NORMAN — Oklahoma improved to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in Big 12 Conference play with Saturday’s 20-17 win over TCU.
Here’s a look at our coverage for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com, followed by a few quick thoughts:
* My game story: Brennan Clay’s 76-yard touchdown run helped make up for a mediocre offensive performance
* Berry Tramel’s column: Who outside of San Diego knew Brennan Clay could run that fast?
* From Ryan Aber: OU defense shines in the first half
* Our OU notebook, with items on Michael Hunnicutt, Jordan Phillips and the recruiting weekend
* My Q&A with former OU quarterback Landry Jones. He talks about the OU offense and his transition to professional football
* What they’re saying about Saturday’s game
* OU-TCU by the numbers
* Berry Tramel’s OU report card
Other random thoughts, notes and observations:
* Offensive starters: QB Blake Bell; HB Brennan Clay; WR Jaz Reynolds; WR Lacoltan Bester; WR Sterling Shepard; WR Jalen Saunders; OT Tyrus Thompson; OG Bronson Irwin; C Gabe Ikard; OG Adam Shead; OT Daryl Williams.
* Defensive starters: DE Chuka Ndulue; DT Jordan Wade; DE Charles Tapper; LB Eric Striker; LB Frank Shannon; LB Corey Nelson; CB Aaron Colvin; FS Gabe Lynn; SS Quentin Hayes; NB Julian Wilson; CB Zack Zanchez.
* Oklahoma’s defense really came out strong tonight. TCU managed to make things interesting in the second half, but the Sooner defense was dominant in the first two quarters. The Horned Frogs looked completely helpless offensively.
* TCU didn’t pick up any first downs in the first half. The Frogs’ recorded their first of the game with 8:54 left in the third quarter.
* TCU coach Gary Patterson pulled out all the stops in the second half. The Frogs successfully completed a flea-flicker pass that gained 20 yards and set up their first points of the game, then surprised OU with a deep onside kick and tried another trick play early in the fourth quarter, when Brandon Carter came out of the backfield, caught a pass from Trevon Boykin and then attempted to throw the ball downfield. OU defended that play well — linebacker Eric Striker stopped TCU’s Brandon Carter for a 16-yard loss — but it ultimately resulted in a TCU first down after Striker was called for a facemask penalty.
* Interestingly, just before that last trick play, the Fox cameras caught Bob Stoops repeatedly screaming at the defense, “Watch the flea flicker! Watch the flea flicker!”
* Speaking of Brandon Carter … remember him, OU fans? He was committed to play for the Sooners as a defensive back out of Euless (Texas) Trinity High, until he flipped to TCU a few weeks before signing day in 2011. He switched because he preferred to play receiver. Last season in Fort Worth, Carter caught an 80-yard touchdown pass against OU. He was held without a catch Saturday, though.
* Senior guard Bronson Irwin earned his first start of the season at right guard against TCU. Irwin, a Mustang native, started all 13 of OU’s games last year, but had strangely fallen behind sophomore Nila Kasitati on the depth chart this season.
* The curious case of Trey Metoyer continues. The ultra-talented sophomore was nowhere to be found at Saturday’s game.
* Here’s hoping second-half injuries to Corey Nelson and Julian Wilson aren’t serious. Coach Bob Stoops didn’t seem to believe they were, but you never know. With as good as OU’s defense is playing, you’d sure hate to see guys like that have to miss much time.
* Internet rumors swirled early Saturday about Cindy Johnson, the wife of OU’s Merv Johnson. I couldn’t find any concrete information about her condition until a few hours before kickoff. I’d walked over to a tailgate to interview Landry Jones, and after I was finished, Merv walked right past me and said hello. I asked about Cindy, and he gave me the bad news: She’s been removed from life support and probably only has a few more days to live.
* Blake Bell enters his first Red River Rivalry as the OU starting quarterback in an odd position, as he’s already made a tremendous impact on the game. Last year, he scored four touchdowns in the first half out of the “Belldozer” package.
* An interesting note: This is the ninth time in the Bob Stoops era — and the fourth time in the last five seasons — that OU has started with a 5-0 record. They previously did it in 2011, 2010, 2008, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001 and 2000.
* For what it’s worth, Oklahoma’s defense hasn’t allowed any points in the second quarter. The Sooners are outscoring opponents 57-0 in the second quarters of their five games so far.
PEEKING AHEAD TO THE NEXT GAME
Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) vs. Texas (3-2, 2-0 Big 12)
When: 11 a.m., Saturday
Where: Cotton Bowl Stadium, Dallas.
TV: KOCO-5 (Cox 8/HD 705, Dish 5, DirecTV 5, U-verse 5/HD 1005)
Radio: KOKC-AM 1520, The Franchise-107.7 FM