The TCU football team has struggled on its home field, dropping games against Iowa State and Kansas State at Amon G. Carter Stadium. The Horned Frogs will try for their first home win of the 2020 season when they host the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday at 11 a.m.
The Sooners (2-2) have started their season in nearly identical fashion as the Horned Frogs (1-2), losing games to the Cyclones and Wildcats while edging out the Texas Longhorns for their lone Big 12 Conference victory. Without a Heisman frontrunner at the quarterback position, Oklahoma and its continuously suspect defense appear as vulnerable as they have been over the last several years.
However, TCU has its own inconsistencies to iron out, particularly on the offensive line, which has surrendered 10 sacks over the first three games. Max Duggan was forced to miss several snaps after being pummeled by Kansas State defenders two weeks ago, and the Horned Frogs are likely hopeful the extra rest will bring him back to 100-percent health. Here are three key matchups to watch when TCU and Oklahoma battle this weekend.
Noah Daniels vs. Charleston Rambo
Daniels has not only been TCU’s top corner this season, but one of the best in the nation. Pro Football Focus recently cited Daniels as having the lowest completion percentage allowed in the country, and the accolades didn’t stop there. PFF graded Daniels as the third highest-rated overall player in the Big 12 and the third highest-rated player when lined up at an outside corner slot. He’ll be tasked with locking down Oklahoma wide receiver Charleston Rambo, an up-and-coming talent seeking to fill the shoes vacated by previous top targets CeeDee Lamb and Marquise Brown, who both play on Sundays.
Lowest completion % allowed among power five defenders:— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 16, 2020
Noah Daniels, TCU - 27%
Storm Duck, UNC - 31%
Andrew Booth Jr, Clemson - 31% pic.twitter.com/qYwgG6ZQwB
Andrew Coker/Brandon Coleman vs. Isaiah Thomas
Coker was named the starting right tackle this season, but he and Coleman have been rotating in and out of the lineup, mostly because neither player can seem to step up and secure that starting position. Expectations are high for Coker, who has been tasked with replacing Lucas Niang, who was arguably the best offensive tackle in the country this past season before his injury. Whoever lines up outside this weekend will draw a tough matchup in Oklahoma defensive end Isaiah Thomas, who leads the Sooner line with 11 total tackles, 1.5 sacks and a forced fumble through four games this fall.
Ar’Darius Washington vs. Austin Stogner
Washington earned a variety of offseason and preseason accolades after a stellar 2019 campaign, but his 2020 season has started slowly and he was disqualified early in the loss against Kansas State for a targeting foul. The talented redshirt sophomore will have a chance to bounce back if he and his fellow safeties can hold down Oklahoma tight end Austin Stogner, who leads the team in receptions (17), receiving yards (230) and has been a favorite target for Sooner redshirt freshman quarterback Spencer Rattler.