FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — TCU receiver Derius Davis was working to come back for the ball when he saw Max Duggan under pressure. The quarterback had a different idea.
“I saw him throw it," Davis said. “So I just turned around and ran as fast as I could and there was the ball.”
Darius caught the pass in stride near the 25 and finished off the go-ahead 71-yard touchdown midway through the fourth quarter before the Horned Frogs held on for a 29-22 victory over No. 19 Oklahoma State on Saturday.
Duggan accounted for 369 total yards and three touchdowns, including two scores on the ground while running for 104 yards. The Horned Frogs (5-4, 5-4 Big 12) wrapped up conference play with a winning record after starting the season 1-3.
Oklahoma State (6-3, 5-3), with a makeup game remaining at Baylor, was eliminated from a chance to make the Big 12 championship game when No. 12 Iowa State and No. 13 Oklahoma both won their games later Saturday.
“Sometimes goals fall out of reach, and you’ve just got to keep working,” said Cowboys defensive end Brock Martin, who returned a fumble 42 yards for the game’s first touchdown.
“We’ve got some young kids out there, playing with three freshmen on the offensive line, we’re down six starters on offense from day one,” said coach Mike Gundy, whose team started 4-0 overall. “We’re a little different team right now than we were when we started against Tulsa.”
TCU overcame five turnovers (four fumbles and an interception), the last when Duggan got stripped for a fumble after the go-ahead touchdown. The Horned Frogs defense had an interception and a fourth-down stop when Oklahoma State twice was in the red zone in the fourth quarter.
“We’ve just been getting better every week,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “You got to have a little luck and make a couple of plays.”
Oklahoma State was driving for a tying touchdown when Trevon Moehrig made a one-handed interception of a deflected pass in the end zone, and TCU's fourth-down stop after Duggan's fumble came with 2:18 left.
“They bail us out a lot. We put them in tough positions and they stood their ground,” Duggan said.
Moehrig's interception in the back of the end zone came when Spencer Sanders' high pass deflected off the hands of 6-foot-7 Jelani Woods. Duggan then fumbled when Amen Ogbongbemiga stripped the ball from him at the TCU 26, but Sanders was under extreme pressure and threw an incompletion on fourth down.
Oklahoma State still had another shot after TCU failed to get a first down to run out the clock, but Sanders' desperation pass on the final play of the game fell incomplete in a crowd near the goal line. Sanders finished 16-of-34 passing for 248 yards.
After a 1-yard TD keeper in the first half, Duggan got his second rushing score when he faked a handoff and went 42 yards on a fourth-and-1 play, shedding a defender near the 25 on the opening drove of the second half.
“We’re playing really good defense, but we’re giving up two or three big plays each game, which is allowing them to score points on us,” Gundy said. “So we’ve got to work hard and try to minimize big plays.”
PLAYING AT HOME
Tylan Wallace, the Oklahoma State senior playing in his hometown, had a 55-yard TD catch at the end of the third quarter to put the Cowboys up 22-21. He finished with seven catches for 92 yards.
Oklahoma State: The Cowboys led 13-0 in the first quarter, including Martin's fumble return. JUCO transfer running back Dezmon Jackson ran for 118 yards on 29 carries in his second start in a row for injured backs Chuba Hubbard and LD Brown. Jackson ran 36 times for Big 12-high 235 yards and three touchdowns against Texas Tech last week.
TCU: The winning Big 12 record in Patterson’s 20th season came with a relatively young team after they going 3-6 last season. “Sometimes you add by subtraction," Patterson said. "I think some of our younger players are having to play and they’re playing for each other on both sides of the ball. ... It has just been an amazing last six weeks.” ... Even with Duggan only 12-of-26 passing, TCU had two 100-yard receivers: Davis (six catches, 139 yards) and Quentin Johnson (three catches, 114 yards).
Oklahoma State will surely fall a few spots, and possibly all out of the way out when the new Top 25 comes out Sunday.
Oklahoma State plays its regular season finale next Saturday night at Baylor, a game originally scheduled Oct. 17.
TCU finishes its regular season with next Saturday night against Louisiana Tech, a non-conference home game added just this week.
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