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TCU

vs.

Oklahoma State

College Football

Free Pick

9/23/17

Conference play is here with two teams in interesting situations. Oklahoma State is the team many expect to challenge Oklahoma for the conference title, while TCU has quietly had a strong start to its season, and is also undefeated. The Cowboys still opened as -12 point home favorites at 5Dimes Sportsbook.

It’s kind of hard to compare last year’s meeting as TCU’s season was close to over at that point. OK State ran away with things en route to 334 rushing yards on 7.4 yards per carry. The Pokes easily won 31-6 as the Horned Frogs never found any consistency on the offensive end. Covering this game will require a better offensive effort from Kenny Hill, who threw two picks in that game.

So far, Hill has done most of his damage through the air, but all eight of his touchdowns came against weaker opponents Jackson State and SMU. It was mostly the rushing attack and the defense that won the game against Arkansas. It’s hard to see the running game being enough in this one as OK State’s offense is miles better than anything TCU has seen yet.

Mason Rudolph has had a great start to the season and is in early talks for the Heisman already with 1,135 yards and 11 touchdowns on 72.3% completion. While that’s the case, he still hasn’t played a worthwhile defense and we’ll see if he has to face one in this game. TCU held Arkansas to seven points, but then allowed 36 to SMU in its next game. The Frogs had a good defense a few years ago, but that hasn’t been seen in recent campaigns. But even if Rudolph can’t get going, the ground game between Justice Hill and J.D. King will be something else TCU has to plan against. The Cowboys are averaging 5.5 yards per carry and considering how the last meeting went between these teams, that could be something that opens this contest up.

But while OK State’s offense is great, its defense is still a question mark and hasn’t faced much competition in the early going. Hill was throttled in this game last year, but this is an offense that’s rolling with competent QB play and a solid duo of running backs between Darius Anderson and Kyle Hicks that are averaging more than 5.5 yards per carry.

With this being the first conference game, there are still a lot of unknowns between these teams. OK State’s defense is the main one, but also how much better TCU is in general, if at all. The Pokes have one of the best offenses and quarterbacks in the country and could drop 40-plus points in this game if all goes well. But if Hill doesn’t commit any costly turnovers and the running game finds some success, there’s reason to believe the Horned Frogs can at least stay competitive and keep it close. Oklahoma State -12.5


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