One of the biggest moments from TCU’s double-overtime win over Oklahoma State came midway through the fourth quarter, when free safety Bud Clark blanketed wide receiver Braydon Johnson and recorded his first interception of the season on a deep ball from quarterback Spencer Sanders. It was the first turnover of the game for the Cowboys, who blew a 17-point lead and lost after Kendre Miller’s 2-yard touchdown run in double overtime.
Playing without starting defensive back Millard Bradford, TCU saw its secondary make several plays throughout the game. Josh Newton totaled four tackles and broke up two passes down the field, while Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson was largely responsible for holding Oklahoma State’s Brennan Presley to 39 receiving yards on four catches. But Clark’s second-half effort stood out as the Horned Frogs erased a 24-7 deficit and held a talented Cowboy offense to six second-half points. Sanders, who totaled over 140 yards of offense in the first quarter alone, was largely ineffective for the remainder of the contest.
Bud Clark provides a spark. Came up with a big tackle in space and then forces an incompletion. FG for Oklahoma State.— S. Johnson (@StevenMJohnson_) October 15, 2022
A former four-star recruit, Clark entered this season as the favorite to start at free safety before suffering an injury before TCU’s opener at Colorado. Fellow safety Abe Camara has performed well in his absence, totaling 25 tackles with three passes defensed, one interception and one fumble recovery. Should Clark be able to build on his performance against Oklahoma State, TCU will receive a significant boost to its defense, which has reportedly lost linebacker Marcel Brooks for the remainder of the season.
With Camara playing well and Clark seemingly back to full health, it will be interesting to see how defensive coordinator Joe Gillespie deploys his talented free safeties. Should Bradford be forced to miss additional time, Clark and Camara could see the field together.