Oklahoma football: Five Sooners that need to step up against the TCU Horned Frogs


As the season grows older, Oklahoma is in no position to take any games lightly. There’s very little room for error and national perception is everything.

The Oklahoma Sooners could not avoid the injury bug, but they’ve been able to achieve a 4-0 record and if they can continue to run the table, the Sooners are practically guaranteed a spot in the College Football Playoff.

It’s going to take a team effort, though. It can’t be on just one guy. And not to say the following people have been “bad” this season, but there are five guys that need to have a solid performance against TCU.

Blake Bell. The preseason Mackey Award watch list candidate has only five receptions to his name, one of which went for a touchdown. However, Bell needs to make his presence felt. This will partially be on Trevor Knight and the play-calling, but Bell’s a big body that can move the sticks. OU needs to find a way to involve Bell more, especially in red zone situations. The trick play against WVU that went for six points was cute, but you have a tall, athletic tight end that can create problems deep in enemy territory.

Eric Striker. This may sound weird, because Striker’s been superb this season. The main thing is Oklahoma needs to force Boykin to make mistakes, and Striker is the guy to do it. Boykin will try to use his feet, but if the Sooners can take that away from him, Oklahoma will need to rely on a few of its excellent pass rushers to make life hard on Boykin who’s struggled against OU the past two seasons. Here’s hoping Striker can continue to have an All-American season.

Durron Neal. TCU’s secondary is one of the best in the Big 12—maybe even the country. They are a seasoned group, and they will test Sterling Shepard. Durron Neal is one of only three OU receivers to record a catch this season. It’s important Neal and Knight’s chemistry continues to develop and Durron can hopefully can get his first touchdown reception of the season this weekend.

Alex Ross. No Keith Ford means Samaje Perine will likely be the featured back. But Ross will get ample carries. He’s been great in special teams, and if he can make plays in that area, great. However, I’d like to see more out of Ross in the run game. He’s athletic and speedy for his player his size. They’ll need everyone on offense to play lights out to overcome this tough TCU defense.

Josh Heupel. The play-calling has been stale, but Oklahoma has rarely needed to spice things up. My only gripe is Heupel isn’t using Knight enough in the run game. Of course, Josh Heupel seems to have upped his play-calling from a year ago when fans were calling for his head. However, I’d rather not see OU bust out any trick plays this weekend. And I think that’s a reasonable request considering the talent at hand.

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