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Five takeaways from TCU’s loss against Oklahoma, 52-46

TCU wide receiver Taj Williams looks for an opening to run down field against Oklahoma. (Photo By Sam Bruton/TCU photographer).

TCU and Oklahoma battled back and forth in a rollercoaster game Saturday night. But, the Frogs ultimately fell to the Sooners by six, 52-46. All five Big 12 meetings have been decided by seven points or less. Oklahoma now holds a 11-5 series advantage over TCU.

Here are five takeaways from the Frogs’ performance.

1. The Sooner running game dominated the Horned Frog defense

Oklahoma running backs Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine each rushed for over 100 yards. Nixon had 109 yards on 16 carries and a touchdown. Perine totaled 101 yards on 17 carries and two touchdowns.

“Their running backs did a great job and ran well,” TCU head coach Gary Patterson said.

Sooner quarterback Baker Mayfield also had a big day on the ground finishing the night with a couple of touchdown runs and 72 yards on 12 carries.

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield huddles with his teammates against TCU Saturday night. (Sam Bruton/TCU staff photographer)
Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield huddles with his teammates against TCU Saturday night.
(Sam Bruton/TCU staff photographer)

“We had him [Mayfield],” Patterson said, “We just couldn’t tackle.”

TCU defensive end Josh Carraway said the TCU’s defensive performance was “unacceptable.”

The Horned Frogs had opportunities to bring down OU’s two-headed running back attack, and they did in the fourth quarter.

“People started playing faster, doing their jobs, and following their assignments,” Carraway said.

2. Taj Williams Returns

After 11 catches and an 158 yard performance against South Dakota State, TCU wide receiver faded to the background of the TCU offense — until Saturday night.

Williams had just two catches for 56 yards at halftime, but dominated the Oklahoma secondary in the second half with three catches, 154 yards and  two touchdown catches. He ended the game with a total of five catches, 210 yards and touchdown catches from 64 and 74 yards out.

Williams’ career-high 210 yards receiving were the fourth most in a game in TCU history. It was the highest total since Josh Doctson’s school-record 267 yards against Texas Tech last season.

“He stepped up and made big plays, and I’m proud of him,” TCU running back Kyle Hicks said.

3. TCU dug too deep a deficit 

The Horned Frogs were firing on all cylinders early in the game. They forced a Mayfield fumble, TCU quarterback Kenny Hill threw a touchdown on his first pass of the game and TCU led 21-7.

Then, Oklahoma went on a 42-3 run and TCU found themselves trailing 49-24 at the end of the third quarter.

“We were punting too much,” Patterson said.

TCU needed consistent offense, but the Horned Frogs punted on their first three possessions of the second half. For TCU to come away with big wins, they need the offense to help the defense out.

4. Kenny Hill had a wildly inconsistent second half 

Hill had 213 passing yards at the half. At the end of the third quarter, he had only passed for 22 yards. Offensive production was the key to the game, and it seemed to be lacking.

However, in the fourth quarter the momentum changed. Hill threw for two touchdowns, had 214 passing yards and cut the Sooner lead to just one possession.

Going forward, TCU needs a lot more of fourth quarter Hill than third quarter Hill.

5. TCU offense can still score on anybody, but they’re feeling KaVontae Turpin’s absence 

While the Horned Frogs put up 46 points total, something felt different about the Horned Frog offense.

Hill had a career-high five touchdown passes, tying him with six other players for the second-most in a single game in TCU history.

TCU quarterback Kenny Hill scans the field for open receivers against the Oklahoma Sooners. (Sam Bruton/TCU staff photographer)
TCU quarterback Kenny Hill scans the field for open receivers against the Oklahoma Sooners.
(Sam Bruton/TCU staff photographer)

A team with this explosive of an offense scoring just three points combined in the second and third quarters makes no sense.

However, there is an explanation. They’re finally feeling the impact KaVontae Turpin had on the offense.

Patterson said the offense needs to pick up small chunks of yards with slants and hitches to move the ball when things aren’t going TCU’s way. That is the role Turpin played. His long kick and punt returns put the offense in advantageous starting field position, and his game-breaking speed and quickness allowed him to get open where most people cannot.

Turpin is Hill’s security blanket when things are going wrong and on Saturday night, that security wasn’t there. Even though Hicks had a great game rushing and receiving, TCU needed that extra weapon that Turpin is able to sustain in their offensive drives, and he just wasn’t there due to a knee injury.

TCU needs wide receiver John Diarse, who led the team in receiving against Iowa State and SMU and others to step up in Turpin’s absence. Otherwise, TCU will be prone to offensive dry spells like the one that happened midway through Saturday’s game.

The Horned Frogs next game is in Lawrence, Kansas against the Kansas Jayhawks on Saturday Oct. 8. Kickoff is set for 11 a.m.


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