TCU upsets No. 18 Oklahoma as Sooners fall to 0-2 in Big 12 play for second time since 1998

No. 18 Oklahoma suffered one of its worst losses in the Big 12 era as TCU ripped the Sooners 55-24, putting them squarely at 0-2 in Big 12 play for just the second time since John Blake coached the program to its last losing season in 1998. Oklahoma also started 0-2 in Big 12 play during the COVID-shortened 2020 season after a one-game nonconference slate. 

The fifth game of the Brent Venables era also becomes the program’s most lopsided loss since a 63-28 defeat against LSU in the 2019 College Football Playoff, and it is the largest loss to a Big 12 foe since a 48-14 loss to Baylor in 2014. 

In winning, TCU snapped an eight-game losing streak against the Sooners dating back to Lincoln Riley’s first season in 2015. The losses have come by more than two touchdowns a game, including by a combined 40 points over the past two seasons. However, TCU took over this matchup almost immediately, building a 20-3 lead in less than eight minutes behind two passing and one rushing touchdown from TCU quarterback Max Duggan. The senior was masterful, finishing with 302 yards passing, 116 yards rushing and five total touchdowns. 

A scary moment came in the second quarter when Oklahoma quarterback Dillon Gabriel was targeted by a TCU linebacker and hit his head on the turf. Gabriel went to the locker room and did not return. Later, Oklahoma safety Damon Harmon also suffered a major head injury and had to be immobilized and carted off the field on a stretcher. 

Oklahoma struggled in every phase of the game even without its two injured stars. The Sooners threw for just 176 yards on 5.5 yards per pass attempt and averaged 3.7 yards per carry. Ten different receivers caught passes for TCU against a porous secondary. 

Should Oklahoma and Texas fall out fo the AP Top 25 on Sunday, it will mean the Red River Shootout will feature two unranked teams for the first time since 1998. The Longhorns play West Virginia on Saturday. 

Blazing start for Frogs

TCU came into the season relatively anonymous and didn’t earn much recognition after early wins over SMU and Colorado. However, a 31-point victory over preseason top-10 Oklahoma is enough to gain the nation’s attention. TCU coach Sonny Dykes has given the Frogs a new lease on life. 

Duggan is playing some of the best football of his lengthy career after putting together his third straight game with 250 yards passing, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. After completing fewer than 60% of his passes prior to 2022, Duggan has completed more than 70% of his passes. TCU’s deep receiving corps have reaped the rewards. 

The Horned Frogs deserve to enter the rankings — easily — and be considered a legitimate Big 12 championship contender. The last time TCU started 4-0 was 2017 when it made the Big 12 Championship Game. 

Horrific defensive performance

TCU exploded for 668 yards — notching more than 300 yards in the passing and running game — at 8.9 yards per play against Venables in his second Big 12 game as the Sooners’ coach. The performance ranked among the worst defensive efforts of Oklahoma’s time in the Big 12. Oklahoma allowed touchdowns of 73, 69, 67 and 62 yards, respectively, to the Frogs, both on the ground and through the air. 

Oklahoma was aggressive in the transfer portal and brought in six new defensive players, with three at defensive back. Sooners cornerback Woodi Washington also previously talked about how the Sooners didn’t have “an actual corners coach and defensive backs coach” until this year. However, TCU’s 55 points were the most allowed by the Sooners against a Big 12 opponent since 2017 — Riley’s first season.  

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *