About Last Saturday: 6 Takeaways from TCU-Oklahoma

TCU’s loss to Oklahoma was rough, but there is a #BrightSide.

Photo by Ellman Photography.

Yes, we still have the TCU-Oklahoma game on our minds. Last Saturday was anything but pretty, as the Sooners dominated the Frogs 38-20 in Norman. There is much to talk about, so let’s get right to it.

1. Blitzing isn’t always the answer.

Coming into the game, Oklahoma’s prolific quarterback Baker Mayfield was all anyone would talk about. TCU’s defensive strategy appeared to be getting all over Mayfield, relying on the blitz. But here’s the problem — Mayfield works great under pressure, and when the Frogs came after him, he’d throw downfield and easily gain yards in the air. Rather than focusing on defending the pass, the Frogs simply tried pressuring the quarterback again and again. In the end, it didn't work. 

2. The offense needs to step up.

Plain and simple. TCU quarterback Kenny Hill struggles with inconsistency — sometimes he shines running out of the pocket, other times balks under pressure. Wide receivers, too, don’t particularly stand out. While Hill was able to complete a couple deep throws during the game, other times receivers would drop a pass or tip the ball but fail to catch it.

3. Penalties, penalties, penalties.

This is how a team beats itself. Though there were some questionable calls (one of which I’ll talk about in the next point), other instances could have been avoided. Against the Sooners, the Frogs committed seven penalties, which cost them 60 yards.

4. These head-scratching moments:

  • First, there was the first quarter field goal situation. The Frogs made it just close enough to kick from 25 yards away. But instead of starter Jonathan Song, who was out due to injury, kicker Ryan Graf stepped up to kick. He made the 25-yarder, but it was negated by a penalty. When the kick was moved back, Graf missed from 30.
  • Then came the “personal foul.” Standout defensive end Mat Boesen was ejected while attempting to kick himself free from a couple Oklahoma offensive linemen who held him down. The call was questionable to say the least.
  • Backup quarterback Shawn Robinson also seemed to randomly come into the game during the second quarter. The move didn’t do much for the Frogs, and at fourth and three, the team did not go for it, and instead took a delay of game penalty and punted instead.

5. The one thing lacking with the defense: Turnovers.

While TCU’s defense is good at producing sacks and tackles for loss, it hasn’t quite been as prolific at forcing fumbles and interceptions as it had been in the past. So far this season, the Frogs have produced just eight interceptions and eight forced fumbles. Turnovers could be game changers, and they could have made a difference against Oklahoma.

6. So what’s the #BrightSide?

If TCU can beat Texas Tech and Baylor, it may still have the chance to play Oklahoma again at the Big 12 Championship game. Either way, TCU will finish with a winning record and should get into a decent bowl game. It’s not the playoff but hey, the Frogs dreamed big, didn’t quite achieve everything they wanted, but they made it as far as they could. The #BrightSide? It’s not over yet.