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TCU vs. Oklahoma: Preview and Prediction

NCAA Football: Big 12 Championship-Texas Christian vs Oklahoma

Here is everything you need to know about the upcoming Big 12 Conference game in our TCU vs. Oklahoma preview.

Game info

11 a.m. Central Time, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas

TV: ABC (Bob Wischusen, Brock Huard, Allison Williams)

Radio: Sooner Sports Network/WBAP 820 AM, KTCU 88.7 FM/Sirius 135, XM 200

Fun Fact: OU is 6-1 against TCU in the Big 12 era and has averaged 34.0 points in those contests. The Sooners are 6-1 all-time against the Horned Frogs in Fort Worth (2-1 Big 12 era).

Key players

Oklahoma

RB Trey Sermon

Kyler Murray is carrying the load for this team in the passing game and the running game, but it’s time for Sermon to step back up. In OU’s last two games, he has a combined 73 rushing yards. OU has still struggled at times to find its running game in the wake of the Rodney Anderson injury. While Marcelias Sutton and Kennedy Brooks are very good players, Lincoln Riley needs the veteran of the bunch (which isn’t say much) Sermon to get 15+ carries for 100+ yards.

NB Brendan Radley-Hiles

Radley-Hiles went on Twitter and insinuated he was glad that Mike Stoops was fired as the head coach, implying he’d rather play for interim DC Ruffin McNeil. OK, well… show it? The five-star defensive back has been starting all season long and now goes up against a TCU offense that has been very prone to turnovers. Will Radley-Hiles’ game back up his talk?

TCU

QB Shawn Robinson

Robinson has really struggled lately and he’s desperate to have a good game. Since the Ohio State game, he has thrown five touchdowns to seven interceptions, and he had a fumble last week that he luckily didn’t lose against Texas Tech. He’s completed less than 60% of his passes in two of the past three games. Considering the emphasis Gary Patterson puts on protecting the football, Penn transfer Michael Collins must be breathing down his neck at this point.

DE Ben Banogu

Thanks to Kyler Murray and a strong offensive line, the Sooners have only allowed eight sacks in six games, the second fewest in the Big 12. Banogu is hoping to change that, and he is the rare defensive end with the speed to surprise Murray in the backfield. Banogu is top five in the Big 12 in sacks this season and the Big 12 Preseason Defensive Player of the Year needs to try and disrupt the backfield to get Murray & Co. off its game.

 

Key storylines

TCU

The Horned Frogs have had a rough few weeks as now Gary Patterson’s team is fighting for bowl eligibility. The Horned Frogs looked all out of sorts last week against Texas Tech, despite playing at home and coming off a bye. There were turnovers, bad penalties and more as the team appeared out of sync. If there is ever a time for Shawn Robinson to break out of his rut, it’s now, as OU has the second worst pass defense in the Big 12 this season. Parnell Motley continues to be picked on at cornerback and if he’s ever one-on-one with Jalen Reagor, Robinson just needs to get the ball in the air. Another factor, TCU has the best red zone defense in the Big 12, while Oklahoma has the worst. If TCU can hold OU to a couple of field goals, while taking advantage of OU’s pour defense inside the 20, then maybe the momentum can run with the Horned Frogs in front of the home crowd.

Oklahoma

For the Sooners, let’s see what changes Ruffin McNeil makes at defensive coordinator. The Sooners have the best rushing attack in the Big 12, however they are going up against the third-best rushing defense in the conference. But they’ve already played the top two rushing defense in the conference in Iowa State and Texas, and the offense was not the issue. TCU does bring in the best pass efficiency defense in the conference, so pounding the ball on the ground with Murray, Sermon, Sutton and Brooks is probably the way to go. It also might help keep OU’s defense off the field, which is very likely its best offense at this point.

Prediction: OU 40, TCU 28 The Sooners are coming off an emotional couple of weeks with the loss to Texas and the firing of Mike Stoops. But this team is angry and it still has plenty to play for with a College Football Playoff absolutely in the cards, yet there is no margin for error. TCU just doesn’t look like itself and it feels a lot like 2016 for the Horned Frogs, who lost a bunch of good seniors the year before and need a bit of a rebuild/reset. TCU couldn’t stop the OU offense in their two meetings last season, winning 38-20 and 41-17. This offense has another layer on the ground with Murray’s legs. OU takes care of business in Fort Worth with relative ease.

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