Week 6 Big 12: Oklahoma at TCU Preview

    Oklahoma (4-0) at TCU (3-0) Oct. 4, 3:30, FOX Here’s The Deal: It’s a really big week for the SEC, and Nebraska-Michigan State is huge, but this could

    October 3, 2014

    Oklahoma (4-0) at TCU (3-0) Oct. 4, 3:30, FOX 

    Here’s The Deal: It’s a really big week for the SEC, and Nebraska-Michigan State is huge, but this could sneak into the week as one of the most important games you need to pay attention to. TCU hasn’t received much fanfare, but it’s been quietly destroying everything in its path. Granted, it doesn’t take much more than a slight breeze and a peanut butter sandwich to beat Samford and SMU, but TCU nailed the two-foot putt both times winning 104-14 against the two. In between came a 30-7 domination of a Minnesota team that might be limited, but showed against Michigan what it can do against a good run defense – and yes, Michigan has a terrific run defense. 

    Oklahoma has done everything asked so far, winning all four games by double digits with a victory over a decent Louisiana Tech along with blowouts over Tennessee and West Virginia to flex a little talent muscle. This might not be the offensive juggernaut of some of Bob Stoops’ past teams, and it might not be a defensive killer like the Sooners were a decade ago, but it’s a sound, explosive team that’s taking care of business despite issues in the offensive backfield and with a rebuilding receiving corps. Considering the Kansas State, Baylor and Oklahoma State games are all in Norman, this might be the most dangerous road game left to deal with by far, facing Iowa State and Texas Tech on the road and not quite counting the neutral-site date with Texas as away. 

    The two schools are only about 180 miles apart, but they’ve only played 13 times. The last two have been tight battles, but OU has won nine of the 13 starting with a 34-19 victory in 1944. Most notable was the opening weekend upset in 2005, when TCU came to Norman and left with a shocking 17-10 win. This time around, a Horned Frog win wouldn’t be a stunner, but it would make a big national splash. As a Big 12 team, TCU is ready. 

    Why Oklahoma Might Win: We still don’t quite know if TCU really has an offense or not. It’s been great so far, and it appears to be a far cry better than last year’s but there’s hardly a good sample size to go off of. It looked great against Minnesota, but that’s the only game that mattered so far. The same goes for the defense that dealt with the one dimensional Gophers, and that’s about it. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma offense is playing with extreme confidence, coming up with the key drives it needs to, and behind helped by a solid defense and good special teams. Most importantly, the team isn’t beating itself. A +6 in turnover margin, OU has turned it over just three times in the last three games while the D has created ten takeaways. 

    Why TCU Might Win: TCU might not have played anyone nasty, and the defense might really be that good. Minnesota’s running game is powerful and effective, and it came up with a fat load of jack squat against the Horned Frog defensive front that’s been paying rent in offensive backfields. It’s not like OU QB Trevor Knight hasn’t been touched, but the O line has kept him nice and clean. TCU generates pressure from everyone, and Knight has to be ready for it. Gary Patterson knows how to disrupt an offense. 

    Who To Watch Out For: Okay, Trevone Boykin. This is your wake up call, pal. Go to work. The TCU quarterback has been close to perfect so far, leading the team in rushing – not a good thing, by the way, for a team that’s supposed to have a stable of good backs – while completing 64% of his passes with eight scores and an interception. Last year he had a nice game against OU, throwing for 166 yards and running for two short scores, but it wasn’t quite enough. This time around, coming off a four touchdown pass, two rushing score day against SMU, he has to be sharp, efficient, and ready to get into a bit of a shootout. His defense is solid, but he’s going to have to take the offense to a higher level against an elite D. 

    What’s Going To Happen: TCU will come close, but won’t quite get there. Oklahoma is going to get tagged at some point, but the offense is way too balanced and the defense way too solid. TCU will keep the score low, but it’ll fail on its key chances in the second half, and the Sooners will escape.

    Prediction: Oklahoma 24 … TCU 17 
    Line: Oklahoma -5 o/u: 56.5 
    Must Watch Factor: 5: Gone Girl – 1: Mulaney … 4 

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