FORT WORTH, Texas – You knew early that this game was going to be different. The first quarter had seven first downs and five punts.
And you knew late that this game most definitely was different. The fourth quarter at Amon Carter Stadium had defensive stops.
“Felt like football out there today,” said Mike Stoops.
You remember football. No track meet. No fireworks. No blown scoreboard fuses from overuse.
Just an old-fashioned football game, won 24-17 Saturday by the Sooners over Texas Christian that assured OU a share of the Big 12 title.
This is the way any self-respecting football man, if not fan, would want to win. Not 50-49 or 51-48, the scores of Sooner mind-blowers the previous two weeks.
The Sooners won this game by earning their real estate. Yards were hard. Paydirt did not come cheap.
OU blocked and tackled and worked its way to victory against this most-worthy new member of the Big 12.
“Hard-fought” and “rough” is how Bob Stoops described it. “I knew it'd be a battle throughout.”
Get used to it. The Horned Frogs, not the least bit fancy but plenty hearty, are primed to climb the Big 12 ladder. The Christians started only four seniors Saturday.
It wouldn't be outrageous to see OU and TCU picked 1-2 or 2-1 in the 2013 Big 12 preseason poll.
And wouldn't that be a nice development for a conference known far too much for wildly productive offense but precious little defense.
We saw defense Saturday, and it didn't even cost us drama.
Jaden Oberkrom nailed a 47-yard field goal with seven minutes to get the Frogs within a touchdown, then OU's Michael Hunnicut missed a 42-yarder into the wind.
That gave TCU one final chance, and the Frogs darn near made the most of it. Quarterback Trevone Boykin and flanker Cam White teamed on a 46-yard completion that beat OU cornerback Demontre Hurst, and TCU was 12 yards shy of a tie with a minute and a half to go.
“That's the way we've been doing things,” said Bob Stoops. “Making it exciting.”
The excitement included Boykin's 12-yard touchdown run, wiped out by a holding penalty with 40 seconds left, and Boykin's fourth-down pass to Josh Boyce in the end zone that was on target but was knocked away by swarming defenders Tony Jefferson and Julian Wilson.