The swagger has returned to Amon G. Carter Stadium, as TCU made a bold statement on the national stage in front of a raucous sell-out crowd. A week after taking down SMU for the first time since 2018, TCU ended an 8-game losing streak to Oklahoma. It wasn’t enough to simply defeat the longtime Big 12 giant in perhaps its last trip to Fort Worth, TCU handed the Sooners a thorough 31-point beatdown to give Sonny Dykes his first conference victory with the Horned Frogs.
TCU got off to another blazing hot start Saturday, putting up 27 first quarter points. The day got off to a brilliant start as Abe Camara forced Oklahoma’s star receiver Marvin Mims to fumble on the third play of the game, recovered by Dee Winters. A few plays later, It was once again the Max-Savion connection to open the scoring for the Frogs as Duggan tossed the front pylon fade that Williams hauled in.
Max Duggan ➡️ Savion Williams— PFF College (@PFF_College) October 1, 2022
TCU strikes first against Oklahoma!
Following an Oklahoma field goal, Duggan found an impossibly wide open Taye Barber for a 73 yard score. Following a 4th down stop at the 33 yard line, Max Duggan took the very next snap and turned on the jets for a 67 yard TD sprint as the Sooner defense was extremely fooled on the read option.
The TCU Defense’s one major lapse of the day came as Dillon Gabriel found TE Brayden Willis for 78 yards down to the goal line, which was punched in a play later by Eric Gray to cut the TCU lead to 10. The Frogs showed no anxiety following the quick strike, as Duggan led 3 first downs before a 15 yard burst from Kendre Miller.
The 2nd quarter picked right up with the scoring, as Emari Demercado broke off another of his weekly recurring long runs to the goal line and then punched it in himself a play later. Midway through the 2nd quarter OU True Freshman Jovantae Barnes - who looks to have a very promising future ahead - provided a light in the darkness for the Sooners, scoring from 20 yards out. The narrowed margin was short lived as another TCU receiver got impossibly wide open, this time Gunnar Henderson was on the receiving end of the Duggan bomb and took it the rest of the way for a 62-yard TD. The Horned Frogs closed the first half with a 41-17 advantage.
The 2nd half was ho-hum comparatively, but as it seemed TCU had fully broken the spirit of the Sooners, the Frogs scored two more TDs before putting the starters on ice for the 4th quarter. Kendre Miller collected his 5th TD of the young season as he hit the afterburners on a nice 69 yard score, putting a juke on the Safety and outrunning everyone to the endzone. Max Duggan also added to his tally, barreling in from 2 yards out on another zone read. Max Duggan’s final stat line in three quarters of play: 23/33 passing for 302 yards and 3 TDs; 5 rushes for 116 yards and 2 TDs.
The highlight clips are too many to include here individually, as TCU ran up the score like the Monstars in the first half of Space Jam. So here is the full highlight package from ESPN, enjoy:
The big day for TCU wasn’t just on the offensive end, chopping the vaunted Brent Venbales to pieces, as the Horned Frog Defense kept the Sooner attack from ever getting going. In total, TCU had 7 tackles for loss, 4 sacks, and 3 QB hurries.
It would have been a big day on Special Teams as well, if not for one of the worst calls you will ever see. The officials claimed Derius Davis waved for a fair catch on a punt late in the first half, and was well on his way to bringing the ball back for his 2nd punt return TD of the season but was halted after a few seconds as the refs blew the play dead
Big 12 Refs called this a fair catch. Lol pic.twitter.com/kpRanA8LPW— Sickos Committee (@SickosCommittee) October 1, 2022
Any negatives that the team showed against SMU were very clearly coached up and improved upon. Last week TCU surrendered 5 sacks, only one this week; vs. SMU TCU committed 10 penalties for 94 yards, vs. OU it was only 4 for 55 yards. The Mustangs amassed 372 yards passing last week, the Sooners only threw for 176. It’s clear that the coaching staff is able to identify and address deficiencies, while the players are willing to receive that coaching and put it into action.
It must be noted that the Sooners suffered some major injuries in this game. In the first half, QB Dillon Gabriel was hurt on a run where he slid as Jamoi Hodge came in for the tackle, resulting in a targeting penalty (that was quite clearly a penalty by rule). In the 4th quarter, there was an especially frightening injury to Oklahoma DB Damond Harmon in what looked like a routine play where he was in on the tackle of Emani Bailey, but something went very wrong. He was on the field for an extended time and eventually carted to the locker room. Early indications are encouraging, as Harmon has been released from the hospital
All scans on OU defensive back Damond Harmon were negative and he has been released from a Fort Worth hospital. He is on his way back to Norman where he will continue to receive care.— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) October 2, 2022
Head Coach Sonny Dykes, on the play of Max Duggan: “I thought Max played well. Seemed like he was really calm, made good decisions. Was really proud of how he played.”
Dykes, on the sell-out home crowd: “The crowd was great today. It was really fun to be a part of that atmosphere. I think our players fed off of that.”
Dykes, on playing Oklahoma: “They are one of the blue bloods of college football. And anytime you have a chance to play against those guys, you’re gonna be excited about it and you’re gonna see it as an opportunity to make a name for yourself. Asa program, take a step, and I certainly think we did that today. I mean, we weren’t out classed. We didn’t look that way today at all. I think our guys felt like we belonged and really had a desire to wanna play hard and to, to show people what we’re capable of.”
TCU LB Johnny Hodges, on defeating Oklahoma: “I guess you can say it’s a statement, but you got a huge game next weekend too. It feels good just knowing that you could show up early. We showed up, they didn’t. It just means we know we can play with anyone. It feels good to get a win, but they’re not the best team we’ll see.
TCU OL Steve Avila, on the O-Line improvement: “Our focus during practice, practicing our weaknesses. I feel like this week we attacked that an made sure (allowing sacks) was not going to happen.”
TCU QB Max Duggan, on the O-Line performance: “I was really proud of what they did, of how they handled all the exotic things that Coach Venables can do with the defense, whether that’s pressures from different areas, stunts, coverages. They took what happened last week, a lot of people talking about them, they took it to the chin. And so we wanted to kind of make a statement. Obviously they did. I’m really proud of all those guys up there because they made my job easy today.”
TCU RB Kendre Miller, on the team’s mindset: “It started in the winter when the new staff got here, just discipline. Our team is a lot more disciplined than it has been in the past. We got everybody on the same page and we’re all clicking now.”
TCU improved to 4-0 on the season, 1-0 in Big 12 play. Next on the agenda is a major test on the road in Kansas next Saturday morning as the Jayhawks dream season has brought them to 5-0 and has brought the ESPN pregame show College GameDay to Lawrence for the first time ever. Oklahoma fell to 3-2 overall and 0-2 in the Big 12 and will assuredly drop out of the AP Top 25. The Sooners will be back in the Metroplex again next week for the Red River Rivalry contest with another two-loss future former Big 12 member, the Texas Longhorns.