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Oklahoma football: Grading the Sooners' 20-17 win over TCU

OU REPORT CARD — The Sooner pass rush and short-yardage offense set the curve. Now, about that student section...
by Berry Tramel Published: October 5, 2013

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First-down defense: B. The root of TCU's first-half malaise was first down. The Frogs had six first-down plays in the first half and threw three incompletions, plus Boykin was sacked. On the other two first-down plays, TCU gained three and four yards, respectively. That's how the Frogs came to never coming closer than six yards from a first down. But that changed in the second half. TCU had 16 first-down plays after intermission; five gained at least eight yards and another resulted in a 15-yard penalty against OU. But the Sooners in the second half did turn back the Frogs for five lost-yardage plays on first down, plus two incompletions.

Students: D. The student section was close to full at kickoff but thinned out in the second half of a tight ballgame. That usually deserves a C, but not a week after Notre Dame and the sight of the Fighting Irish student body filling up several sections, staying all game long and choreographing a variety of cool chants.

Kicking game: C. Michael Hunnicutt nailed his two field-goal attempts, from 39 and 37 yards, and the Sooners neither allowed nor produced a return of meaningful distance. But a deep onside kick bounced off tight end Brannon Green, giving TCU an extra possession that swung momentum and could have cost OU the game.

Blake Bell: B. The OU passing game wasn't working well — Bell finished 20 of 31 for just 152 yards, with three sacks and a long play of just 19 yards. But he gained 24 yards on three scrambles and finished with 61 yards on 14 carries, including two huge runs as OU tried to run out the clock — 13- and 17-yard runs off options.

by Berry Tramel
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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