College football Saturday in Norman, Oklahoma on a beautiful October evening – what more could anyone football fan ask for?
Well, if you’re one of the TCU faithful that made the trek across the Red River for the game, you might want to start with an offense that realizes that first half points count too. In what has been a reoccurring theme for the Frogs this year (2-3, 0-2 Big 12), the offense didn’t wake up until after the bands had left the field and the bright sunshine had long departed.
The Horned Frogs offense failed to cross midfield in the first 30 minutes of play, and didn’t record a first down until the 8:34 mark of the third quarter. And yet, the Frogs were still in a game late into the 4th quarter thanks entirely to an outstanding effort by their defense, which limited OU’s offense to just 13 first half points and 3 of 13 third down conversions for the game.
“We knew it would be tough,” said Sooners head man Bob Stoops. “I thought their guys, particularly defensively, really did an excellent job.”
Oklahoma running back Brennan Clay finally broke free for a 76-yard TD sprint with 4:45 left in the 4th quarter to put the 12th ranked Sooners up 20-10. The Frogs managed a last-ditch drive down the field after the ensuing kick-off to make the game’s final score 20-17, and the game seem closer than it actually was.
“We have to find a way to win a game,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said. “Give Oklahoma a lot of credit first half. No first downs. Physically outmatched us in the first half. In the second half, we had to find a way to win and we put ourselves in position. All three losses that we’ve had, we’ve been in position to win ball games.”
This Saturday Oklahoma (5-0, 2-0 Big 12) will meet beleaguered Mack Brown and his Texas Longhorns (3-2, 2-0 Big 12) in the Cotton Bowl’s Red River Rivalry with first place on the line, and quite possibly Brown’s job.