You know that fly in your room that just won’t go away? You’ve tried countless times with your shoe to smack it, but every time you get close it buzzes by your ear in a different direction. Oklahoma has a similar story except its proverbial fly is TCU. Oklahoma head coach Bob Stoops has only lost twice to non-conference foes in his sixteen years as head coach of the Sooners and one of those is to TCU in 2005. Just last year, TCU gave Oklahoma all it could handle in Norman as the Sooners escaped with a 20-17 victory. The results speak for themselves, in 2012 Oklahoma went to Fort Worth and won 24-17, but only because a TCU fourth down pass fell incomplete at the goal line. Oklahoma isn’t overlooking TCU; Stoops said they are “probably” the best team the Sooners have faced all season.
Head coach Gary Patterson’s identity as a football coach has always been defensive minded. The statistics back that statement up as TCU ranks first in the Big 12 in defense allowing just 218.7 yards a game. To this point the Horned Frogs have allowed a FBS low 0.31 points per drive this season, which is on pace to be the lowest for any defense in the past ten years. TCU is also one of two teams in the FBS to rank in the top 25 in run defense, pass defense, points allowed, Total D, and takeaways. With that being said it wouldn’t be smart for the Sooners to overlook the TCU offense. The Horned Frogs are third in the Big 12 in total offense and veteran quarterback Trevone Boykin has excelled at running this high tempo offense.
Oklahoma is coming off a bye week and will most likely be without star running back Keith Ford for a second straight game after he was injured during the Tennessee game. They shouldn’t be alarmed though because freshman running back Samaje Perine has been terrific and leads the Big 12 in rushing. Quarterback Trevor Knight’s favorite target is Sterling Shepard who has 436 yards receiving through four games. TCU on the other hand spreads the ball out to many different receivers with no receiver having more than 200 yards on the season.
This game will be more about Oklahoma’s offense than it will be about either team’s defense. The Sooners have routinely struggled against TCU’s complex defensive scheme and will need to figure out a way to put points on the board in order to keep up with the Horned Frogs’ high tempo offense. The game is in Fort Worth and they will be ready and rowdy but Oklahoma will escape in the same fashion they have the past two years.
Prediction: Oklahoma 27 TCU 21
*Section Photo credit to Brett Deering, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Norman Transcript