Oklahoma is 2-1 over the last three games against the Horned Frogs and have those games by a total of 5 points. Two years ago in Fort Worth the Sooners picked up a 37-33 road win and last year Oklahoma held on for the 30-29 win in Norman. In that game, TCU head coach Gary Patterson decided to go for a two point conversion with under one minute to play costing his team an opportunity at the win. Sooners are coming off of a bye from two weeks ago.
The Sooners are averaging 35 points per game and have not been as explosive as they were a year ago after two September losses to Houston and Ohio State. On the year, the offense is averaging 178 rushing yards per game along with passing for 300 yards per game. Quarterback Baker Mayfield is completing 64% of his passes for 793 yards with 7 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Mayfield has seemed rattled in the pocket at times and clearly misses wide receivers Sterling Shepard and Durron Neal from last season.
The offensive line has not played well early in the season and has allowed 11 sacks through 3 games. More importantly, has been the lack of consistency in the running game with the line play not being able to move the chains and keep the offense in third down and short situations. Running backs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine are struggling running the football between the tackles and will be tested this weekend by a solid front seven in the TCU defense.
Wide receiver Dede Westbrook will need to have a big game this weekend and leads the team with 17 receptions for 154 yards with no scores. Oklahoma plays best when they are playing out in front with a lead. The Sooners have struggled when teams jump up early on then and force them out of their game plan.
Defensively, the Sooners have been far from stellar this year. Bob Stoops built his reputation on physicality on the defensive side of the ball and the team has taken steps back over the past couple of years. Oklahoma is giving up 31 points per game and has struggled in being able to shut down the run allowing 152 yards per game on the ground this season.
The secondary is giving up 248 yards per game and must be able to force TCU quarterback Kenny Hill into throws underneath coverage. Hill loves to attack the seams of opposing defenses down the deep middle of the field which can put the Oklahoma defense at a disadvantage in this match-up.
A cause of concern has been the front seven, which has recorded only 5 sacks through 3 games. The Sooners must be able to get pressure on Hill to force him into quick throws on check downs.
Oklahoma is -3 in turnover margin entering this game.
The Horned Frogs are averaging 42 points per game and are coming off of a lackluster 33-3 performance on the road last week to SMU. TCU is averaging 196 rushing yards per game and 380 passing yards per game. Quarterback Kenny Hill is completing 66% of his passes for 1,487 yards with 6 touchdowns and 4 interceptions. Hill is also a solid runner that can break contain and put pressure on opposing defenses on the perimeter. On the year, Hill has rushed for 166 yards with 4 scores.
Running back Kyle Hicks is a solid runner that leads the team with 314 rushing yards averaging 6.0 yards per carry with 5 touchdowns. The TCU offensive line seems to be gelling as the season progresses and has been very good in pass protection. On the year, the unit has allowed only 5 sacks through 4 games and will need that type of effort in this game to get the home win.
Wide receivers John Diarse and Taj Williams have combined for 35 receptions for 568 yards with 3 scores. Both receivers will look to attack the Sooners secondary and are fearless going over the middle of the field.
Defensively, the Horned Frogs are allowing 26 points per game and have been rock solid in stopping the run giving up 130 rushing yards per game. The weak link of the team has been in the secondary which is allowing 254 passing yards per game and allowed Arkansas quarterback Austin Allen to attack them on deep throws at home.
The front seven will need to step up and bring pressure this coming weekend against Baker Mayfield. On the year, the unit has recorded 14 sacks through 4 games and will need to pressure Mayfield off of the edge that way Ohio State was able to in their win in Norman.
TCU must be able to force turnovers at home. Entering this game the Horned Frogs are -2 in turnover margin.