Sooners remain perfect on the season

OU quarterback Blake Bell looks to throw during Saturday night's game against TCU

OU quarterback Blake Bell looks to throw during Saturday night’s game against TCU

It was a tale of two halves Saturday night, as the 11th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners hosted the TCU Horned Frogs for the first time as Big 12 Conference opponents.

During the first half, OU used a stifling defense to confound TCU, and made just enough plays on offense to take a 13-0 lead into the locker room.  The Sooners scored the only points of the opening quarter when Michael Hunnicutt drilled a 39-yard field goal.  With the kick, Hunnicutt became OU’s all-time leader in field goals.  Coming in to Saturday night’s contest, he was in a three-way tie with former Sooner kickers Tim Lashar and Tim Duncan, with 48.

In the second quarter, OU fullback Trey Millard found the end zone on an eight-yard run, set up by back to back passes from quarterback Blake Bell to backup wide receiver Durron Neal.  Neal’s first catch was a six-yarder on fourth and three from the TCU 32-yard line.  On the next play, Bell hooked up with Neal for 18 yards.  Millard’s run was the senior’s first rushing touchdown of the season, his second overall.  Hunnicutt closed out the first half scoring with his 50th career field goal, another 39-yarder.

OU ryunning back Damien Williams runs the ball Saturday night against TCU.  The Sooners won the game, 20-17

OU ryunning back Damien Williams runs the ball Saturday night against TCU. The Sooners won the game, 20-17

The Mike Stoops-coached Oklahoma defense was dominant in the first half, allowing zero first downs, and only 16 total yards, including minus-1-yard rushing.  In contrast, the Sooners went to the intermission with 200 total yards, and a nearly two-to-one edge in time of possession.

The third quarter was owned by the Horned Frogs.  The Sooners received the second-half kickoff, but their first two possessions were three and outs, and they only ran six offensive plays in the quarter.  TCU was finally able to put points on the scoreboard late in the quarter when Jaden Oberkrom connected on a 25-yard field goal.  The TCU special teams unit made a huge play on the ensuing kickoff when Oberkrom perfectly executed a deep onside pooch kick that the Frogs recovered at the OU 35-yard line.  TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin scored on a two-yard touchdown run six plays later, cutting Oklahoma’s lead to 13-10.  The stage was set for a dramatic finish.

With the Sooners clinging to a 13-10 lead, and facing second down from their own 24-yard line, Bell handed the ball off to running back Brennan Clay, and 76 yards later, OU finally had a little breathing room, 20-10.  Clay’s touchdown run was the longest play of his career.

TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin tries to escape OU's Eric Striker Saturday night

TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin tries to escape OU’s Eric Striker Saturday night

The Horned Frogs made sure OU wasn’t comfortable for long.  On the first play of their next series, Boykin connected on a 45-yard pass play to David Porter.  With 2:26 remaining, Boykin scrambled for his second rushing touchdown of the game, this time from eight yards out.  The OU offense was able to run out the clock, with Bell running the ball three times, including the game-sealing 17-yarder to the Frogs 36-yard line.

The Sooners head in to next week’s Red River Rivalry with Texas at a perfect 5-0 overall and 2-0 in Big 12 play, while TCU falls to 2-3, 0-2.