KICKOFF: Saturday, noon ET
SITE: Amon G. Carter Stadium, Fort Worth, Texas
SERIES: Oklahoma leads 7-4 (last meeting, 2008, Oklahoma 35-10)
RECORDS: Oklahoma 9-2, 7-1 Big 12; TCU 7-4, 4-4 Big 12
POLLS: Oklahoma (No. 12 AP, No. 11 USA Today)
PREDICTION: Oklahoma 21-14
PLAYERS TO WATCH
QB Landry Jones — The way he is playing of late, he’s the one to watch every week. Jones is coming off consecutive 500-yard passing games, throwing for nine touchdowns against two interceptions in those games. He’s no longer a Heisman candidate, but he’s the biggest reason OU has won the last two weeks.
RB Damien Williams — It’s not clear who’s first team and second team between Williams and RB Brennan Clay, but Williams is listed as the starter and leads in rushing with 790 yards to Clay’s 464. As a tandem, they will be a key to maintaining ball control against TCU.
S Javon Harris — Harris is in the top 10 in the country in interceptions with his five picks. He is second on the team in tackles as well with 71.
DE Devonte Fields — A finalist for the Hendricks Award, given annually to the nation’s top defensive end, Fields has nine sacks and is chasing the FBS record for sacks by a true freshman, a 0.9 average achieved by Arizona State’s Terrell Suggs in 2000. TCU’s Jerry Hughes won the Hendricks Award in 2009.
LB Kenny Cain — Cain ecorded a career-best 14 tackles in the Texas win, including a sack.
PK Jaden Oberkrom — Oberkrom is pproaching the TCU record of 40 consecutive PATs in a season. He stands 39-for-39. Oberkrom, a freshman, connected on field goals of 18 and 41 yards at Texas and is 18-for-25 on the season.
DE David King (ankle, questionable), LB Frank Shannon (undisclosed, probable).
No new injuries reported.
TO THE GAME:
– For Oklahoma: Get the defense off the field. The Sooners can’t let the Horned Frogs eat clock and hide the ball. The defense must step up against the run.
– For TCU: Win the line of scrimmage. The offense wants to move the ball on the ground against the Sooners. The defense must slow OU QB Landry Jones.
SCOUTING THE TEAMS:
In the Oklahoma’s last three games, the Sooners have scored 42, 50 and 51 points, while racking up 460, 662 and 619 yards. If there’s a problem there, it’s that they have had to throw the ball 123 times the last two games just to keep up. The offense has gone crazy, but it’s done so much because it has had to. OU would be well served to find a balance again between the pass and the run. The issue there is the offensive line’s ability to run block.
Oklahoma’s defense had played very well all season until its last three games in which the Sooners allowed 34, 49 and 48 points, as well as 424, 778 and 490 yards. In the first two of those three games, against Baylor and West Virginia, OU also gave up more than 700 yards on the ground. The Sooners still gave up 201 in the third, against Oklahoma State. None of that bodes well, except for the understanding that Baylor, West Virginia and Oklahoma State are all prolific offenses.
TCU is sometimes able to pester opponents with a steady ground attack that does not feature a breakaway threat, though RB Matthew Tucker has regained his mobility and adds to the committee approach. QB Trevone Boykin is perhaps TCU’s top rushing threat and also capable of big strikes through the air, though protection can be a problem. The receiving corps has not flourished as some predicted following the season-ending suspension handed to QB Casey Pachall. Still, WR Josh Boyce is capable of busting a long gain.
Despite starting just one senior, LB Kenny Cain, TCU is as active as any defense in the Big 12. The Horned Frogs have forced a league-high 30 takeaways. Steady pressure from the defensive line, which is led by DE Devonte Fields, has enabled the secondary to break on balls and generate 20 interceptions.
Sooners: Oklahoma has a very good chance to at least share a Big 12 championship, reach a BCS bowl game and finish the season with no less than 10 wins. … Technically speaking, a victory gives OU a Big 12 championship. It will only be the outright crown if Texas beats Kansas State. If Kansas State and OU both win, it’s a shared championship, even though Kansas State beat Oklahoma. … The thinking is Oklahoma is headed to the Fiesta Bowl if it beats TCU and Kansas State loses to Texas, and to the Sugar Bowl if both the Sooners and Wildcats win. But there is a fly in the ointment. Kent State is No. 17 in the BCS with the MAC title game still to play against Northern Illinois. If Kent State reaches No. 16, it guarantees a trip to a BCS game, and that might be the Sugar Bowl. … QB Landry Jones missed one play in the Oklahoma State game. From his reaction, it appeared he might have suffered some sort of head injury. Monday, it was explained he’d only had the wind knocked out of him.
Horned Frogs: TCU is looking for its first Big 12 win at home after losses to Iowa State,Texas Tech, and Kansas State. … The 2005 season opener, when TCU went into Oklahoma and pulled off a 17-10 upset, remains one of the biggest wins for the Horned Frogs under coach Gary Patterson. … Two running backs TCU was counting on this season, Ed Wesley and Waymon James, never provided much production. James was lost for the season with a knee injury in the second game. Wesley, who led the Horned Frogs in rushing during their 2010 run to the Rose Bowl, opted to skip his senior season and signed as a rookie free agent with the Cowboys, but then was late to a team walkthrough and was cut. … TCU rushed for 217 yards in its win over Texas on Thanksgiving night. QB Trevone Boykin gained 77 yards and RBs B.J. Catalon and Matthew Tucker added 66 and 57, respectively. Catalon is one of 16 true freshmen to play this season for TCU.