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Halftime: Oklahoma 17, TCU 7

The Frogs started slow on offense, but picked up steam late.

NCAA Football: Oklahoma at Texas Christian
Barlow drew and unsportsmanlike penalty after delivering this helmet-removing hit, but he probably earned it.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

It was all Sooners early, as Oklahoma’s offense went down the field like a hot knife through butter on their opening possession, using the running game to get in the end zone in under three minutes of game time.

The Frogs couldn’t respond, and that would be the story of the first quarter. Their first drive gained just 20 yards, and after the TCU defense held the Sooners to three, the second consumed less than two minutes of clock and only 18 yards.

The defense hung tight though, and Khari Coleman introduced himself to Spencer Rattler with a visit in the backfield. Tre’Vius Hodges Tomlinson’s PBU on third and four forced Oklahoma’s first punt of the day, but a very quick three-and-out wasted the effort. Coleman ended the first quarter with a sack of Rattler, but a PI on Noah Daniels erased the negative play, and the Sooners would score on a 50 yard connection between Rattler and Marvin Mims to make it 17-0 Sooners.

The Frogs finally answered though, driving 75 yards on nine plays, riding the running game to paydirt. Daimarqua Foster had the final five of seven consecutive rushing plays, using the Wild Frog on 4th and 2 to score and make it a 17-7 ball game.

Rising to the challenge, the TCU defense forced a 3-and-out of their own, getting the ball back to Duggan and what was suddenly a hot group. But their first play went backwards — a lateral to Mikel Barkley gone terribly wrong — and they started behind the chains once again.

Duggan wasn’t to be denied, though, and found Quentin Johnston in a favorable one-on-one matchup deep down the sideline, drawing a flag and an automatic first down on third and 9. A holding call on the Sooners two plays later got the Frogs into positive position, but two negative running plays sandwiched an incompletion in the end zone to Blair Conwright, and the Frogs were forced to punt from inside Oklahoma’s 40.

A methodical march down the field by Rattler and the Sooners ate up most of the second quarter, but stalled at the Frogs’ 37 thanks to some great pressure and solid tackling by the TCU defense. A false start on 3rd and 9 and a short rush by TJ Pledger on the ensuing play set up a long field goal from Gabe Brkic, who hit the upright from 54 yards out.

The Frogs got the ball back and actually attempted to put together a drive with :23 to play, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Savion Williams took 15 yards off of a 24 yard play as the clock ticked down. TCU got it back on a hands to the face penalty, and picked up enough yardage on a pass to Artayvious Lynn to attempt a long field goal of their own — 54 yards off the leg of Griffin Kell.

The attempt was blocked, but an illegal substitution penalty gave TCU five yards and a second chance at success. It didn’t end up mattering, as Kell was short of the sticks.

The Horned Frogs go into the half trailing 17-7, but have to be encouraged by the play of the defense in the second quarter and the way the offense began to (finally) move the ball. After accruing just 63 yards in the first quarter, TCU finished the half with 171, matching the Sooners with 108 yards in the frame. Neither team ran the ball particularly well, with OU averaging just 1.8 yards across nine carries and the Frogs just 3.2 in nine as well. Rattler finished the half 7-15 for 189 yards and a score, while Duggan was 10-16 for 135. Six different receivers caught ten passes for TCU.

The two teams will pick things up after the break, with the Frogs looking to continue building momentum and the Sooners trying to get back on track offensively after a very hot start.