TCU is tired. The Horned Frogs are beaten and bruised on both sides of the ball, with perhaps the toughest blow being the news that top receiver Josh Doctson is out with a wrist injury for the rest of the year. With Doctson gone and star quarterback Trevone Boykin questionable, some Frog fans are settling into the idea of a 9-3 season and tickets to the Sun Bowl.
The proper response to this?
Snap out of it! With enough will, there's enough way, right? TCU will only be Oklahoma's "gimme game" if the Frogs walk into Norman with that mentality. So let's pull it together and win this thing! Here are a few tips:
1. Put Baker in the pressure cooker.
Oklahoma quarterback, Baker Mayfield, is coming into the Heisman race, you say? Well I don't blame you. The kid is basically a healthy Boykin -- accurate passer, can weave out of the pocket to find a receiver, all that good athletic jazz. A quarterback with that skill needs one thing: pressure. The Frogs need to do everything they can to get all over this guy and force him to second guess himself. Mayfield has already been sacked 29 times this season -- the most out of every quarterback in the Big 12.
2. Swarm Sterling Shepard.
Mayfield is to Boykin as Shepard is to Doctson. It's clear that Shepard is Mayfield's favorite target, so why not put a generous amount of focus on Shepard? Watch him. Follow him. Stalk him the way you stalk your crush on Facebook. Do what it takes to keep this guy occupied. Oh, and a little double coverage wouldn't hurt.
3. Run the ball?
Here's where it gets tricky. All this "Big 12 doesn't play defense" chatter? Oklahoma will show you otherwise. Statistically, the Sooners currently have the No. 1 pass defense and No. 1 rushing defense in the conference. Cornerbacks Jordan Thomas and Zack Sanchez have a combined seven interceptions so far, despite the fact that Sanchez has been battling injury. Without Doctson, TCU's passing game won't be what it used to be. So it's time to change the game plan. Aaron Green's motor looks to be up and running with his 177-yard game last week. Kyle Hicks and Shaun Nixon seem just as capable as well, if given the chance. I say keep the ball on the ground, move slowly and score. And short passes to the sideline? Those need to go.
4. Just. Get. Points.
Kick field goals! Fourth downs were Boykin-Doctson stuff. Sadly, things are different now, so we adjust and we deal. There's nothing like giving the opposing team momentum with a failed fourth down attempt, and Oklahoma has enough momentum as is. Just settle for the field goal and secure points on the board. At this point, I wouldn't mind seeing more Jaden Oberkrom on the field. Actually I don't think I ever minded...