Big 12 Previews

Oklahoma vs. TCU: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Texas El Paso at Oklahoma

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming matchup between the Oklahoma Sooners and the TCU Horned Frogs.

GAME INFO

Saturday, October 1, 2022; 11:00 a.m. CT; Amon G. Carter Stadium; Fort Worth, Texas

TV: ABC (Mark Jones, Robert Griffin III, Quint Kessenich)

Radio: Sooner Sports Network (Toby Rowland, Teddy Lehman, Gabe Ikard, Chris Plank); Horned Frogs Sports Network (Brian Estridge, John Denton, Landry Burdine)

Records: Oklahoma 3-1 (0-1 Big 12); TCU 3-0 (0-0 Big 12)

Last Week’s Games: Oklahoma 34, Kansas State 41; TCU 42, SMU 34

Rankings: Oklahoma ranked No. 18 in AP Top 25 Poll; TCU unranked

Series History: Oklahoma leads series 17-5

Last Meeting: Oklahoma 52, TCU 31 (2021)

Favorite: Oklahoma (-6.5)

Fun Fact: Since 1999, Oklahoma has only lost back-to-back regular season games once. That was in 2020, when the Sooners lost to Kansas State 38-35 and then 37-30 at Iowa State. Meanwhile, TCU will try to win its first Big 12 opener since 2019 vs. Kansas.

 

Key Players

Oklahoma Sooners

QB Dillon Gabriel

As is typically the case, when Oklahoma lost its first game of 2022, fans seemed to go after Dillon Gabriel. While he did miss a throw or two on would-be touchdowns, Gabriel was efficient and safe with the football as he has been all season. On the year, Gabriel is 78/117 (66.7%) for 1,089 yards and 11 touchdowns with no interceptions, adding 126 yards and two scores on the ground. The Sooners’ quarterback has been plenty good enough to win games to this point, and he will need to continue that trend against an improved TCU defense.

LB Danny Stutsman

Oklahoma’s leading tackler through four games, Stutsman has been a promising young piece on an inexperienced OU defense. Despite his 10 game effort against K-State, Stutsman would be the first to tell you that he didn’t play well and was pushed around by a physical Wildcat rushing attack. If Oklahoma’s defense is going to prove last week an anomaly, it will need to start with Stutsman at the very center. As one of the emotional leaders of this team, he will need to be more sure in run fits and find a way to make plays against a good TCU offense.

 

TCU Horned Frogs

QB Max Duggan

Despite not being named the starter at the beginning of the year, TCU signal-caller Max Duggan has been terrific through two games. Duggan ranks ninth nationally in QBR (86.7) and has been wonderful for the Horned Frogs in nonconference play. So far, Duggan has completed 47/61 (77%) for 695 yards and eight touchdowns in two games, the most recent being against rival SMU. If TCU is going to take down the Sooners this week, it will take a Herculean effort from Duggan, similar to what K-State’s Adrian Martinez did last week.

CB Josh Newton

Despite Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson being the big name in this secondary, it has been junior cornerback Josh Newton who has been the problem thus far. Newton has an interception in each of the last two games for TCU and has been a solid corner opposite Hodges-Tomlinson. The duo will be formidable if Newton continues to play at the level that he has to this point, adding two PBU’s in the last two games as well. Dillon Gabriel will provide the toughest test thus far for this TCU secondary that has been better than expected.

 

Key Storylines

Oklahoma Sooners

Can Oklahoma shake off last week’s loss and get back what we saw in Weeks 1-3? The defense played in Norman before the K-State game had many around Norman thinking that Venables had turned things around in a jiffy, but the Oklahoma defense of old reared its ugly head on Saturday. Adrian Martinez converted third-and-long after third-and-long as the Sooners couldn’t get off the field. If that is what we see from OU going forward, they will be in a lot of dogfights this season. However, if they can pick themselves up and turn last week’s performance into an outlier, the Sooners will be fine.

TCU Horned Frogs

Sonny Dykes and the Horned Frogs are feeling good about themselves coming home after a road win over SMU in the Battle for the Iron Skillet. However, Dykes and TCU can’t celebrate for too long as a wounded Oklahoma team comes into Fort Worth this weekend to serve as TCU’s conference opener. Can they continue the offensive success that they had last weekend against on Oklahoma defense that showed some major flaws last weekend? If the answer is yes, TCU has to like their odds in this game.

Prediction: Oklahoma 37, TCU 30

After a tough loss at the hands of Kansas State, Oklahoma will come out and find a way to win a tough game in Fort Worth. TCU will prove to be a formidable opponent for the Sooners as TCU looks like a totally different squad than we saw last season. Max Duggan will do enough to keep TCU in this game until the very end, but the Oklahoma defense steps up and makes enough plays to give the Sooners a much-needed victory.

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