OU is back in the College Football Playoff. There are only two three other teams that have been at least twice: Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson. The Sooners are now back in that elite company, and like the other previous multi-year participants, hopefully it’s time for OU to win a title.
OU earned this spot by winning its 11th Big 12 title at the newly restored Big 12 championship game. The pregame storyline was that given a second chance, defensive genius and motivational speaker who lives in a van down by the river Matt Fo – ...sorry, Gary Patterson would find a way to stop OU's offense. He didn’t, and along the way, OU played arguably its best defensive game of the year since beating Ohio State.
Defensive effort in second half
TCU had gotten within a possession at the end of the first half and received the ball first to start the third quarter. TCU went three-and-out on three straight passes, which was strange play-calling. One play later, the Horned Frogs were down 14.
TCU’s next possession ended on downs after a great stop by Parnell Motley and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. Two plays later, TCU was down 21. The game was basically over.
Overall, OU shut out TCU in the second half. For the game, the Sooners held TCU to 17 points and created two turnovers. That led to 10 points, including their first fumble return for a touchdown in more than a season.
That level of defensive effort will lead to OU wins with this offense.
Final drive of the game
OU was up 41-17 with the game mostly decided. There were still eight minutes on the clock. The offense just needed to milk the clock and run the ball. That’s what Trey Sermon did.
Sermon battered the tired TCU D for first down after first down until OU moved into the victory formation. That denied TCU any chance at wild heroics throwing deep.
It marked the third time in the last five games that the Sooners have been able to run clock in the fourth quarter to maintain leads and shorten the game.
He wasn’t awesome. He was just simply very good. No turnovers, and when the big plays were there, he pounced on the mistakes made by TCU's defense.
Mayfield missed some open guys and forced the ball to Mark Andrews a little bit, but overall it was just another day at the office. He just sets the bar too high.
OU moved the ball on the ground in the second half to kill the game. OU threw the ball in the third quarter to blow the game open. All made possible by the best offensive line in college football. The Joe Moore Award not going to the Sooners' five linemen is a bigger travesty than if Mayfield were to not win the Heisman Trophy.
No one in college football runs as well as OU while also executing pass protection at such a high level.
Mark Andrews and wide receivers
TCU made a strange decision to bracket CeeDee Lamb and take away the freshman from the passing attack. Back in early October, that strategy might have seemed sound. The massive improvements made by Mykel Jones and Marquise Brown made that a dangerous move.
Go back and watch Jones' long TD: You can see TCU double covering Lamb while Jones almost runs in place for a second before bolting downfield. TCU’s only available defender was defensive end Mat Boesen left trying to cover Jones downfield. Touchdown Oklahoma.
Brown consistently took the top off the TCU defense. He scored one TD, and only a blatant pass interference prevented a second touchdown.
Austin Seibert's missed field goal
Seibert had turned into Mr. Automatic. Then he missed what could have been a critical field goal. Fortunately, he rallied and hit a critical attempt in the third quarter.
Hopefully, Seibert’s miss gets that out of his system to hit critical FGs in the Rose Bowl.
This was a great game by the Sooners, so I'm reaching here, but OU's secondary should have had four interceptions in this game. At least three TCU throws hit Sooner DBs in the hands before Will Johnson finally picked one off in the third quarter.
TCU is lucky it was not a lot worse.