"It's always just a one-cut game," Smith told The Oklahoman. "Sometimes we lose focus of that. We just try to think too much and try to do too much. You can't let that happen."
In an Oct. 5 victory against Kansas State, Smith bounced back for 56 yards on 11 carries. Included was a 16-yard touchdown burst to cap Oklahoma State's game-winning drive.
Still, the Cowboys' production on the ground remains a concern. They gained just 85 yards on 25 attempts against Kansas State, and only totaled 330 yards while capitalizing on five turnovers by the Wildcats.
It could be that Oklahoma State (4-1, 1-1 Big 12) will find it difficult to move the ball again on Oct. 12 when it plays host to TCU (3-3, 1-2). The Horned Frogs rank second in the conference with a 328-yard defensive average while forcing a league-best 15 turnovers. In Big 12 play, TCU is allowing a league-best 19 points per game.
The matchup will mark the second time Oklahoma State has come off a bye. The first time, it fell 30-21 at West Virginia after the Mountaineers were coming off a 37-0 loss to Maryland.
"We might not have been fully prepared mentally," linebacker Caleb Lavey told the Tulsa World. "We had the game plan down, but we should have pushed ourselves a little bit harder. I think that's what we'll do is hold each other accountable a little bit more and try to get each other as prepared as we can for TCU."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
--WR David Porter produced the first 100-yard output by a TCU receiver with four catches for 118 yards in the Oct. 12 victory against Kansas. Porter blazed for a 75-yard touchdown. Coupled with a 45-yard catch at Oklahoma, Porter has the longest gains in each of TCU's last two games. Porter is roommates with QB Trevone Boykin, who threw both those long passes.
--LB Paul Dawson made the most of his start. The junior-college transfer recorded 17 tackles in the Kansas win. The last Horned Frog to record that many tackles was Jonathan Anderson in 2011 as a weak safety. Anderson has since moved to linebacker and was the player Dawson, a running back in high school, replaced in the starting lineup.
--S Derrick Kindred has yet to make a start for TCU, though cracking the Horned Frogs' secondary is tough. Kindred still contributes in coverage packages, recording 24 stops to rank sixth on the team. He has four tackles for loss, an interception and two breakups. He also recovered a pooched kickoff in the Oklahoma defeat.
--WR Jhajuan Scales is establishing himself as a potential breakout receiver. He ranks second among the Cowboys with 19 receptions for 250 yards and a touchdown. Scales is one of several newcomers Oklahoma State has introduced to its receiving corps. Others include true freshman Marcell Ateman (11-108) and sophomore Brandon Shepherd (8-115). Fifteen different Cowboys have caught passes, including 11 wideouts.
--WR/PR Josh Stewart remains the Oklahoma State receiving leader after enjoying a 1,000-yard season a year ago. Stewart also poses a threat on special teams, returning a punt 67 yards for a touchdown against Lamar and adding a 41-yard return in that win. Three Oklahoma State teammates, Justin Gilbert, Desmond Roland and Zack Craig, also have kick returns for touchdowns during their careers.
--DE Tyler Johnson, a senior, has benefitted from strong teammates on the interior to take advantage of opportunities off the edge. Johnson has five tackles for loss, including three sacks, among his 22 tackles. He also has forced a fumble. Credit tackles James Castleman and Calvin Barnett for the attention they attract inside.