As the Oklahoma Sooners get set to travel to Ft. Worth this weekend to begin conference play, a familiar foe and newly formed rival will be there waiting on them. OU has played TCU fifteen times in football and own a 10-5 record over the Frogs. TCU has won twice in this series under Gary Patterson (2005 & 2014) but only once during that span as a game between the Sooners and Horned Frogs been decided by more than a touchdown (OU won 35-10 in 2008).
This will be the first time that Bob Stoops faces Gary Patterson as an unranked team. Meanwhile, Patterson will be facing Stoops for the fourth time with an AP Top 25 ranking in front of his name.
Led by one time Texas A&M quarterback Kenny Hill, Patterson’s Horned Frogs currently have the nation’s 6th ranked passing attack at an average of 380 yards per game. Hill is completing 66% of his passes and has thrown for 1,487 yards. He’s also tossed six touchdown passes but has four interceptions to his credit as well. Not one to shy away from tucking and running either, Hill is averaging five yards per carry and has scored a team-high six rushing touchdowns on the season. He’ll be the third dual-threat quarterback the Sooners have faced in four games.
Running back Kyle Hicks is averaging six yards per carry and has 314 yards and five touchdowns on the season. He’s also the team’s leading receiver with twenty receptions for 221 yards and a score. Junior Taj Williams is one catch behind Hicks and has 278 yards and two touchdowns to his credit. John Diarse leads TCU in yards per catch with an average of 18.1 yards across his 16 receptions.
The defensive side of the ball is where Gary Patterson is known to make the greatest impact on the game. TCU hasn’t started off the season with a dominating defense but they are getting better with time. The Frogs are 65th in scoring defense with an average of 26.3 points allowed per game. That average ranks them fourth best in the Big 12 where they are also eighth against the pass (254.3 yards per game) and second against the run (130.5 yards per game).
Opposing quarterbacks are completing 57% of their passes against TCU and have thrown six touchdowns to two interceptions this season. Running backs are averaging 3.3 yards per carry with nearly forty attempts per game.
“They are good, and they have gotten better and better each game,” Oklahoma offensive Coordinator Lincoln Riley said on Monday, in regards to the TCU defense. “They return some really good players, and they have always done a great job of mixing it up in the back end. They have always done a great job of game planning against your strength. They always put together a plan where they don’t change it up to much, but just enough to make you haver to make adjustments.”
Everything with the TCU defense starts at the linebackers. Sophomore Ty Summers leads the Big 12 with 39 tackles while Travin Howard has recorded 31. Up front senior Aaron Curry, sophomore L.J. Collier and sophomore Galeai Tipa all have 2.5-sacks.
In the secondary, freshman corner Jeff Gladney has recorded 18 take downs, with sophomore safety Niko Small producing 20 of his own to go along with one interception.