Like half of Oklahoma, I am sick this week. The silver-lining in all this is I finally got some time to sit down and write up another preview. The Sooners are coming off one of the most eventful weeks in modern program history with the mid-season firing of Mike Stoops. Their performance in the Cotton Bowl dashed playoff hopes and the real focus has shifted to getting back to the Big 12 Championship — so let’s get into it.
TCU: This isn’t the TCU of seasons-passed. Offensively, TCU has struggled largely due to QB performance. However, they still have two very explosive skill guys in KaVontae Turpin and Jalen Reagor. On the defensive side, Niko Small is questionable for tomorrow, so look at safety, Innis Gaines (31 TOT, 1 INT, 6 PD) and LB, Garret Wallow (45 TOT) to be difference makers for TCU.
Oklahoma: No surprise here, Kyler Murray, who turned the ball over twice against Texas, is the biggest key to Oklahoma’s success. It seems he took that loss personally and he’ll be out to get some redemption tomorrow. The Sooners need more out of their ground game and Kennedy Brooks looks to be the most fluid back right now — and this could be the game he gets a full workload. Defensively, Bookie Radley-Hiles should have a chance to make some big plays against the TCU passing game. Tre Brown has had an emotional week, however is stepping into a larger role. His speed and physicality should give this defense a boost.
FACTS & STATS:
- TCU QB, Shawn Robinson ranks second-to-last in the Big 12 in passing efficiency. Kyler Murray ranks 1st.
- TCU WR, Jalen Reagor ranks 3rd in the Big 12 in receptions per game with 6.2. He is the obvious go-to guy for the Horned Frogs
- Curtis Bolton and Kenneth Murray lead the Big 12 in tackles with 75 & 74 respectively while TCU DL, Ben Banogu is tied for 4th in the Big 12 in sacks.
- Innis Gaines is tied with Parnell Motley for 4th in the Big 12 in passes defended.
- Oklahoma is 1st in scoring offense in the Big 12 while TCU is 1st in scoring defense. It’s strength vs strength this week.
Things To Consider:
- Oklahoma is not only coming off a loss but also going into their first game without Mike Stoops at the helm. There has been a lot of talk about the staff implementing new tackling drills over the bye week. Does that equate to improved tackling?
- Lincoln Riley knows he needs to put on a show to get back in consideration for the playoffs. That usually starts in “Championship November” however, this season it starts in mid-October.
- Oklahoma has the top rushing offense behind the legs of Kyler Murray. Not a bad stat, but one of the running backs needs to step up and take on a larger role if Oklahoma is serious about winning the Big 12.
- TCU is first in the league in penalties. That should help the defense.
- Bookie Radley-Hiles gets his first interception.
- Kennedy Brooks solidifies the RB2 spot.
- CeeDee Lamb leads the team in receiving yards.
- Mike Stoops is brought up 10+ times by commentators.
Football hasn’t been the biggest topic of conversation around the program for 2 weeks. They’d love to change that narrative and the best way to do so is winning big in Fort Worth. As mentioned above, I think Kyler Murray is looking for some redemption after two costly turnovers against Texas. The Sooners come out firing (and a little pissed off), and the defense takes a small step forward. The line is -8, I’m going Oklahoma wins 42-17.