Big 12 unbeatens: No. 4 Oklahoma at No. 25 TCU
Oct. 03, 2014
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — TCU coach Gary Patterson can't forget the big plays, the ones against his team in those close Big 12 losses to Oklahoma.
There were long touchdown runs by the Sooners in both games they won by a combined 10 points. There was a 76-yarder in the fourth quarter last season, and a 66-yarder two years ago at Fort Worth in a Big 12 title-clinching victory when they also got a 24-yard TD pass on third-and-23 just before halftime right after TCU had tied the score.
"Obviously, you still remember those," Patterson said.
It's now their third matchup as conference foes, with the No. 25 Horned Frogs (3-0) the last to play their Big 12 opener when they host the No. 4 Sooners (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) in a game that will take away one of the league's remaining undefeated teams. No. 7 Baylor (4-0, 1-0), the only other Big 12 team without a loss, plays at Texas at the same time Saturday.
Oklahoma is coming off an open date after winning its league opener at West Virginia. The Sooners have won eight consecutive games, the second-longest active FBS streak behind No. 1 Florida State's 20 in a row, but coach Bob Stoops certainly isn't overlooking TCU.
"They're just very sound in the way they defend you. They crowd you. The secondary always crowds receivers," Stoops said. "As far as run defense, they just do a really good job of gap control and understanding really the discipline of where they need to be depending on what runs you're putting out there. They just do a good job of playing disciplined defense."
To go along with a dominating defense that has allowed only 219 yards and seven points a game, dual-threat quarterback Trevone Boykin and the Horned Frogs' new up-tempo offense are doing pretty good, too. Their 44.7 points and 532 total yards a game are right on par with Oklahoma's 44.8 points and 495 yards.
TCU has already had two open dates this season, but is playing on the second of eight consecutive Saturdays.
"Most people get better between their first and their third game. I think we have an opportunity to get better between our fourth and sixth (games)," Patterson said. "By not playing as many games, I think one of the things is we're not mentally tired right now. ... We're just starting to wake up."
Oklahoma won seven of the 11 non-conference matchups in the series that dates back to 1944. Here are a few things to watch when the Sooners play the Horned Frogs for the 14th time overall:
STARTING UNDEFEATED: QB Trevor Knight is 9-0 as the Oklahoma starter. In those starts, Knight has completed nearly 59 percent of his passes with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions while averaging 12.4 yards per completion.
THROWING AND RUNNING: TCU QB Trevone Boykin is one of nine players national who leads his team in both passing yards and rushing. He is third in the Big 12 with 347 total yards per game and has been consistent with per-game totals of 349, 350 and 342 yards. He had thrown for at least 250 yards per game, and is averaging 6.3 yards per rushing attempt.
RANKED AGAIN: TCU this week moved into the AP Top 25 poll for the first time this season. Patterson said while being ranked means something for the players and is recognition for their hard work, he has been "telling them don't worry about any of that stuff, you play well enough, people notice." The Frogs had last been ranked in the first three polls of the 2013 season.
DFW 2-STEP: Oklahoma, which is going more than a month between games on its Norman campus, is playing the first of two consecutive Saturdays in the Dallas-Fort Worth, a prime recruiting area for the Sooners. After TCU, the Sooners have their annual Red River Rivalry game against Texas next week at the State Fair of Texas. "It's positive," Stoops said. "We do consider Dallas as part of home base. ... It's a strong area for us. It always has been, and hopefully always will be."