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Game Preview: Oklahoma Sooners-TCU Horned Frogs

Gary Patterson

No. 11 Oklahoma (8-2) at TCU (7-4)
Dec. 1, 11 a.m.
Amon G. Carter Stadium (Fort Worth, Texas)
TV: ESPN
Line: OU -6.5

Series: OU leads 7-4

GAME PREVIEW

Trevone BoykinAfter three weeks of seeing high-octane offenses, the Sooners’ defense looks forward to TCU... But, wait, the Horned Frogs have a dual-threat quarterback who could give Mike Stoops’ defense fits… Trevone Boykin became the starter in the fifth week of the season after Casey Pachall got busted for DWI… Boykin has completed 59 percent of his passes for 1,622 yards with 14 touchdowns and 9 interceptions… He’s added 344 rushing yards and 2 TDs… B.J. Catalon and Matthew Tucker share duties at tailback, and both have combined for 978 rushing yards (5.7 per carry) and 5 TDs.

Wideout Josh Boyce is the leading receiver with 56 grabs for 756 yards and 7 TDs… The Horned Frogs rank 64th in total offense (401.3 yards per game)—55th in passing (240.3 yards per game) and 64th in rushing (161 per game)… They also rank 53rd with 30.5 points per game.

The Frogs lead the Big 12 and are 17th nationally in total defense, allowing 323.9 yards per game… TCU ranks 7th nationally in rushing defense (97.3 yards a game), 50th in pass defense (226.6 yards per game) and 35th in scoring defense (23 points per game)… The Frogs’ front four have tallied 26 sacks, and the secondary ranks 3rd in the country with 20 interceptions… In the last three games, TCU has 7 sacks and 5 INTs.

Cornerback Jason Verrett (6) and safety Elisha Olabide (4) have half of the defense's interceptions… The linebacking duo of Joel Hasley and Kenny Cain have combined for 133 tackles with 13.5 behind the line and 3.5 sacks… Defensive end Devonte Fields leads the pack with 17.5 stops for losses and 9 sacks.

Punter Ethan Perry has averaged 44.5 yards per kick… Jaden Oberkrom has hit all of his 39 PAT attempts, but only 18 of 25 (72 percent) field goals… The Frogs average 23 yards per kickoff return, but they have yet to take one back for a score… Skye Dawson and Deante’ Gray split time returning punts, and the duo has combined for 15.3 yards per return, and Gray has one for a TD.

Special teams will be a spotlight in this game… OU ranks 4th nationally in kickoff returns (27.5 yards on average), while TCU ranks 14th in kick return defense (18.4)… The Frogs rank 43rd in kick returns (23), while the Sooners are 17th in defending the kickoff (18.6). Both teams are pretty good at returning punts—OU is 4th with an average of 16.5 yards per return, and TCU is 7th with an average of 14.9… But both teams could improve on defending the punt return—OU ranks 91st with a average of 9.9 yards per return, and TCU is 101st with an average of 10.9.

The Frogs got a good win last week over Texas in Austin to give them some confidence this week… The Sooners need to be focused on TCU after two straight emotional victories.

Landry Jones has been in a groove the last several games (consecutive Big 12 offensive player of the week honors) and should continue with a slew of healthy receivers… The most interesting match-up will be TCU’s best cornerback (Verrett) against OU’s best receiver, Kenny Stills (73 receptions for 876 yards and 11 TDs)… The Sooners continue to rank 3rd nationally with a 53 percent third-down conversion rate, which has climbed to nearly 61 percent in the last four games.

The Sooners’ will need their linebackers this week, maybe even three of them to contain Boykin… TCU can win by exposing OU’s weakness—running the ball up the gut… Look for Boykin to carry plenty on quarterback draws… A victory for OU and it’s off to the Fiesta (if Kansas State loses to Texas) or the Sugar Bowl… A loss likely would place the Sooners in the Cotton Bowl… With a chance to share or win the conference outright, look for the Sooners to dominate the Horned Frogs.


ETC.

*If OU wins Saturday, it will be the 34th season with 10 wins, more than any other FBS team.

*OU holds a 4-0 record over TCU in Forth Worth.

*TCU has lost its last three home games against Big 12 foes.

*OU has never lost on December 1st: 6-0.

*TCU is 3-3 on December 1st, including two straight losses.

*OU has won 32 straight when leading at halftime.

*Landry Jones is now the all-time leader in passing yards (16,124) and total offense (15,576) in Big 12 Conference history; he also ranks 3rd and 4th, respectively, in those categories in NCAA history.

*Jones is the first player in FBS history to have 3,000-plus passing yards and 26-plus TD passes in each of his four seasons.

*Jones threw more passes in one game (71 versus OSU) than the Sooners did in the 1975 season (69 attempts) and 1976 season (63 attempts).

*In 51 games, Jones has more pass attempts (2,095 to 1,713), completions (1,331 to 729) and yards (16,124 to 13,851) than the entire Barry Switzer era (1973-88) of 190 games.

*Amon G. Carter founded the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and served as the newspaper’s publisher until his death in 1955.