Oklahoma Sooners Win Defensive Battle, Knock off TCU, 20-17


Oct 5, 2013; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Durron Neal (5) signals a first worn against the TCU Horned Frogs in the second quarter of the game at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

The Oklahoma Sooners vs. TCU Horned Frogs game was an amazing defensive battle that saw both team’s defenses almost completely dominate the game, which OU won 20-17. After a first half that saw the Oklahoma Sooners limit the Horned Frogs to 16 yards of total offense, the Horned Frogs started to move the ball a little better in the second, while their defense made Blake Bell and the Sooners’ offense life hard the entire game.

What won the game for the Sooners, and what almost won the game for Texas Christian, was their quarterbacks using their legs to move the ball. Trevone Boykin ran for 18 yards in the game on 12 carries, but scored both of the TCU touchdowns in the game on the ground. Blake Bell ran for 61 yards on 14 carries, but his carries were big, especially in the final drive of the fourth quarter.

The Sooners ran the Belldozer for the first time this season in the first quarter, and Blake Bell ran for a first down out of the formation. It led to the Sooners opening field goal to take a lead they never relinquished this game. Michael Hunnicutt broke the Sooners’ record for field goals in a career in this game with his two.

Some thought that the Sooners were heading into a trap game with the Sooners facing a hangover after beating Notre Dame Fighting Irish last week. The Sooners defense had no problems during the first half of action. They stopped Boykin, the first real scrambling quarterback they have faced this season, and held the Horned Frogs to 17 passing yards and negative one rushing yard with no first downs.

On the offensive side of the ball, Bell was not able to get anything going because the TCU defensive backs were completely dominating the OU receivers and there was rarely anyone open for Bell to throw the ball to. There was one drive in the second quarter where Bell found some rhythm and went 5-for-5 before Trey Millard finished it off for an 8-yard touchdown run.

The Sooners ended the first half with another field goal to take a 13-0 halftime lead and it looked like OU was dominating. What was not as clear was that the TCU defense was playing just as strong, and outside of the one touchdown drive, they stopped Bell from moving the ball.

That made the Sooners’ defensive injuries in the second half really start to hurt the Oklahoma chances of winning. Corey Nelson, the Sooners leading tackler in the game and the defensive team leader, left in the third quarter with what looked like a shoulder injury. After the game, Nelson said it was a “strained peck.”

After that, Boykin started moving the ball better. The Horned Frogs drove and kicked a field goal and then Boykin drove the field and ran in for a 2-yard touchdown to put the score at 13-10 by the end of three. With Bell unable to find any open receivers, it looked like the Sooners needed to buckle down, despite losing Nelson.

After that, Julian Wilson hurt his left leg and had to be helped off the field.

Luckily, the Sooners offense finally had some luck go their way when Brennan Clay broke through the offensive line and ran 76 yards for a touchdown to put OU up 20-10. Boykin wasn’t ready to give up and drove TCU down the field, finishing off the drive with an 8-yard touchdown run.

With OU only up 20-17, and their offense only having a couple of offensive drives go their way, the Sooners knew they needed something with two minutes left in the game. That is where Blake Bell came in again. On the Sooners final drive of the game, Bell was dropped for a one-yard loss, and then ran 13 yards for a first down. After Damien Williams was stuffed on the next play, Bell ran 17 yards for the final first down of the game, lowering his shoulder and barreling over the TCU defense.

Two kneel downs later and the Oklahoma Sooners beat the TCU Horned Frogs 20-17 to extend their record to 5-0 on the season. It wasn’t pretty, but it was a fantastic defensive battle and OU know prepares for the Texas Longhorns.