In an ugly loss, sometimes it’s hard to find bright spots. But that’s not the case from last night, as several players had been games for a TCU squad that couldn’t get much going otherwise.
UP: KYLE HICKS
Once Darius Anderson went down, it was up to Kyle Hicks to carry the load, and he competed his tail off all night. Hicks had over 100 yards on the day, including a big reception that went for 62 yards and set the Frogs up for their first score of the night. He averaged just 3.8 yards per carry, but considering how little space he had, those were hard earned yards. It appears Anderson is done for the year, so it will be up to the redshirt senior to be the feature back from here on out.
DOWN: DEFENSIVE LINE
This line has been so good, but they picked a bad time to be bad. Mat Boesen’s ejection, Ben Banogu’s disappearance, and a 4.9 yard to rush against all led to a rough day at the office against the best offense in the country. The Frogs had just one sack, after accumulating seven the week prior, and three tackles for loss, and the Sooners had 200 yards rushing against them - something we all assumed was impossible pregame. They will have a chance for a bounce back performance against Texas Tech and their immobile QB Nik Shimonek this weekend.
UP: KAVONTAE TURPIN
Time and time again, when TCU needs a play, they turn to the diminutive wide receiver/return man. Turp delivered once again Saturday night in Norman, rushing twice for 19 yards, catching four passes for 59, and taking his one opportunity in the return game 59 yards. He is a human spark plug, and will be crucial to the Frogs getting two more wins to set up a rematch in Arlington.
DOWN: GAME PLAN/COACHING
It’s not often that TCU looks overmatched on the sidelines, but that appeared to be the case Saturday night. The defense had no answer for Rodney Anderson, a very good running back, but not a guy you expect to rack up over 300 yards of offense against the conference’s best defense. The offensive game plan wasn’t bad, but ultimately far too conservative once the Frogs went down several scores. And twice TCU chose to punt on the Oklahoma side of the field, the first of which came late in the first half and led to a dagger TD by the Sooners. On the other side, Lincoln Riley called a masterful offense game and Mike Stoops had answers across the field for the Frog offense, despite starting three true freshmen. It was a bad day all around, from the play-calling to the decision-making to the execution. TCU just didn’t look ready for a massive game, and that’s exceedingly rare for a Gary Patterson team.
UP: JAELAN AUSTIN
The junior wide receiver was a bright spot amongst a group that was pretty meh all night, hauling in two long receptions in impressive fashion, including a toe tapper along the sideline that was as good a catch as we have seen this year from a Horned Frog. Austin finished with two catches on six targets, and did have one drop on a perfectly placed ball near the end zone, but his heroics elsewhere earn him an UP.
DOWN: BIG 12 OFFICIALS
The Mat Boesen ejection was enough to ensure the Big 12 refs would be worthy of a down, but there was plenty more to be frustrated about for TCU, and college football, fans in general. Replays were used on what seemed like every other play, with the call coming in at the last possible second, and often for no apparent reason. A punt downed inside the one by not near the end zone? Replay. Two TCU players targeting each other on a kick off return? Replay. Baker Mayfield dance move on the sideline? Replay. Obviously the last one was a joke, but so was this officiating crew. There were several questionable calls in the game as well, none worse than the ejection, all serving the narrative of Big 12 Refs.