendre [Miller] is playing so well right now, he’s going to get [a majority] of the reps,” said Dykes. 

Miller ranks first nationally among Power 5 players in career yards per carry (7.21). Second behind him is former Horned Frog RB Zach Evans with 6.81. 

Miller has a rushing touchdown in all five games this season and leads the team with 6 touchdowns on his legs. 

Duggan has put up his own nationally-ranked numbers. He’s No. 2 in the country in passing efficiency with a score of 194.3. 

Duggan said the team has grown a lot mentally since the blowout game in Stillwater. He attributed his success to staying level-headed, which helped him fulfill his role when Morris got injured. 

However, as they have consistently said, they can’t dwell on their wins, even after the national recognition they’ve been receiving. 

“There’s still a lot of ball left in the season and we’re not content with being 5-0,” said Duggan. “You have to win most of your games for the rest of the year or no one is going to be talking about you at the end of the year.”

Duggan has repeated some of the language Dykes has used when it comes to their schedule. Duggan said “it’s a dog fight each week” they go out on the field. 

His usage of Dykes’ lingo shows how much of a leader Dykes has become to this team and how much Duggan has adopted his coaching style. 

The last time the Frogs started a season 5-0 was 2017, when Dykes was an offensive analyst for the Frogs. 2017 was also the last season the Frogs were ranked as high as they are now. They were No. 9 then and are No. 13 now. 

Oklahoma State comes into the game ranked No. 8, which they are accustomed to by now. They finished No. 7 at the conclusion of polling last season. This year, they haven’t dropped outside of the top 12. 

Dykes said it will be hard to beat OSU, even with a healthy roster. 

“They know how to cover their weaknesses,” said Dykes. “It’s hard to say we’re going to do this because they have a counter for you and makes it hard for you to play that game of chess.” 

Oklahoma State has a history of beating the Frogs, with the all-time record going 17-13-2 in OSU’s favor. 

Coming into this game, TCU and OSU have matched each other in the points-scored column, both totaling 232 for a per-game average of 46.4. 

The Frogs have the third largest increase in points per game in the nation. Last year, they averaged 28.7. This year, they’re averaging 46.4. 

An increase in points is exactly what they’ll need playing the Cowboys, complemented by a stronger defensive showing. 

Duggan will help with the offensive part of the formula, especially since he’s been mentioned in the Heisman conversation. 

Duggan isn’t worried about awards this week.

“I just want to win.”