Oklahoma State's bye week practices are often about basic fundamentals, with the Cowboys setting aside about 20 minutes per session to prepare for their next opponent, TCU.
And coach Mike Gundy had high praise for the Horned Frogs following Wednesday's workout.
“They will be the most challenging team that we've played up until this point in all three phases,” Gundy said.
Gundy highlighted the Horned Frogs' skill players and ability to make plays on special teams. Running back B.J. Catalon leads the Big 12 in kick return average (28.7 yards per return) and ranks seventh in the league in all-purpose yards (110.4 per game).
But TCU's season has already featured a fair share of disappointment. The Horned Frogs once stood as a Big 12 contender, with two quality quarterbacks returning and a defense that could dominate.
Then defections and injuries hit — including serious ones to starting quarterback Casey Pachall and reigning Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year Devonte Fields — and the Horned Frogs sit 2-3, albeit with a chance to feel much better about themselves, hosting Kansas on Saturday in Fort Worth.
“We knew what we were getting into,” said TCU coach Gary Patterson. “We knew what LSU and Oklahoma were going to be like. Texas Tech was a bit of a surprise. They played well.
“We're still very close to being able to win some ball games. The kids are playing hard. Somebody asked me about the defense yesterday. I like them because they like each other, and they play hard for each other. Offensively, if you look back over the last three seasons, we've started slow each year. You just have to get ready to go.”
Statistically, the story isn't much better for the Frogs. They rank No. 101 in passing yards per game (193.2), 97th in rushing yards (128.2) and 75th in scoring (28.0).