FORT WORTH, Texas — No offensive fireworks this time. After three straight high-scoring games, the last two decided by whoever had the ball last, the Sooners played a more conventional game. Some good marks, some not so good.
CHAMPIONSHIP CELEBRATION: B
With no Big 12 Championship game, the Sooners deemed this their title tilt. The win secured at least a tie for the Big 12, and the Sooners celebrated with T-shirts and caps proclaiming the title, along with the customary photograph of the scoreboard in the background. Only trouble is, Bob Stoops was pointed in his comments a year ago, when OSU had clinched a tie for the title even before the Bedlam game, that in a tie, the champion should be the team that won the head-to-head meeting. Now that the roles are reversed, Stoops has reversed his stance. But for a team that was 0-1 in league play on Sept. 23, finishing 8-1 was worthy of celebration.
OFFENSIVE LINE: A
More injury problems — guard Adam Shead was hobbled by an ankle injury and played only about half the game. Center Gabe Ikard shifted to guard, with true freshman Ty Darlington inserted at center. But against the Big 12's top statistical defense, the OU line stayed firm. Landry Jones was not sacked or even really hurried, and the Sooner running backs averaged 5.7 yards per carry. Damien Williams was untouched on his 66-yard TD run.
The Frogs did little damage in the open field. Or even in a crowd. TCU had 350 total yards, but 162 of those yards came on three plays in which no tackles were broken — Trevone Boykin pass completions of 80 yards to Brandon Carter and 46 yards to Cam White, and a 36-yard Boykin keeper.
The Sooners broke few tackles. When scatbacks Jalen Saunders and Sterling Shepard caught the ball, they mostly went down immediately. Most of Damien Williams' 115 rushing yards came before contact.
The new Amon Carter Stadium is a jewel, with modern amenities and an old-school look — the south end zone will remind you some of Folsom Field's charm in Boulder. Sooner fans, from 8,000 to 10,000, made the easy trip to Fort Worth and were welcomed by delightful TCU fans. Good stadium, good fans, good city, good team. Welcome to the Big 12, Frogs.
LANDRY JONES: C
After two monster games, Landry came back to Earth, completing 22 of 40 passes for 244 yards. Landry threw high early in the game — then not high enough, when his pass to Justin Brown on an out pattern was speared by strong safety Sam Carter, who was playing in front of Brown. But Landry was excellent on a second-quarter drive against the wind, when he completed six of seven passes for 84 yards on a 75-yard drive.
TIME MANAGEMENT: D
The Sooners were excellent at manipulating the clock the previous two weeks, but not so Saturday. Leading 24-17 with seven minutes remaining, OU drove deep into TCU territory. But on 2nd-and-13 from the Frog 25-yard line with little more than three minutes left, Josh Heupel dialed up two passes. Both were incomplete, then Michael Hunnicutt missed a 42-yard field goal, allowing TCU 2:49 to try to score. OU should have ran the ball twice, burn more time or TCU timeouts, and give the shaky Hunnicutt a closer kick.
DEFENDING BOYKIN: B
Mobile quarterbacks often give OU fits, but the Sooners mostly kept the wraps on TCU's Trevone Boykin. The Sooners sacked Boykin twice and flushed him from the pocket several more times, without giving up much scrambling yardage. Discounting sacks, Boykin had 49 yards on nine carries, but 36 of them came on a run up the middle off the shotgun option.