Heading into the game, two arguments played out. The first of those labeled the TCU Horned Frogs defense as a tough matchup for anyone. The statement alone led to claims of the Ft. Worth trip being the toughest game on the Oklahoma Sooners schedule. On the other hand, one could dispute the legitimacy of the TCU's statistics due to quality of the opponent. Regardless, one thing rang true...the meeting in the DFW area would reveal the identity of each squad.
After finding themselves in a 14-0 hole and a dismal time of possession, the Sooners offense turned to a different tactic. The result produced a 53 yard pass play from Trevor Knight to Sterling Shepard with the goal-line in sight. Four plays later, true freshman Samaje Perine punched it in for OU's first score of the game.
Eating up large chunks of yardage proved to be effective as the coaching staff once again gave Knight the green light to look downfield. Again, the pass dropped into Shepard's arms as the receiver ran the ball 75 yards to the endzone. Behind 14 unanswered points, the Sooners leveled the score as the 1st quarter came to a close.
The two teams played themselves into a stalemate heading into the locker-room at 24-24 as Oklahoma fans quickly reverted back to the game against West Virginia. By halftime, Shepard racked up 165 yards of his career high 215.
With the offense taking the field once again, the Sooners appeared to be in control, scoring on an 11 play, 80 yard drive while consuming 5:32 of the clock. Now leading for the first time on the afternoon...what could go wrong? Unfortunately, the second half proved unkind leading to a 37-33 defeat at the hands of the Horned Frogs.
Offensive Coordinator, Josh Heupel all but abandoned the run turning over the reigns to a quarterback whose accuracy dropped as the game wore on.
Since taking a 31-24 lead Oklahoma has passed 11 times and run the ball just 3 times. #Sooners now trail 37-33 in the 4th.— CC Machine (@CCMachine) October 4, 2014
The accuracy, or lack there of, allowed TCU's Paul Dawson to drop in coverage and snag a pick six. On the ensuing PAT, Zack Sanchez picked up the blocked attempt and crossed the goal-line for OU's 33rd point of the game. Could it be a momentum swing? With multiple turnovers dotting the 4th quarter, Oklahoma had their chances. However, it all came crashing down as the Sooners' "NFL sized" offensive line failed to pick up one yard near the redzone on 4th down.
Needless to say, the Horned Frogs came in with a viable game plan and executed said game plan to near perfection through three quarters. Although a lack of depth at QB has kept Oklahoma's Knight in the pocket more often than not, the coaching staff took the leash off. Yet, TCU continued to find an answer. Out coached and out played, the Sooners become just another statistic on upset weekend.
Offensive Line - An experienced NFL-sized offensive line met their match today. Touted as explosive off the ball, the push needed today simply was not there. Comibine the inability to spring Samaje Perine for a single yard in a crucial situation with the allowance of three sacks and it quickly becomes a subpar day. Overall Grade: C
Quarterback - When Oklahoma needed him the most, Trevor Knight delivered...in the first half showing a bit of touch on the deep ball. However, all of that changed in the second half. Was it because of a slight leg injury? No one is quite sure at this point but fact remains, Knight's accuracy suffered as play continued. Completing less than 50% of his passes and tossing two interceptions, Knight once again looked like a freshman. Overall Grade: C-
Receivers/Tight Ends - Sterling Shepard had himself a career day and proved once again to be the favorite target of the quarterback. Targeting six different receivers/tight ends, poor passes became the staple while Blake Bell broke off routes early. The only effective players, Shepard and Durron Neal need a third complement. Until one emerges the struggles likely continue. Overall Grade: B-
Runningbacks - Alex Ross could not find any running room against a physical front. Therefore, Samaje Perine picked up 25 carries for 87 yards and three touchdowns. When the kid has been asked to produce, Perine has done so for the most part. The decision to abandon the run cannot be placed on this group's shoulders. Overall Grade: B+