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Second Half Defensive Adjustments Aren’t Enough To Save Sooners In 37-33 Loss

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

TCU's offense was dangerous early and Oklahoma's offense was sputtering late. Both the former and the latter were key factors on Saturday afternoon as the #4 ranked Sooners fell to the Horned Frogs in Ft. Worth. TCU had 14 points on the board before the Sooners ever forced them to punt.

That punt, which came with less than a minute left in the first quarter, was followed up by TCU's first three-and-out and it appeared as if Mike Stoops' group had things figured out. That's when the Horned Frogs' Trevone Boykin gave them something else to think about. TCU's next offensive possession lasted just two plays as Boykin ran for seven yards on first down and then hit running back  B.J. Catalon, in stride, for a 39-yard touchdown strike.

Boykin was one step ahead of Oklahoma's defense for the entire first half. Each time the Sooners' defense made a move he countered and each time OU scored he led the Frogs in to a response. The result was a 24-24 tie at the half and a trip to chalkboard for Mike Stoops to make some adjustments.

The initial results weren't good as Boykin led TCU on a 10-play 73 yard touchdown drive after the Sooners had opened the second half by taking their first lead of the game. TCU made some headway again on their next offensive possession but a missed field goal attempt by Jaden Oberkrom would end the scoring threats for TCU's offense for the day.

The next five offensive possessions would result in just 30 total yards, three punts, and two turnovers. It was too little and too late though for Oklahoma's defense as the Frogs' first nine offensive possessions resulted in 439 yards and 31 points.

This game was clearly on Boykin's shoulders and the junior didn't disappoint. He harassed the Sooners with 318 passing yards and a team-high 77 yards on the ground. Oklahoma's defensive adjustments came too late in the game for the Sooners. With OU's offense stalling in the final two quarters of the game the damage was too severe and Boykin's 395 all-purpose yards were insurmountable.

Position Grades

Defensive Line - Jordan Phillips, Chuka Ndulue, and Charles Tapper combined for 12 tackles but you have to credit TCU for limiting their ability to make plays in the backfield by spreading the gaps and going with quick passing plays. Overall Grade: D

Linebackers - Eric Striker recorded two sacks and a fumble recovery. Geneo Grisson also had a fumble recovery and Jordan Evans had a pick to go along with his team-high 10 tackles. These guys needed to play a bigger role in stopping the run though. Overall Grade: B+

Secondary - There's not a whole lot of positive to say here. The safeties were beaten deep, short, and mid-range. The entire secondary struggled heavily with the zone-read/play-action and had poor tackling technique. The only saving grace here was the play of Quentin Hayes who seven tackles and a forced fumble. Overall Grade: D-