The 5th ranked Oklahoma Sooners controlled the game from pretty much the get go on Saturday night against the 6th ranked TCU Horned Frogs.
The game started a little slow as the first drive for the Horned Frogs resulted in a punt, and the first drive for the Sooners resulted in a 49 yard Austin Seibert field goal. The Sooners were up 3-0 after 4 minutes of playing.
From this point though is when things started to heat up. The Horned Frogs started on their own 25 yard line. On the first play of their second drive Kyle Hicks slipped out of the backfield on a wheel route, and proceeded to go 62 yards all the way to the OU 13 yard line. On the next play Darius Anderson would run it in for the touchdown and the Horned Frogs were up 7-3. The drive took less than a minute.
Perhaps it took the touchdown to wake the Sooners completely up, but whatever it was, it worked. On the next drive the Sooners, led by their Heisman leading quarterback Baker Mayfield, marched downed the field. The big play was a 46 yard reception from Mayfield to freshman CeeDee Lamb. The drive was capped off by Rodney Anderson who scored on a 15 yard run.
The Sooners were up 10-7, and would not lose the lead for the rest of the game. TCU had a chance to tie the game on the next drive, but back up kicker Ryan Graf missed a 30 yard field goal attempt. Starting kicker Jonathan Song injured himself in practice on the Thursday before the game.
Mayfield capitalized on the miss by going 80 yards in five plays culminating with a beautiful pass to Grant Calcaterra from 13 yards out. It was the type of throw that really shows why Mayfield is the Heisman front-runner. It was thrown to a spot that only Calcaterra could catch it.
After exchanging punts for three possessions, the Sooners again found big plays to score. Rodney Anderson had runs of 30 yards and 24 yards on the drive, with the 24-yarder being for the touchdown. The Sooners were up 24-7 at this point and the route seemed on.
TCU would answer though. KaVontae Turpin sparked the drive when he returned the kickoff 56 yards. TCU would start on the OU 44 yard line. TCU leaned on their running game this drive, particularly Kenny Hill and Darius Anderson. On 1st and goal from the Oklahoma 9, Hill would run it himself and get pulled down at the 1 yard line. The Horned Frogs lined up quick, and Hill would QB sneak to score for TCU. OU led 24-14, and it looked like this one could be going back and forth.
Mayfield had other thoughts though. Five plays and 75 yards later, the Sooners scored again. Mayfield found Rodney Anderson out of the backfield, and Anderson took care of the rest going 14 yards for the score. OU led 31-14 with just over five minutes left to play in the half.
After a TCU punt with a minute left, many thought the half was over. Again, Mayfield had other thoughts. Mayfield found Marquise Brown for a 50 yard gain to the TCU 32. With only 16 seconds left on the clock, Mayfield found Rodney Anderson streaking up the middle for a 33 yard touchdown reception. It was the fourth touchdown of the game for Mayfield, and would be the last score for the Sooners of the game. The score was 38-14 heading into the half, and only one more touchdown would happen the rest of the way.
The second half was all about defense for both teams. The two teams combined for seven punts and two turnover-on-downs. The only score in the second half came early in the 4th quarter when Kenny Hill flicked a shovel pass to Kyle Hicks from 3 yards out for the score. TCU would go for the 2 point conversion, but fail to convert.
All in all it was a dominant performance from OU, and they never really had to sweat after going up 17-7. Mayfield has cemented his spot at the top of the Heisman race, and Oklahoma is in the driver’s seat to win the Big 12, and make the College Football Playoff.
|3rd Down Eff||4-13||5-13|
|4th Down Eff||0-1||1-2|
|Yards Per Pass||9.3||12.3|
|Yards Per Rush||4.8||4.9|
|TCU – K. Hill||13/28||270||9.6||1||0||64.2|
|OU – B. Mayfield||18/27||333||12.3||3||0||89.7|
|TCU – D. Anderson||7||42||6.0||1||13|
|OU – R. Anderson||23||151||6.6||2||30|
|TCU – K. Hicks||3||71||23.7||1||62|
|OU – R. Anderson||5||139||27.8||2||46|
EMPTYING THE NOTEBOOK
Baker Mayfield is the Heisman frontrunner, but Rodney Anderson was the best player on the field Saturday night. Anderson rarely, if ever, went down on first contact. He regularly made TCU defenders miss, and showed incredible balance. Additionally, Anderson showcased his ability to be a threat as a pass catcher leading the team in receiving as well as rushing.
Huge credit to Mayfield though. The Senior quarterback was accurate all night, and unbothered by the pressure that Gary Patterson was dialing up. Mayfield hit seven different receivers on the night, and also added 50 yards of his own on the ground.
I came away very impressed with the three freshman defensive backs that Oklahoma started. Tre Brown, Tre Norwood, and Robert Barnes all more than held their own in this game. It makes you wonder why these guys haven’t been playing more earlier in the season. This was honestly the best the Oklahoma defense has looked all year, maybe outside of the Ohio State game. Those freshman started more by necessity than anything, but it worked out well.
TCU defensive end Matt Boesen was ejected early in the game for “kicking an opponent,” but it was a strange sequence of events. The one replay that was shown, was of Boesen being pinned by two offensive lineman, and what looked like more flailing than actively kicking. Somehow though Boesen was ejected, and that definitely hurt the TCU defense the rest of the game.
The one bright spot I can highlight about TCU on the night was cornerback Ranthony Texada. The senior from Frisco, TX had great coverage most of the night, and it showed in the fact that Mayfield rarely tested that side of the field. Texada is a little on the smaller side, but is without a doubt in the upper echelon of corners in the Big 12.
I can’t say enough about how impressed I am with Lincoln Riley. Riley had a near perfect game plan on how to attack Gary Patterson’s defense, and his players executed it to perfection. It obviously helps having a player the caliber of Mayfield on your team, but Riley had his guys ready to go in one of the biggest games of the season for the Sooners.
OU is now 9-1 on the season, and only need one more win to guarantee a spot in the Big 12 championship game. With Kansas on their schedule for this upcoming Saturday that will almost certainly happen then. The Sooners will finish their season with a home game against West Virginia. With some other losses around the country to top ranked teams, Oklahoma looks to be in very good position to be ranked in the top 4 come the new playoff rankings on Tuesday.
TCU is now 8-2 on the season. While they are likely on the outside looking in of the playoff the Horned Frogs still control their destiny to make the Big 12 championship game. If TCU wins their next two games (away at Texas Tech, and home against Baylor) then they will be in the Big 12 title game in a likely rematch against Oklahoma.
This is the first game between Oklahoma and TCU since TCU joined the Big 12 that has been decided by more than 7 points.
Oklahoma has won five of six contests against TCU since 2012.