Big 12 Previews

TCU vs. Oklahoma: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Texas Christian

Here’s everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 match up in our TCU vs. Oklahoma preview and prediction.

Game Info 

Saturday, October 16, 2021; 6:30 pm Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium; Norman, OK 

TV: ABC (Chris Fowler, Kirk Herbstreit, and Holly Rowe) 

Radio: TCU: Horned Frogs Radio Network (Brian Estridge and John Denton); OU: Sooner Sports Network (Toby Rowland and Teddy Lehman) 

Spread: OU by 11.5 

Fun Fact: Post Texas hangover? The Sooners don’t have a letdown from the emotional high of playing the Longhorns under Lincoln Riley. OU has outscored its last four post-Texas foes by an average of 43-24. 

 

Key Players 

TCU Horned Frogs 

Running Backs Zach Evans and Kendre MIller 

Evans and Miller, both sophomores, have combined for 888 yards and 11 TDs this year. Evans is the team leader with 586 yards (7.9 per carry), and Miller follows with 302 (8.9 ypc), but Miller leads with 6 TDs to Evans’ 5. Miller rushed for a career-high 185 yards and 3 TDs last weekend in the Horned Frogs’ 52-31 victory over Texas Tech. Evans followed with 143 yards and a couple of scores. 

Quarterback Max Duggan 

The junior signal-caller has had a decent season by completing nearly 65 percent of his passes with a TD/INT ratio of 9/2. 

Linebacker Dee Winters 

The junior’ backer leads TCU with 32 tackles, including 3.5 stops for loss and 1 sack. Winters also has one interception and one QB hurry. 

Cornerback Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson 

The junior has made quite an impact for the Frogs in just his second game at safety, moving into the slot midway through the Texas game two weeks ago. Hodges-Tomlinson snared his second interception of the season last week against the Red Raiders and took it 29 yards for a touchdown. His performance garnered last week’s Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honor.

 

Oklahoma Sooners 

Running Back Kennedy Brooks 

Brooks turned in his best performance of the year by rushing for 217 yards on 25 carries and 2 TDs against Texas last Saturday. His second touchdown, a 33-yard sprint, was the game-winner against the Longhorns. The effort earned him the Big 12’s Offensive Player of the Week Honor. The redshirt junior has rolled up 535 yards (6.8 ypc) and 6 TDs this season.  

Quarterback Caleb Williams 

Just a freshman, Williams took over the QB duties when Spencer Rattler struggled against Texas. For two-and-a-half quarters, Williams led Oklahoma back from an 18-point deficit to defeat the Longhorns. The Sooners scored on seven of its final nine possessions, with Williams as the signal-caller. He completed 16 of 25 passes for 212 yards and 2 TDs. He also carried the ball four times for 88 yards, including a 66-yard touchdown run. His performance earned him the Big 12’s Newcomer of the Week Award. 

Receiver Marvin Mims 

Last year, the junior was Oklahoma’s leading receiver, and after a mostly quiet first five games this season, Mims had his best game with 5 receptions for 136 yards and 2 TDs last Saturday. His second TD catch was a spectacular leaping grab, and he managed to keep a toe inbounds before falling into the pylon for the score to complete the 52-yard play. 

Kicker Gabe Brkic 

Brkic leads the Big 12 in scoring with 11.3 points per game. The redshirt junior tied single-game school records for points by a kicker (17) and field goals (four), making all four of his field goal attempts and all five PAT tries on Saturday. His field goal conversions from 40, 35, 29, and 26 yards helped the Sooners chip away at UT’s advantage. Brkic earned the league’s Special Teams Player of the Week honor, his second of the season. He has kicked a perfect 23 of 23 PATs and 15 of 17 (88.2%) field goals.

 

Key Storylines 

TCU Horned Frogs 

After two straight losses (SMU by 8 and Texas by 5), the Frogs got a big win over Texas Tech last week to run their record to 3-2 and 1-1 in the conference. TCU dominated the game from the outset by rolling up a season-high 52 points and 558 total yards. This should give the Frogs much-needed confidence heading into Norman this week. However, Gary Patterson is known as a defensive guru, but the Frogs have given up an average of 34 points per game in their last four outings. I expect TCU defensive coordinator Chad Glasgow will not get much sleep this week as he devises how to slow the Sooners offensive, which grew fangs in the second half last week. It’s going to be difficult to stop both OU’s running attack and passing game. Lots of weapons out of Norman. 

Oklahoma Sooners 

OU ran its record to 6-0 (3-0 in the Big 12) and ranked 4th in the AP Poll and No. 3 in the coaches’ poll after last week’s come-from-behind win over the Longhorns. The Sooners need to capitalize on the momentum from that victory. The defense gave up 48 points to Texas but held the Horns to 10 points in the second half. TCU’s running attack is awesome, but the passing game is not. Oklahoma’s front seven must scheme to contain the running duo of Evans and Miller. Then, the D can neutralize Duggan, who ranks sixth in the Big 12 in passing, which could spell trouble for the Frogs. 

Prediction: Oklahoma 41 TCU 24

Riley hasn’t said who his starting QB will be this Saturday. How could he not start a guy (Williams) who led the comeback with an offense that produced 9.9 yards per play with the freshman behind center? When Rattler was in at QB, Oklahoma put up 5.1 yards per play last week. Williams’ ability to run and pass makes the Sooners more explosive. I’ll be surprised if No. 13 doesn’t take the first snap when OU’s offense hits the field Saturday night. The Sooners haven’t logged an interception in the last 10 quarters. Look for them to get two against a weak TCU passing game. 

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