For the first time this season Oklahoma has won consecutive games. More importantly, at 2-2 in Big 12 play, the Sooners are able to stay alive in the conference championship race. OU still needs some help down the line but they also need to run the table, and now they can check TCU off the board along with Texas.
Here are some quick thoughts on Saturday’s win with plenty more to come later.
Defense carried the day
Alex Grinch’s crew has certainly received its share of criticism and most of it has been deserved (We’ve even got a little more coming). That said, this was the best performance from the Sooner defense since the Missouri State game.
OU gave up 14 points and held the Horned Frogs to just 75 yards on the ground. TCU was 4-of-14 on third down and averaged only 7.9 yards per pass.
Committed to the run early
Oklahoma’s opening drive was a six-play touchdown drive that went 73 yards in just 3:03. It seemed to be a tone setting type drive towards the level of physicality the Sooners would be bringing in the game with 5 rushing attempts to just 1 pass. Even the scoring play on that drive was a power move where T.J. Pledger was able to flex on the TCU defense a bit.
That would be the heaviest run-based offensive drive of the game for the Sooners as Lincoln Riley settled into a letting Spencer Rattler use his arm to guide the offense.
Grinding out the clock on the final possession helped boost the run/pass ratio to a little heavier for the ground game. The final stats were 22 pass attempts to 44 rushing. T.J. Pledger eclipsed the 100-yard mark for the second game in a row. Oklahoma’s junior running back carried the ball 22 times for 122 yards (5.5 YPC) and a score.
Defense still having struggles in the secondary
Missed tackles, blown assignments, and penalties littered Oklahoma’s defensive efforts. I’ve settled in to the fact that this isn’t going to change without new personnel.
Austin Stogner has to do better at contested catches
At 6-6/262 Stogner could be a force that wreaks havoc on opposing defenses…if he could catch passes through contact. By my count he was 1-of-4 on the day for contested passes.
The Front Seven Is Just Getting Started
LaRon Stokes is the only senior starter in the group and they just keep getting stronger each week. This will be the cornerstone for Alex Grinch to build his defense on.
Marvin Mims is the star among the receiving corps
There’s so much potential with this unit but there’s no denying that the true freshman has risen to the top at the midway point of the season.
Mims averaged 33 yards per reception as he torched the TCU defense for 132 yards and two scores in a performance that should have him in the running for a conference award on Monday.
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