COLUMN: Can TCU sneak up on the Sooners again?
With the fourth week of the college football season officially in the record books, the Sooners’ schedule looks a little different heading into Saturday’s game against TCU than it did even just a week ago.
Originally, the game against TCU merely seemed like an opportunity for the Sooners to avenge their last home loss.
Now it appears OU could have a more difficicult challenge on its hands, with TCU now ranked No. 24 and one of the hottest teams in the country. They Horned Frogs will be ready to prove they can challenge No. 11 BYU for the Mountain West championship.
Virtually every Sooner fan remembers what happened the last time the Horned Frogs played in Norman.
It was September 2005, and TCU slid past then-No. 7 OU, 17-10, handing OU its first home loss since 2001.
OU has not lost in Norman since. Naturally, as this is the Horned Frogs’ first return to Norman since 2005, all the talk surrounds whether they can pull off the upset again.
Given OU’s play through its first three games this season, the consensus seems to be that the Sooners will have no trouble extending their winning streak inside Oklahoma Memorial Stadium Saturday.
However, a closer look reveals several reasons why OU’s pursuit of its 21st consecutive home victory might be more difficult than fans realize.
1. TCU is (almost) just as hot as OU
While OU has averaged a little over 54 points per game in its three victories, TCU hasn’t been tested in its first four games either, outscoring its opponents 172-31. The Horned Frogs have averaged 43 points per game in their four wins, and they’re coming off a 48-7 rout of SMU this weekend.
The Horned Frogs are ranked No. 1 in the country in both total defense (183 yards per game) and rushing defense (30.5 ypg). They are also No. 3 in passing efficiency defense.
TCU’s secondary may give quarterback Sam Bradford — who led the nation in passer efficiency last year and is in the top 5 this year—some trouble.
3. DeMarcus Granger is out
TCU enters Saturday’s contest with the No. 12 rushing attack in the country. With junior defensive tackle DeMarcus Granger sidelined, the Sooners need Granger’s replacements to step in and fill his void; otherwise it may be a long day for OU’s front four.
4. TCU can play in Norman
The Sooners and Horned Frogs have played each other a total of 10 times, and OU only leads the series 6-4. What’s more is that TCU’s record playing at Norman is 4-1, meaning its victory here three years ago might not have been the fluke many people considered it to be.
— Eric Dama is a journalism sophomore.