Inside Slant

The Sports Xchange

November 20, 2018 at 10:22 pm.

Bowl game still in reach for Frogs

Nothing has been easy for TCU this season, but it’s a credit to its esprit de corps and determination that it can still earn a bowl berth with a win in its final regular-season game despite a crippling run of injuries and bad luck.

Standing in the Horned Frogs’ way is dangerous Oklahoma State, a team that’s beaten two of the three teams (Texas and West Virginia) likely headed for the Big 12 championship game and lost by a point to Oklahoma, the third.

The Horned Frogs (5-6, 3-5 in Big 12 play) suffered more significant injuries in their win over Baylor last week. Quarterback Michael Collins and running backs Darius Anderson and Sewo Olonilua suffered injuries in the win and will likely miss the Oklahoma State game.

“The kids fought,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said after the win in Waco. “I’m real proud of them. Yeah, we’re down over 40, almost half of our scholarship guys, over 40 guys. We’re going to have to find a way to win. That’s what we’re going to have to do next week.”

But somehow TCU found a way to win, with big contributions from wide receiver Jalen Reagor and a return to solid defense play that produced three turnovers.

“It’s hard to win ballgames. It doesn’t matter what situation you’re in, where you play, it’s hard to win,” Patterson said. “We’ve become spoiled in this situation. You want to know what kind of heart and what this program is about, you just need to watch that ballgame. There wasn’t any reason why we should have won that ballgame today, to be honest with you.”

Grayson Muehlstein, a redshirt senior who’s been a backup for his entire stint with the Horned Frogs, played quarterback and played well in the victory over Baylor last week. He threw for 137 yards and a touchdown in relief of Collins, who suffered a right foot injury in the first quarter.

“I’ve been here for a while — I know the program,” Muehlstein said. “I know the offense pretty well. I’ve been doing it for five years, so it’s just go in and don’t really think about it. It’s like you’re programmed. You get the plays and you run them. There’s not much thinking.”