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MMQB: What’s a Sooner?

That was fun.

Oklahoma v TCU Photo by Emil Lippe/Getty Images

Well. That was incredible. The Frogs dominated all day on Saturday with a final score of 55-24. It ended up being a 31-point win for TCU, and it could have been much more.

The Good (everything):

Max Duggan: Max Duggan dominated the Sooner’s defense on Saturday with over 300 yards passing and over 100 yards rushing as well as 5 total touchdowns and no interceptions. Duggan was responsible for 3 60-plus yard plays with a 67-yard touchdown run on a zone read keeper and two long passes to Taye Barber and Gunnar Henderson for touchdowns. Max had plenty of time in the pocket and made Oklahoma pay, patiently going through progressions and making on-time, accurate throws. Any questions about who would be QB1 for the Frogs when Chandler Morris returned from injury were answered by arguably the best performance a TCU quarterback has had since Kenny Hill was the starter in Fort Worth. Duggan showed off the electric speed and arm strength that give him a very high ceiling as a quarterback and paired those with nice touch and accuracy on throws at all three levels. Max has shown potential in years past and looks to have put it together in his first year under Sonny Dykes.

Receivers: TCU had a significant advantage on the outside on Saturday as the OU secondary was wildly outmatched against the Frog wide receivers. The Frogs, as previously mentioned, had over 300 yards through the air and the TCU receivers were consistently able to create plenty of separation and get open. Taye Barber and Gunnar Henderson were as wide open as they could get on their two long touchdowns as no OU defender was within 10 yards at the catch point. Quenton Johnston and Savion Williams had a significant size advantage on every corner that lined up across from them and took advantage. Williams had a very nice touchdown catch on a back shoulder throw from Duggan that allowed him to box out his defender and make the catch. Johnston drew multiple pass interference penalties on deep balls and still made 4 catches for 40 yards. Derius Davis had a quieter day for his standards but he too drew a pass interference call on a slot fade where he blew by his defender (and should have had a punt return touchdown but evidently the refs felt bad for OU and called a phantom fair catch). TCU simply had better athletes on the outside and offensive coordinator Garrett Riley did an excellent job taking advantage. Riley dialed up a number of deep shots early in the game and let the wide receivers make plays.

Offensive Line: The offensive line was great in both the run game and pass protection on Saturday. They let up only 1 sack which came in garbage time when Sam Jackson was trying to extend the play and make something happen on 4th down. Duggan had plenty of time in the pocket to not only find receivers but make clean throws. The Sooners called a number of stunts and blitzes which the line picked up very well with none of the miscommunications we saw against SMU. The line was dominant in the run game as well as the Frogs rushed for 361 yards and 5 touchdowns. TCU ball carriers rarely had to worry about avoiding defensive linemen and the linebackers were generally taken care of by the offensive line as well. TCU fans have had to watch OU offensive lines set the tone physically for years and it was a nice change of pace to watch the TCU line get tons of movement off the line. The Frogs won the line of scrimmage in a landslide on Saturday, paving the way for the skill positions to expose the second levels of OU’s defense.

Defensive attitude: The Horned Frog defense was flying around on Saturday making big hits and tackles in open space all over the place. Abe Camara made a number of plays including forcing the fumble on OU’s first drive and a big-time hit stick on an OU completion later in the game. Camara had 5 tackles on the day from his safety spot and played with the confidence and energy that the defense was lacking last season. Johnny Hodges and Dee Winters were making plays on Saturday as well with 10 and 8 tackles respectively. Winters had two sacks on the day doing a great job of keeping the OU quarterback’s in the pocket and making plays if they tried to scramble. The Frogs got to the quarterback for 4 sacks on Saturday and had 7 tackles for loss in total. The secondary was very solid as well holding the Sooners to just 176 yards through the air. They had 3 pass breakups in total and had no pass interference or holding penalties which is a vast improvement from the SMU game. The defense came out hot and played with tremendous confidence against an OU team that has had TCU’s number in the past. The attitude of the Frogs was a huge part of the dominating win over OU.

Kendre Miller: Kendre Miller makes his weekly appearance on the list of good performances for the Frogs after torching the OU defense for 136 yards and 2 touchdowns. He averaged an incredible 10.5 yards per carry and snatched an OU defender’s ankles on a 69-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. The junior is playing as well as any running back in the conference right now averaging 7.6 yards per carry on an RB1 workload. Miller makes 7-8 yard runs look routine with great balance and vision working his way through the first layers of the defense. He has the speed to take any run to the house as well, completing the full package as a runner. In conclusion, Kendre Miller is an excellent football player.

Overall: This game was pretty much everything Frog fans hoped it could be and more. The Carter was packed with the second largest crowd in history behind the 2009 Utah game. We had a Sam Jackson drive which is always exciting. The offense was explosive. The defense was aggressive. TCU dominated.

The Bad:

Nothing?: Outside of two blatant missed calls by the refs on Saturday, there was not much to complain about. It was nice of the Big 12 to schedule the Frogs a tune-up game before having to travel to Lawerence to face the Jayhawks.

Play of the Game:

Mad Max. That is all.