Despite the outcome being up for grabs up until the very end, Oklahoma's game Saturday against TCU was one of the more boring games in recent memory.
Oklahoma will receive the ball to start the second half with a 14-7 lead.
* 3rd Q, 13:59 - 2nd & 10 OU from their 34. Damien Williams houses it. And I couldn't do a better job of describing it than our own NateHeupel did in the comment section of the first half, so in case you missed it ...
Sterling Shepard does a BRILLIANT job with the free safety on Damien Williams' TD run to start the second half.
First of all, what he does is the textbook definition of holding. HOW he does it should be taught to every WR that OU signs from now until infinity because there is no way a ref can call that under any circumstance.
Shepard gets the free safety to commit a hand to fending him off. Once the free safety gives Shepard a push to get free, Shepard falls back with the push but doesn't let go of the safety's hand. In doing so, it looks like the free safety just got tangled up in Shep's jersey or pads, and he can't get free. And Damien Williams says "Bye."
I would only add that Lane Johnson did an outstanding job of setting the edge on the left side of the line. 21-7 OU
* In my opinion, Gabe Lynn just does not have the hips to play corner/nickel back or cover in space as they continually ask him to do. He's a run support safety if he's anything in this defense and the sooner they move him there the better off everyone will be.
* It's hard to fault your special teams unit for not being far enough down field to prevent a 75-yard punt from rolling into the end zone. Still, would have been nice.
* 3rd Q, 9:43 - 1st & 10 TCU from their 20. To say Lynn bites on this play action wouldn't even begin to come close to properly describing things. TCU brings a guy in motion fakes the jet sweep getting multiple OU defenders to bite up on the play. Lynn doesn't impede the receivers route even slightly, allowing him the cleanest release you'll ever see. After that, Brandon Carter is off to the races.
I saw some people on Twitter during the game insinuate that this bust was on Tony Jefferson and how Mike Stoops was ripping into him on the sidelines, which I can only assume was a result of him being the closest defender attempting to chase Carter down. I even saw Jefferson respond to some of his critics on Twitter later in the day that he wasn't the player Stoops was yelling at. And I have to agree with Jefferson as he actually comes across from the other side of the field trying to recover for the mistake that Lynn and Javon Harris made on the play. I will say it looks like Jefferson is caught, at least a little, with his eyes in the backfield. There definitely looks like there was some confusion on who was responsible for Carter. Regardless, it's now 21-14 OU.
* Jalen Saunders might be one of the quickest guys you'll ever see make and catch and immediately turn the ball up field.
* 3rd Q, 5:12 - 3rd & 4 TCU from the OU 49. In this one play we see what we've been waiting five years for from R.J. Washington. He explodes off the snap, immediately getting into the TCU left tackle, before giving him an ever so subtle hesitation move to the inside. Which allows him to quickly dip his shoulder to avoid a now off-balance attempted block that does virtually nothing to slow Washington's pursuit of the quarterback. Boykin clearly does not feel Washington bearing down on him from behind as he makes no attempt to avoid the impending hit. Washington does a nice job of lunging for the ball and forcing it loose while also pulling down the elusive Boykin.
The play wound up getting reviewed to determine whether or not Boykin's arm was moving forward prior to the ball coming loose. it wasn't, play is overturned, and ruled a fumble as it should have been. Because the refs blew the whistle however, the fumble return by Frank Shannon is negated.
* I know OU would have options regardless, but I really, really, really don't want Kenny Stills to declare for the NFL Draft this year. I'd wish him nothing but the best if he were to leave, but I'd love to see him back for his senior year.
* Landry just his Stansly Maponga in the face with a pass that should have been his second really bad interception in this game.
* I think I might have said this on CCM already, but it more than warrants mentioning again. I could not have been more wrong about Lane Johnson. I was very vocal prior to the start of the season about what a horrible idea it was to have him as the starting left tackle. So vocal in fact, that Johnson, or someone attempting to portray him, sent me something on Twitter basically calling me out as a hater.
