TCU came up just short on Saturday night, falling to Oklahoma 30-29, on a failed two point conversion attempt, and subsequent failed onside kick. It was a gutsy, hard-fought game for the Frogs, and I'm damn proud of this team.
Here are five things we learned tonight.
Foster Sawyer wasn't ready, but Bram Kohlhausen was
He may be ready next season, but he wasn't ready tonight against a sooner secondary that feasted on his lofted deep passes. He had so much air under his long throws that Oklahoma could camp out under them and wait for them to come down.
He did show flashes though, orchestrating a 6-play, 98 yard drive, dropping in two nice passes to Kolby Listenbee, the second for a touchdown. However, after that he missed his spots and had too much air under his throws, and Oklahoma took advantage.
It finally resulted in Bram Kolhaussen coming in with just under two minutes remaining in the third quarter. He orchestrated a ridiculous comeback, throwing for 126 yards and two touchdowns in just over a quarter of play. Sawyer finished 8-for-18 for 107 yards, a TD, and three INTs.
Aaron Green stepped up in a big way
Green ran hard out there tonight, racking up 126 yards on 26 carries, including a dazzling 26-yard touchdown run that cut the deficit to 10. He moved TCU down the field in the final minutes, leading to a TCU touchdown.
It's ok to question the playcalling, but it adapted in the 4th
It really seemed like Meacham and Cumbie were setting up Sawyer to fail after a while, with the constant calls for long passes down the sideline. Certainly that was his first read, because he took his first read all night, which raises the question: why didn't they work in some shorter throws to build confidence? And I'm not talking about the screen out to a wide receiver two yards behind the line, I'm talking a slant over the middle to Turpin.
The gameplan didn't seem conducive to setting up a redshirt freshman making his first start in Norman for success.
However, that all changed in the fourth quarter, with Bram showing a good arm and great poise, as he led TCU down the field for two touchdowns. It was passes over the middle of the field that helped get the TCU offense going, but it was, ironically enough, a fade that gave TCU a chance to tie or win with under a minute left.
TCU's defense played relatively well
The secondary gave up a few big passes to Sterling Shepard, but for most of the night they played really well. Sure, Baker Mayfield left at halftime with a potential concussion, but even he didn't have much success throwing the ball. On the night, TCU allowed just XXX yards on XXX attempts.
Meanwhile, the defensive line was constantly in the backfield, disrupting the timing of the Sooners offense and forcing both Mayfield and Knight into uncomfortable situations. Carraway had a great game, as did Aaron Curry.
Really, the only downside on defense was the targeting call on Ty Summers, which got him ejected in the second quarter. His loss meant that TCU was without a full-sized linebacker to help out against Perine and Mixon, both of whom had good nights running the ball.
TCU's defense stepped up in the biggest of ways in the fourth quarter, though, forcing Oklahoma to punt several times, allowing TCU to climb back into the game. Oklahoma punted nine times on the night, and it was almost enough.
We should be okay with going for two
West Virginia, Boise State, and now Oklahoma. Gary Patterson has always said he'd rather go for the win on the road than play for overtime, and he stayed true to his word tonight. It didn't work out, but we shouldn't be mad about it.
I understand the momentum argument, but against Oklahoma in Norman, you don't take the OT chance.
The Frogs wrap up their season on Friday, when Baylor comes to town.