The Oklahoma Sooners were sitting pretty prior to their game with TCU Saturday in Fort Worth. With Oregon losing to Arizona Thursday night, they figured to move up at least one spot in the race to be one of four teams in this year’s inaugural playoff. With Alabama losing Saturday, the Sooners could have possibly moved up to number two in this week’s poll. But the Horned Frogs had other ideas and handed OU its first loss of the season, 37-33.
In what was expected to be a defensive battle, the first half was more like a track meet, with TCU exploding out of the gate, putting 14 points on the board in the first quarter. The Frogs took the opening kickoff and promptly marched down the field. On third and goal from the OU one-yard line, quarterback Trevone Boykin fumbled into the end zone, where tight end Cliff Murphy pounced on the loose ball. They stretched their lead to 14-0 when junior running back B.J. Catalon raced into the end zone from seven yards out.
OU cut the deficit in half when freshman phenom Samaje Perine found paydirt on a one yard run. Perine’s score was set up following a 53-yard pass from quarterback Trevor Knight to Sterling Shepard, who was streaking down the OU sideline. The Sooners knotted the score just before the end of the first quarter when Knight unleashed a 75-yard touchdown bomb to Shepard, who found himself all alone behind the TCU secondary.
The Frogs regained the lead early in the second quarter when Boykin connected with Catalon on a 39-yard strike. Once again, the Sooners responded, marching down the field which was capped off by another one-yard run by Perine, and the teams were deadlocked at 21.
With just over 90 seconds left on the clock, TCU again took the lead, this time on a 31-yard field goal from kicker Jaden Oberkrom. Again, OU responded by driving down the field where Michael Hunnicutt drilled a 31-yard field goal of his own.
The Sooners opened the second half scoring with a nice drive which ended with Perine’s third rushing touchdown of the contest, this time from seven yards out, and with 9:28 left in the third stanza, OU took their first, and only lead of the game. It lasted just over two and a half minutes. TCU closed out the third quarter scoring when Boykin found wide receiver Deante’ Gray for a 29-yard touchdown pass, tying the game once again.
Disaster struck with just under one minute gone in the fourth quarter when Knight’s pass was intercepted by TCU linebacker Paul Dawson, who rambled 41 yards to the OU end zone. Oberkrom’s extra point attempt was blocked, and OU cornerback Zach Sanchez scooped up the loose football and raced the length of the field to give the Sooners two more points.
Although those were the game’s final points, the final frame still provided some drama. The Frogs lost two fumbles in their own territory, but OU came away with no points. Following the first fumble, Knight was intercepted again, and the second drive was thwarted when Perine was stopped for no gain from the TCU 22-yard line.
The Sooners return to the Metroplex Saturday for their annual Red River battle with the Texas Longhorns, with kickoff slated for 11:00am at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas.
Photos by Greg Duke, Tulsa Today.