A few observations from OU’s 20-17 win over TCU in Norman:
1. Defensive Dominance: OU’s defense is shaping up to be the best in the Big 12. Even though it hasn’t faced the wide-open offenses of the conference yet (Baylor, Texas Tech), the Sooners’ D has clearly made massive strides this season. OU held a struggling TCU offense to 16 yards of offense and zero first downs in the first half. TCU finished with just 210 total yards. TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin was under constant pressure and was held to just 18 yards rushing.
2. Gritty Groups: And just as good as OU’s defense was in the first half, TCU turned it up after halftime. The Horned Frogs held the Sooners’ offense to four yards in the third quarter, spurred by the outstanding coverage of All-American defensive back Jason Verrett. When linebacker Corey Nelson went out injured at the end of the third, Boykin was able to get in the end zone on a tough 2-yard run to cut OU’s lead to 13-10. OU’s defense lost Nelson and defensive back Julian Wilson in the second half to injuries, but was able to hold TCU down the stretch.
3. Big Play Clay: The Sooners needed a spark in the second half and Brennan Clay gave them one on his 76-yard touchdown run. Clay’s run gave OU breathing room at 20-10, which they needed because Boykin followed with a relatively easy 75-yard scoring drive. Boykin (two TDs) was sensational in the second half for TCU, but Clay’s breakaway run was the difference. Clay finished with 111 yards rushing on just nine carries.