The Sooners went into the game against the Horned Frogs beaming with confidence having won 10 straight conference games in a row starting last season. They left banged up from an old-fashioned street brawl with a 3-point win. This game was a tough defensive battle that only starting giving up big plays in the fourth quarter after both defenses were tired having spent a great deal of time on the field reining in the the oppositions offense. Memorial stadium had not seen such a pitch defensive battle since the 2005 season. It was a war and the Sooners came out on top.
The Good: TCU did not cross midfield at all in the first half, scored zero points and had zero first downs until late in the third quarter. Coach Bob Stoops had this to say about their strong defensive performance in the first half:
“I don’t think that’s ever happened, any one that I’ve been a part of, they played sensational. The guys were really aggressive, fast, played the run, played the pass really well.”
The team speed of OU’s defense was on full display and the concerns before the season about the defensive line are all but forgotten. As the Oklahoma defense continues to show it has returned to form and has the mettle to slow down the Big12 offenses.
On offense, OU running back Brennan Clay ran for a 111 yards in only nine carries , with 76 of that in one sensational fourth quarter run for a touchdown. Blake Bell did what he needed to do in a gutsy performance to bring in the win, but struggled with the passing game. Some of that struggle must attributed to the receivers as they were unable to get open. Trey Millard also contributed in a big way and continues to show why the pro scouts are licking their chops given his abilities.
The Bad: Due to the defensive play of TCU, the Sooner offense posted its worst third quarter in recent memory with no first downs, no points and very few yards. TCU put the hammer down on the Sooner receiving corp and other than Durron Neal’s performance made them look pedestrian and confused. The Sooners only had 152 yards passing and further exposed Bell’s erratic passing and Huepel sometimes predictable play-calling.
Top Play: No doubt it was the first half performance of the Sooner defense, as it was the best since the early years of Bob Stoops.
In the end the Sooners won one hard fought battle against a good opponent in season long war. They did what they had to do to preserve a victory and continue to build and mature as they head into the meat of the Big12 schedule. This is a win the Sooners should be proud of and leverage as it heads into to the Red River Rivalry next week.
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