Has everyone taken the deep breath? Has everyone gotten back on the wagon?
The Oklahoma Sooners need to give you guys some peace of mind. On one hand, they will have their chance to do that against TCU. On the other, it’s because they are playing a Aldi’s version of Kansas State.
If Oklahoma wants to show that last week was a fluke, what a scheduling gift this is. TCU just smells a lot like Kansas State to me... just not quite as good.
Storylines to watch
- Adrian Martinez sliced and diced you in the air for about 15 minutes last week. Then? The running attack of Vaughn and Martinez hit Oklahoma with a knock-out punch. All week I have heard the big bad boogieman of “mobile QBs” again giving Sooner fans nightmares. I am not here to tell you that it’s wrong. I am here to say... I don’t know yet. The sample size is still too small. We will have a bigger idea, though, following this game. Max Duggan (whose last name I guess we are all saying wrong?) has some wheels. He also has a better arm over his career than Adrian Martinez. If this actually is a problem and a back-breaking issue for the OU defense, we will see it again here.
- Oklahoma will be tested vertically on Saturday. Quinten Johnston is a monster on the outside and while Kansas State had success through the air, it was not Malik Knowles flying up the sideline all alone. Duggan and this offense will take those shots. We haven’t really seen these safeties and corners tested downfield. How much of a Justin Broiles conversation are we having on Sunday morning? Does Jaden Davis’s lack of size finally show up as an issue, or does Woodi Washington stick to Johnston like glue? Bowman is playing Superman on the back end? Again, another question we don’t know about this team yet. TCU will provide us with an answer.
- I feel as if I am a voice for a very, very quiet minority here but has anyone else said this to you.. “Dillon Gabriel has been fine, even good. He has done enough to be 4-0 but... is he worse than you thought too?”. I knew the drop off in QB play was coming. The days of 70-point games and ESPN top 10 plays are likely behind us on this OU offense.. but missing an easy touchdown up the seam to Stoops? Short arming a fourth-down conversion? Gabriel is better than that, and frankly needs to be if this team wants to compete against Oklahoma State, Baylor and Kansas (I don’t even know if I am joking).
- Eric Gray has been the biggest surprise and... maybe the best player on offense? I know, I know. Mims is the best player, no doubt. If you are looking at not only production but meaningful production... it is Gray and it is not close. Everything we thought would happen in this backfield needs to be put on hold. We might be watching the start to a... not historic, but very, very fun season from Gray. He looks explosive. I will walk back my call for Major to get more carries. Eric Gray needs to have 25+ touches on Saturday.
Know your opponent: Who is TCU?
- I don’t know, you tell me. No. Seriously, how good do you think TCU is? They obviously already have their bye week and have two wins against some really terrible opponents. However, last week was a nice win against SMU. Now, the Mustangs are not the SMU team from 2021 obviously losing their coach and a handful of skill position guys to the NFL. It was impressive, though. I feel as if I know less about this team than any team in the Big 12 right now and that is dangerous. I wouldn’t touch this line at all if I was a wagering man.
- Malik Knowles & Deuce Vaughn are the two best players that Oklahoma has played this year and TCU isn’t taking that mantle but, last week removed, if you were to ask me who I would say is the better QB Duggan or Martinez? I think I would take Duggan. Duggan isn’t an NFL-caliber player but he is solid. He has made plays. He has won big games. I also think he throws a pretty sneaky-good deep ball. Obviously Duggan is mobile, as well. Now offensive line, wide receivers, running game, and defense? Kansas State is better in all of those areas. But Duggan will stress the Sooners again.
- TCU’s defense isn’t Gary Patterson approved. They are going to rush 3 and drop 8 like Riley is in town. Force Oklahoma to have success running the football even against a light box. OU has faced this defense once against Kent State... and struggled to get the running game going.. so Eric Gray needs to be special to open up Mims and this passing offense.
- Finally, what the heck is that hand sign? Like I know what it is... but I also don’t know what it is? Ya know? Looking for answers in Ft. Worth.
TCU will stress the Sooners again. Oklahoma has a habit of slow starts here lately, so I am planning on history here. Give me Eric Gray to be a monster and the defense to pick it self up off the mat. Oklahoma fans are happy but also... starring at the game against Texas not quite feeling unbeatable next week.
OU - 34
TCU - 27