Trevone Boykin said it best in the postgame news conference after No. 8 TCU’s 49-29 loss at No. 14 Oklahoma State.
“One stumble, and you feel like everything has collapsed on you,” Boykin said.
An undefeated senior season. An opportunity by staying unbeaten to be among the four College Football Playoff national semifinalists. A shot at a Heisman Trophy.
Even his primary touchdown connection, the Horned Frogs’ No. 1 receiver Josh Doctson, fell by the wayside Saturday at Boone Pickens Stadium.
The loss snapped TCU’s school-record 16-game winning streak, which was second nationally to Ohio State’s 21 straight wins coming into the matchup with Oklahoma State.
Boykin was outplayed by OSU quarterback Mason Rudolph after playing his way into the Heisman conversation with seven consecutive games accounting for four or more touchdowns.
Boykin finished 35-of-57 passing for 445 yards and a touchdown Saturday but had four interceptions, two of which were thrown to OSU safety Chad Whitener, a former Mansfield High School standout who had a monster afternoon against the Horned Frogs with 12 tackles.
Rudolph put up the numbers TCU fans have come to expect from Boykin, throwing for an efficient 16 of 24 for 352 yards and five touchdowns.
“You’re going to have one bad game. He had a bad game,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said after the game of Boykin. “He’s in there in tears right now because nobody hurts worse than he hurts right now.”
Doctson goes down
TCU was already trailing by its widest margin of the year, down 28-9 with less than two minutes to play before halftime, when Doctson took the hit that kept him out of the rest of the game.
Patterson said after the game he did not immediately know Doctson’s status and that he didn’t think an X-ray had been taken of the receiver’s left hand and wrist, which were injured on the play.
Doctson, who this season had set TCU school single-season records for receiving touchdowns (14), receptions (71) and receiving yards (1,250), braced his fall after his sixth catch, a gain of 12 yards, with his left hand planted on the ground.
OSU linebacker Jordan Burton landed on top of Doctson, with the force of his fall coming down squarely on Doctson’s wrist.
The senior left on his own power and was taken to the locker room with 58 seconds left before halftime and did not return to the game. In the third quarter he was on the sideline without a helmet and with his left wrist and hand wrapped in a towel.
In Doctson’s absence, running back Shaun Nixon moved outside to play primarily slot receiver while Jarrison Stewart and Jaelan Austin got more work on the outside. Nixon led TCU with nine catches for 146 yards, while freshman KaVontae Turpin caught seven balls for 107 yards.
Boykin’s only touchdown throw went to senior receiver Kolby Listenbee on a 32-yard, over-the-shoulder catch in the back of the end zone with 14:19 left to play.
On the mend
TCU left tackle Halapoulivaati Vaitai returned for limited snaps Saturday after leaving last week’s win over West Virginia with what appeared to be a knee injury.
Vaitai saw snaps on two offensive series in the first half.
Linebacker Montrell Wilson also played sparingly against Oklahoma State after sustaining what appeared to be a shoulder injury against West Virginia.
Four of OSU’s seven touchdowns came on passing plays that any metric would deem explosive. The Cowboys’ big-play penchant gave Patterson and his defense fits all afternoon.
It started on Oklahoma State’s second drive. On the third play of the series, some apparent miscommunication in the TCU secondary led to OSU receiver James Washington’s first touchdown of the game on a 48-yard bomb from Rudolph.
Corry O’Meally replaced Torrance Mosley at cornerback for TCU on the next series, but Washington was lined up against Nick Orr on the second play. Washington got behind Orr for a 50-yard touchdown catch down the right sideline to give OSU its early 14-6 lead.
Midway through the second quarter, OSU receiver Marcel Ateman came open on the game’s longest play, an 82-yard touchdown catch down the middle of the field, after Mosley tripped while trying to turn his hips to adjust in coverage.
Washington caught his third touchdown midway through the third quarter, on a catch for which he outjumped Orr in the middle of the field. The 74-yard touchdown catch gave the sophomore five catches for 184 yards and three scores.
Patterson said there was no confusion in the secondary and that the big play was one of two primary reasons for the loss.
“You can’t give up big plays and you can’t turn the ball over,” Patterson said. “If you can’t make big plays and turn the ball over, you’re not going to win big ballgames.”
Those four scoring drives for OSU averaged 2.5 plays, accounted for an average of 67.5 yards but only took an average of 44.5 seconds off the clock. Those kinds of defensive lapses left Patterson almost speechless. Almost.
“We’ve just got to, sometimes we’re just knuckleheads,” Patterson said. “I want to get mad. What do you do?”