Last season, the Sooners made one of the best turnarounds in college football. And instead of talking about Lincoln Riley’s high-powered offense, it was the defense making headlines. From being one of the worst defenses in all of college football in 2018, the 2019 defense made strides that nobody thought was possible.
Despite the season ending on a sour note in the Peach Bowl against eventual national champion LSU, there was no denying the defense improved drastically under first year defensive coordinator Alex Grinch.
But with 2020 being a crazy year and losing some key players from a season ago, a step back was expected this year on the defensive side of the ball for the Sooners. Of course, breaking in a new freshman quarterback was going to be interesting as well.
Throughout the first few games, the defense showed flashes of being good but just like the offense, the defense would have collapses late in games. In the Kansas State and Texas game, Oklahoma was on the brink of putting the game away in the third quarter. And instead of an easy win, mental errors and mistakes would prove to be costly as they would let their opponent creep their way back into the game.
With an 0-2 start to begin Big 12 play, this team needed to look in the mirror and despite another late breakdown against Texas in the Red River Showdown, the defense made the play to secure the victory to help turn this season around.
It appears that that moment carried into their matchup with TCU on Saturday in Fort Worth. The Sooners jumped out to a 17-0 lead after a Gabe Brkic field goal and a T.J. pledger run as well as a Spencer Rattler pass to Marvin Mims for a 50-yard touchdown before TCU finally got on the board in the second quarter.
Little did we know at that time, that would be TCU’s only score until garbage time in the fourth quarter. Meanwhile, Oklahoma’s offense was able to move the ball well. Spencer Rattler would once again find rising superstar Marvin Mims, this time for a 61-yard touchdown strike to help blow the game wide open. Gabe Brkic would add a pair of field goals as the Sooners cruised to an easy 33-14 victory over the Frogs.
While the Oklahoma offense struggling at times in the red zone, the Oklahoma defense had little issues shutting down the TCU offense led by Max Duggan. The defense was able to put pressure on Max Duggan throughout the game but perhaps the most eye-popping stat was in the run game.
The Horned Frogs entered the day averaging over 170 yards on the ground per game and when the final whistle blew, the Sooners held them in check for just 75-yards on the ground. And even before the game got out of hand TCU had no luck running the football against this Oklahoma defense.
Overall, it was not always smooth sailing for the Sooners but a win on the road is always a big deal in this conference. With the victory, Oklahoma beats TCU for the seventh time and keep their Big 12 title hopes alive for another week.
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