Oklahoma escaped Waco with a win on Saturday night to move to 9-1 on the season, ending Baylor’s perfect season bid in the process. What’s more impressive is that they came back late to win without arguably their best player on offense.
It looked for a moment like they were going to get blown out, trailing 28-3 in the second quarter and 31-10 at halftime. But Jalen Hurts led the offense to 24 unanswered points while the Sooners blanked Charlie Brewer and Baylor’s offense, and Oklahoma is back in the driver’s seat for the Big 12’s CFP bid.
Meanwhile, TCU held off Texas Tech late to get within one game of bowl eligibility with two games left in the regular season.
A 7pm game in Norman is a daunting task, and the Frogs are 19-point underdogs. Here’s what you need to know about the Sooners.
Season to Date
9-1 (6-1) | No. 10 in CFP
Oklahoma’s one blemish this season is a head-scratching loss to Kansas State in Manhattan, where the defense gave up 34 points between the second and third quarters, finding themselves down 41-23 entering the fourth.
The Sooners cruised through their first five games of the season, winning by an average of 34.4 points per game, but four of their last five games have been decided by a touchdown or less.
As it stands, the Sooners are the best - really the only - positioned Big 12 team to make the College Football Playoffs, but they’re on the outside looking in currently, and still could be once the new rankings release on Tuesday night.
Jalen Hurts entered the season with a chance to be the third consecutive transfer QB to win a Heisman at Oklahoma. While that dream has mostly faded into the shadows, Hurts is still producing at an elite rate for the Sooners.
He’s completing 73% of his passes on the season, and that number jumps to over 78% when the Sooners are playing on their home field. He’s thrown for over 3,000 yards and 28 touchdowns to just five interceptions this season, while also rushing for 983 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Supplementing Hurts’ incredible running game is Mansfield product Kennedy Brooks. Brooks is a quality back that helps keep things balanced for the Sooners.
It’s not known yet if Oklahoma will be getting CeeDee Lamb back as well, their elite level receiving threat who has 983 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns on the season already. Lamb missed Oklahoma’s game against Baylor for undisclosed reasons and was still ‘up in the air’ for the TCU game earlier this week, according to Lincoln Riley.
Charleston Rambo is another big threat in the passing game, having hauled in 32 receptions for 624 yards and 5 touchdowns this season.
The Oklahoma defense has been feast or famine this season, with the Baylor game being a perfect encapsulation. One moment, they’re giving up big plays left and right, the next they’re absolutely locking you down.
Overall they’re the No. 2 defense in the Big 12 behind TCU, with the No. 2 passing defense and the No. 4 rushing defense.
They’ve struggled the last three weeks, though, allowing 48 points to Kansas State, 41 points to Iowa State, and 31 points in a half to Baylor before shutting the Bears out in the second half.
Cornerbacks Parnell Motley and Tre Brown have been dominant in coverage this season, breaking up 17 passes between them.
Meanwhile, DL Ronnie Perkins leads the team in tackles for loss (12) and sacks (6) and is coming off a 4 TFL, 3 sack performance against Baylor.
It’s a tough hill for the Frogs to climb this week, with or without CeeDee Lamb on the field. We’ve seen progress this season, but I don’t know that the Frogs get it done.
Oklahoma 42, TCU 31