TCU did the Hokey Pokey on Saturday at Amon G. Carter Stadium against No. 9 Oklahoma — the Horned Frogs were out, then they were in, then they were back out again.
Oklahoma won 52-27, sending TCU below .500 on the year at 3-4 and dropping the Frogs to 1-3 in the Big 12.
The story of the game was the benching of quarterback Shawn Robinson in the second quarter. After an ineffective start to the game that left TCU trailing 28-7, Horned Frogs head coach Gary Patterson and offensive coordinator Sonny Cumbie turned to transfer quarterback Michael Collins. Collins had seen action in garbage time this season, but the Penn transfer had yet to play meaningful minutes for the Frogs.
That changed against Oklahoma, and Collins initially looked more than capable of rising to the challenge. His first two drives led to TCU touchdowns on passes to KaVontae Turpin and Jalen Reagor, and by halftime, the Frogs had whittled the deficit to 28-24. The mood in the stadium changed, the TCU offense looked more aggressive, and momentum was firmly with the new quarterback.
But the second half didn’t have the same magic. Collins showed off some dual-threat skills, but TCU kept making mistakes at the exact wrong times. In the fourth quarter, Collins developed a large blister on his throwing hand that limited his effectiveness. He completed just three passes in the second half and threw a frankly inexcusable interception deep in TCU’s own territory that gave Oklahoma the ball on the Frogs’ three-yard line. Collins finished with a statline of 7-17 passing for 142 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He was also TCU’s leading rusher, posting 36 yards on seven carries.
Oklahoma sliced and diced through TCU’s defense, racking up 536 yards, 323 of which came on the ground. Tackling was a major issue, as the Sooners repeatedly broke free of TCU defenders for big gains. The absence of players like Innis Gaines in the Frogs’ secondary caused glaring problems.
There’s not enough praise that can be heaped on KaVontae Turpin, who for a large part of the first half looked like the only TCU player fully involved in the game. Turpin ran a kickoff back for TCU’s first score of the game, and turned a short screen from Collins into the Frogs’ first offensive touchdown. We’ll sorely miss that speedster when he’s gone.
The Frogs finished with 275 total yards, 163 through the air and 112 on the ground.
TCU has Kansas next on its schedule in Lawrence on Saturday, Oct. 27. The Frogs desperately need a win in that game to remain in the hunt for bowl eligibility. TCU has flirted with losing to the Jayhawks several times in the last few years.