TCU didn’t need to push for “style points” much in Saturday’s Big 12 season finale against Iowa State at Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas.
The offensive explosions mostly came as a matter of course.
The No. 3 Horned Frogs needed precisely one big trick play early — a 55-yard double pass for atouchdown scored by quarterback Trevone Boykin — before settling into business-as-usual mode in a 55-3 rout of the Cyclones that likely cemented their spot in the inaugural four-team College Football Playoff.
"They’re great everywhere you look," ISU coach Paul Rhoads said on the Cyclone Radio Network after his team’s sixth consecutive loss.
So much so they rarely needed to go out of their way for style points.
Sure, Boykin threw downfield a number of times while steamrolling ISU (2-10, 0-9) during a 31-0 third quarter, but the avalanche of points came without many bells and whistles attached.
"Obviously the decisive quarter," Rhoads said. "Their tempo and their pace really got to us in the third quarter."
The Horned Frogs (11-1, 8-1) were utterly dominant while grabbing a share of their first Big 12 title — and even chose to take a knee at the Cyclones’ seven-yard line with 4:05 left on a fourth-down play.
It was that painful a game for ISU, which suffered through its first winless conference season since Gene Chizik’s last year in 2008 and failed to score a touchdown for the first time since 2012.
The Cyclones’ best chance for six came when they drove for a first and goal at the TCU five-yard line. ISU trailed 14-0 at the time, but immediate incurred a delay of game penalty and eventually settled for a 26-yard Cole Netten field goal.
"Coming up with three instead of seven was not the way you were going to beat a team like TCU," Rhoads said.
Still, the Cyclones — who surrendered more than 700 yards for the second time in the last five games — managed to keep it reasonably close against the 34-point favorites in the first half, trailing just 17-3 at the break.
But TCU emerged from halftime on a mission, scoring 1:06 into the third quarter on a simple swing pass from Boykin to Aaron Green that turned into a 54-yard jaunt to the end zone. Jaden Oberkrom tacked on a 27-yard field goal five minutes later and then the floodgates fully opened.
Cyclone quarterback Sam B. Richardson threw a pick-six on the ensuing drive, before completing the biggest play of the game for his team — a 45-yard pass to Jarvis West — on the next possession.
ISU failed to convert on fourth and six from the TCU 22, however, and Boykin answered by capping an eight-play, 63-yard touchdown drive with an 18-yard scoring strike to Josh Doctson.
The Cyclones’ offense responded with a three and out and the Horned Frogs needed just four plays to span 77 yards en route to yet another touchdown on Boykin’s 14-yarder to Ja’Juan Story.
Boykin enjoyed a career day, setting a personal benchmark with 460 yards passing. He zipped four touchdowns through the air and was intercepted once by Cyclone cornerback Sam E. Richardson.
Doctson totaled nine catches for 151 yards and the touchdown. Green rushed for 104 yards and added a touchdown on the ground. TCU amassed 725 yards of offense to ISU’s season-low 236.
Aaron Wimberly ran for 73 yards on 17 carries in his final college game.
West, also a senior, led ISU in receiving with five catches for 63 yards.
Richardson completed just 16 of 40 passes for 152 yards and an interception.
The junior finished the season with 18 touchdown passes and nine picks.
Senior linebacker Jared Brackens forced a fumble on special teams recovered by Josh Jahlas.