TCU needs final win over Oklahoma State to get bowl eligible
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Oklahoma State is still scoring plenty of points with fifth-year senior quarterback Taylor Cornelius, who waited his turn to be the Cowboys starter in his final college season.
Injury-plagued TCU, which has gotten three of its wins when scoring fewer than 20 points, likely will have fifth-year senior quarterback Grayson Muehlstein making his first career start in his final regular season game Saturday night, when the Horned Frogs (5-6, 3-5) have to win to get bowl eligible.
“Grayson has been here a long time. He’s the next guy up so we’ve got to get ready to win and find a way to win,” coach Gary Patterson said. “He’ll have a chance to prepare as a starter, not as a backup. The other part, they’ll also have a chance to prepare for him.”
Muehlstein, the third quarterback used this season by the Frogs, finished off their 16-9 win at Baylor last week to keep their bowl hopes intact.
The Cowboys (6-5, 3-5) got bowl eligible with their 45-41 win over then-No. 7 West Virginia when Cornelius threw his fifth touchdown pass with 42 seconds left, a week after he had 501 yards passing at No. 6 Oklahoma when they lost 48-47 after a failed 2-point conversion with 1:03 left. They beat Texas 38-35 last month.
“Oklahoma State, I think they’ve shown their potential, two of the top teams in the league, and they’ve gone after them, both Texas and West Virginia, and they took Oklahoma to the wire,” Patterson said.
At the same time they went toe-to-toe with the Big 12 title contenders, the Cowboys had double-digit losses to Texas Tech and Kansas State and blew a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter to lose at Baylor.
“Definitely want to finish strong and end the season with a statement,” Cowboys safety Kenneth Edison-McGruder said.
Oklahoma State will play in a bowl for the 13th consecutive season, last missing a postseason game with a 4-7 record in former quarterback Mike Gundy’s first season as head coach of his alma mater in 2005. “We’re not even thinking about a bowl game right now,” said Cornelius, who has 3,461 yards passing with 28 TDs and 10 interceptions. “We’re thinking about finishing off our schedule strong.”
TCU has to win to get bowl eligible for the 16th time in Patterson’s 18 seasons — and 19th time in 21 seasons overall, including his three years as defensive coordinator for Dennis Franchione.
Oklahoma State redshirt freshman Chuba Hubbard has had consecutive 100-yard games while Justice Hill, the Big 12′s third-leading rusher, has dealt with bruised ribs.
“You have to prepare yourself for these types of situations because you never know what could happen,” Hubbard said. “I’ve been working, waiting to see if my name will be called, and when the time came I was ready.”
Hill is 70 yards shy of joining Terry Miller (1975-77) as the only Oklahoma State running backs with three 1,000-yard rushing seasons.
SIX IN A ROW
Jalen Reagor has tied a TCU record with touchdown catches in six consecutive games. The speedy sophomore has 64 catches for 970 yards and eight TDs. In the win at TCU, he turned a screen pass into a 65-yard touchdown had the go-ahead TD when he took a reverse handoff and ran 37 yards on a fourth-and-1 play.
“He’s been one of our bright spots,” Patterson said.
Oklahoma State sophomore receiver Tylan Wallace, who went to high school in Fort Worth, has 75 catches for 1,344 yards and 11 TDs. The 1,344 yards are third-most among FBS receivers. He had four consecutive 100-yard games earlier this season. Wallace, Rashaun Woods and Dez Bryant are the only Cowboys ever with two 200-yard games in the same season.