Another close home win featuring great defense and some more clutch plays by Brennan Clay and Blake Bell. Unfortunately, there was a huge defensive loss to injury.
This is more like great. It was like something out of our 2000 national title team's defense or the 2001 team. OU held TCU to no 1st downs, and TCU had more plays than yards. Short of forcing some turnovers, you cannot play better defense than OU did in the first half.
More like very efficient. The first-half offense, while not explosive, did a great job taking advantage of good field position and three creating scoring drives.
On the touchdown drive, Bell completed all five of his pass attempts and found Durron Neal with TCU blanketing his usual targets. Mix in some nice quarterback runs, and the first-half offense put up 200 yards and 13 points. The intermediate and long passing games are still works in progress, though.
Clay picked a great time to have the longest TD run of his career. Usually, for a 76-yard scamper, you expect Damien Williams to be the RB. Clay made a great cutback move and outran the TCU secondary for a TD.
If you watch the highlight of the run, be sure to pay attention to a speeding Jalen Saunders run out in front of the TCU defense to provide a final assurance block to ensure Clay's TD.
Nick Hodgson again did a great job with kickoffs, neutralizing TCU's return weapon, B.J. Catalon.
These series were just awful – predictable, badly blocked. They led to consecutive three-and-outs.
The same thing happened versus Notre Dame. Josh Heupel has to find a way to come out of the half with better drives. The bad series are neutralizing the advantage of deferring the coin toss.
Jed Barnett, who so far had been doing a good job punting for distance, got out-punted in the critical third quarter. The field position ceded by his poor punts gave TCU a short field, which started the Horned Frogs' offensive rally in the third frame.
Miscommunication on special teams
Other than Clay's run, the momentum-swinging play of the game was the pooch kick/onside kick thing that TCU pulled off. OU had two players in the area, and neither one decisively took control to gain possession. That quick change in possession after the OU D had held TCU to a field goal changed the course of the game. OU probably wins going away save for that play.
Corey Nelson's injury
Nelson's season-ending injury is just ugly. He was having his best year as a Sooner and was playing at an all-conference level. The linebacker woes of last year had been eliminated, and he was leading an improving Sooner defense.
OU is going to have to adjust personnel and schemes to make up for the loss of Nelson for the year. You have to feel disappointed for the senior captain.