It’s a position every TCU fan would have taken at the beginning of the season: a shot at the Big 12 Championship. An opportunity to play the game.
And here we are.
Yes, it looks like it will be an uphill battle, against a historically great Oklahoma offense, and the clear frontrunner for the Heisman Trophy.
Yes, TCU will be without one of TCU’s key cogs on defense for the first half.
Yes, TCU took it on the nose from Oklahoma earlier this month, to the tune of a 38-20 thumping.
But, Travin Howard and Niko Small are expected to be back. Kenny Hill looked fantastic in Friday’s thumping of Baylor. The offensive line has looked completely different (think, first quarter of the season awesome) with Patrick Morris reinserted at center.
And, we have Gary Patterson, who has openly said he left some things on the table in TCU’s first matchup with the Sooners. This is a game where you pull out all the stops.
Realistically, TCU has only the slightest chance at making the College Football Playoff if they win on Saturday, while a loss doesn’t completely eliminate them from contention for a New Year’s Six bowl. And, if the Frogs do miss out on a NY6 bowl, they have the Alamo Bowl and either USC or Washington or Stanford waiting for them.
So let it all hang out, Frogs.
11-1 (last week: def. West Virginia 59-31). Oklahoma’s dismantling of West Virginia (they, at one point, led 52-17) was the cap on a fantastic season for OU’s offense, which only failed to eclipse the 30-point mark once in 12 games, and scored 40+ points eight times. They’ve won each of their past five games by double-digit points.
Offensively, things obviously start with Baker Mayfield. His talent is only matched by is arrogance, and he’s the clear pick for the Heisman this year. Running back Rodney Anderson is no joke either, and he ran all over TCU to the tune of 151 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also led Oklahoma in receiving against the Frogs, pulling in five catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
For those keeping track, that’s 290 total yards on 28 touches for four touchdowns. So, yeah, getting a fully healthy Travin Howard back (who got dinged up against Texas) is pretty important.
Defensively, remember these names: Emmanuel Beal and Ogbonnia Okoronkwo. The linebacker and defensive end have been dominant for the Sooners all season, and their presence in the front seven helps mask some deficiencies in Oklahoma’s secondary.
What’s At Stake?
For Oklahoma, a loss would spell the end of the Sooner’s CFP hopes, but they’re pretty much a lock for a NY6 bowl at worst.
For TCU, a win means the Frogs are a lock for a NY6 bowl, with the outside-iest of chances at the CFP, while a loss means they have an outside shot at a NY6 bowl, with a likely destination of the Alamo Bowl.