It was the preseason conference game of the year, but with the Sooners coming in unranked, has Saturday’s matchup with TCU lost its shine?
One-loss TCU has improved defensively each week since a dismal opener against South Dakota State. It ranks second in the league in rushing defense, a good indicator for the Frogs as the Sooners come to Fort Worth with Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine. Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield ranks sixth in the Big 12 in passing yardage; he’s yet to get his Oklahoma teammates on the same page offensively.
From a no-name WR at LSU to a budding star in Fort Worth, graduate transfer John Diarse has quickly become a leader for the Frogs. His performance Friday night in Dallas, especially post hit, has furthered his case to be ‘the guy’ on the outside.
“He knocked the breath out of me,” Diarse said. “That just happens. We always talk about how, if you get hit, it’s about how you get back up and how you finish. So that was my whole mindset for the rest of the game: finish, finish, finish to make up for it.”
The Frogs defense is coming around, and it’s at just the right time.
Yes, it was just against SMU, who looks to be worse on offense this year than last year. But after giving up 41 points to both South Dakota State and Arkansas to start the season, and holding Iowa State to 20 last week, this is a definite step in the right direction. The defense looked inspired and swarmed to the ball, not missing tackles too often in the process. These are little things that the TCU defense couldn’t do in the first few weeks. We’ll see just where it’s really at when the competition picks up against Oklahoma next week.
If the Frogs want to be a serious title contender, they will need to play a full four quarters against Oklahoma.
TCU once again played only one half of good football. It was enough to easily dispatch SMU, 33-3. But it won't cut it next weekend in a key showdown with Oklahoma, nor will it if the Horned Frogs are going to seriously make a run at the Big 12 title.
Around the Big 12
It’s naive to think that he won’t coach again, but doing so this soon, at such a big school, would be surprising.
Briles was fired in June for his role in the school's sexual assault scandal. Baylor hired former Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe as his replacement in the interim and everyone moved on.
Briles has since apologized for his role in the scandal while expressing an interest in coaching in the future, saying other programs have reached out to him.