Johnson has been absolutely outstanding this season and has flat out dominated Devonte Fields in this game. Happy to admit I was an idiot for questioning his ability to be this team's left tackle.
End of the 3rd Quarter, Oklahoma leading TCU 24-14.
* I've seen this TCU field goal now a bunch of times and my opinion remains unchanged, he made it. Refs blew that call. Would have only made a difference in Vegas, but still you have to get that right.
* Ty Darlington is going to be really good. Give him a full offseason to put on 15 or 20 pounds and watch out.
* I have to assume the wind played a significant role in that Justin Brown muffed punt, but you have to know better than that to make a diving attempt in that spot.
* Very next play, Jefferson makes a fantastic play to prevent another one play touchdown drive just getting his fingers on a ball intended for Josh Boyce. Watching his reaction after the play, Jefferson seems to me to give the impression that he was once again covering for a teammate who missed their assignment. Admittedly, that's speculation on my part but Julian Wilson runs up to him after the play and Jefferson didn't exactly seem happy, kind of walking away shaking his head.
* OT - Not being privy to the luxury of attending games at the suite level, I can't really say whether or not the TCU 'Founders Club' they showed briefly is any more or less impressive than OU or any other school. I suspect Oklahoma's is pretty fancy, but TCU's looked pretty damn sweet to me.
* 4th Q, 5:11 - 1st & 10 OU from their 48. This was kind of what I was getting at in the 1st Half breakdown with respect to Williams and his running style. Here, he takes the play to his right off tackle a really good block from Trey Millard and Tyrus Thompson who is quickly up to the second level. Williams finds himself out in space, one-on-one with a TCU defender.
This time however, he puts his little stutter-step move on the guy instead of trying to lower his shoulder and run him over as I felt he was doing a lot earlier in the game. As he usually does with this move, the defender is left grabbing for air and Williams has a bunch of green grass ahead of him. Nice 14-yard gain.
* Fields not playing as much at defensive end here in the 4th Quarter for TCU. Not sure if he was just gassed from getting abused by Johnson all day or if he was hurt.
* That Michael Hunnicutt field goal was ridiculous. It looked like a freaking boomerang.
* Felt like Oklahoma could have done a much better job on that last drive working the clock had they used the run game a little more than they did.
* 4th Q, 1:52 - 2nd & 10 TCU from their 47. Not sure what happened here on this long completion. Demontre Hurst at the top of the screen playing about eight yards off his receiver. Hard to tell if he thinks he's supposed to have help over the top from Harris, but either way Hurst allows him to get inside which proves to be the difference on this play. Credit Boykin for hanging in there and making a nice throws as Washington obliterates him just as he releases it.
* A blatant, and I mean blatant, hold on Stacy McGee that was rightfully called to bring back Boykin's potential game tying touchdown run. The TCU offensive lineman literally turned him around with the hold. I saw a TCU fan say after the game that it was "the right call, but unnecessary." What the heck does that mean?
* 4th Q, 0:31 - 4th & 13 TCU from the OU 15. Never a huge fan of the fade call on a game deciding play, it's just a 50-50 type proposition typically hard to leave your fate up to that kind of jump ball type situation. Here though, even after getting turned around a bit, Julian Wilson is able to recover in time to get his hand in on Boyce to prevent the game tying touchdown catch. Jefferson was also there, closing late on the ball, and coming over to get a hit on Boyce as well. Really nice play from both OU defenders, but I think most of the credit has to go to Wilson who got his hand up between the arms of Boyce to pop the ball out.
Not really sure what Boyce or the TCU fans are screaming about after the play, obviously wanting a pass interference call. Granted, Wilson didn't get his head around on the play but it wasn't face guarding (even though that isn't a rule in CFB) and never really makes contact with Boyce.
* Victory formation, y'all.