OU Football: Sooners Can’t Afford to Look Past a Banged-Up TCU


Momentum in college football is a fickle thing. It can change sides in a single play, and once it’s gone, it is difficult to get back. If you have it, you certainly want to hold on to it for as long as you are able. There is a lot of momentum presently on the side of OU football, and the Sooners must be darn careful not to squander it away by underestimating and looking past this week’s gridiron opponent.

On Saturday, the Sooners play their final home game of the 2015 season. Even though it will be Senior Day, which is always a festive and highly emotional event, but that will merely serve as prelude to what another huge sellout home crowd is really there to witness: another big win over another quality Big 12 program that will put Oklahoma one step closer to a Big 12 championship – something which seemed totally out of the question six games ago – and a potential spot in this year’s College Football Playoff.

Oklahoma was highly impressive in defeating a very good Baylor team last weekend. After a hard-fought victory over an elite national program like Baylor, it is easy to get so caught up in all the glory and the confidence boost that comes from such a quality win that you let up a little in the focus and preparation for the next opponent.

Nov 14, 2015; Waco, TX, USA; Oklahoma Sooners running back Samaje Perine (32) celebrates a touchdown against the Baylor Bears during the second half at McLane Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

That is the biggest challenge facing Bob Stoops and his coaching staff this week as the Sooners get ready to take on TCU, a team that just a couple short weeks ago was getting a lot of love as one of the top four in the land this season.

Speaking of a momentum shift, the past two weeks have been like a giant kick in the stomach followed by a smack upside the head for the TCU Horned Frogs. After narrowly escaping with wins in two earlier road games – a late three-point victory at Texas Tech and a seven-point win at Kansas State in a game that was all square with under two minutes to go in the game – the momentum that TCU had been riding failed to make the trip with the team to Oklahoma State.

In what at the time was the biggest game of the season in the Big 12, Oklahoma State had its way with then-top-five-ranked TCU, handing the Frogs their first loss of the season and in decisive fashion (49-29). To add injury to insult, TCU’s top receiver, Josh Doctson, was injured in the OSU loss and did not finish the game.

Then last weekend at home against Kansas, Horned Frogs’ quarterback and All-American candidate Trevone Boykin went down with an injury, and the Horned Frogs barely got by a very bad Kansas team, escaping with just 24 total points and a six-point win.

So what we have on Saturday with TCU – still 9-1 on the season and ranked No. 11 in the country this week, by the way – is the equivalent of a wounded, cornered animal coming to Norman and fighting to stay alive in the Big 12 title chase.

If the Sooners come into Saturday’s game still relishing all the hype from what easily was the team’s biggest win since knocking off Alabama in the Sugar Bowl two season’s back and they let their guard down even just a little, the situation is set up beautifully for a TCU team that would like nothing more at this point in the season than to burst Oklahoma’s bubble and watch it go splat right in front of the 85,000-plus fans that will be there anticipating a much different outcome.

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It is not known at this time whether or to what extent the Horned Frogs’ two best offensive players will be able to play in the game on Saturday. The status of both Trevone Boykin and his top receiving target, Josh Doctson, was listed as “questionable” on Monday.

Bob Stoops said at his weekly press conference on Monday that the Sooners are preparing as if both players will play. The Horned Frogs have other receiving threats other than Doctson, but they are far from the same team without their team leader Boykin in the lineup, which is all the more reason why you can pretty much expect to see Boykin in the game on Saturday.

Complacency is the Sooners’ worst enemy this week. Mighty Mo is still wearing Sooner crimson, but he is known for his quick-change artistry, and that is a critical factor that Stoops and the Sooners can’t afford to let happen…not now and not this close to the coveted end prize.