No. 1 defense, No. 1 offense to face off Saturday at OU

Head coach Gary Patterson’s press conference went a little longer than usual Tuesday as the 24th-ranked Frogs are preparing to face the No. 2 Oklahoma Sooners this weekend.

TCU has made it to the biggest game of the early season unscathed at 4-0, but Patterson said he knows the Sooners will be unlike any team his squad has faced this season.

“You don’t ever stop Oklahoma because they are great at wide receiver and quarterback, as well as big up front,” he said. “But it is important to be able to contain them.”

Oklahoma sophomore quarterback Sam Bradford, who passed for 3,121 yards and 36 touchdowns as a true freshman a year ago, leads the Sooner offense, protected up front by an offensive line anchored by 6-foot 8-inch, 337-pound senior tackle Philip Loadholt. The Sooners also boast playmakers in senior receiver Juaquin Iglesias, as well as sophomore running back DeMarco Murray. Murray had 13 rushing touchdowns last season and has compiled 312 yards and three touchdowns on the ground in three games this season.

The Frogs’ senior linebacker Jason Phillips, a red-shirt freshman in 2005 when TCU shocked then-No. 7 Oklahoma 17-10, said Bradford might be the best quarterback in the nation. Phillips played 65 snaps in the Frogs’ victory three seasons ago.

“That was my first game playing for TCU, and I remember Adrian Peterson walking off the field as time ran out,” he said. “Looking up at the scoreboard and seeing us on top at the end was something I will never forget.”

But Patterson said he knows his team caught Oklahoma off guard in 2005. He said his team does not have that luxury this season.

“In 2005, we were kind of an unknown,” Patterson said. “This time it’s two top 25 teams going at it. It’s important that we play this game because it prepares us for what we have to do to win our conference.”

In four games this season, TCU has outscored its opponents 172-31 while surrendering three offensive touchdowns over that span. This weekend’s game will pit the No. 1 scoring offense in Oklahoma and the No. 1 total defense in TCU. The Frogs have allowed 7.8 points per game this season, while the Sooners average 54.7 points on offense.

“Getting to play the No. 2 team in the country at their house is why you play college football,” senior center Blake Schlueter said.

The last time TCU went up against a top-10 foe came last September when the Frogs fell to the University of Texas 34-13 in Austin.

However, Patterson said his team has gained a lot of maturity since then and pointed out that the loss to the Longhorns marked sophomore quarterback Andy Dalton’s second career start in purple.

But the Frogs aren’t playing the Texas Longhorns this weekend. While going up against Oklahoma will prove to be the Frogs’ biggest challenge so far, the team does have history on its side. In more than nine seasons as head coach at Oklahoma, Bob Stoops has lost two games in Norman. The latest came in 2005 to the Horned Frogs.

“We’re not just going up there to play well,” Patterson said. “We are going to up there to win this ball game.”


Football Game

What: No. 24 TCU at No. 2 Oklahoma

When: Saturday, 6 p.m.

Where: Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium