Oklahoma football stats that stand out as focus sharply turns to TCU

NORMAN, OK - OCTOBER 28: Wide receiver Marquise Brown
NORMAN, OK - OCTOBER 28: Wide receiver Marquise Brown /

The history of the TCU-Oklahoma football series is just 16 games, but those 16 games cover a period of 82 years.

The two schools played each other five years in a row between 1944 and 1948 and again in 1954. The Sooners won four of the first six games. Surprisingly, the two games OU lost were played in Norman. Oklahoma and TCU did not play again for 59 years.

Since 1993, the two teams have met 10 times, with Oklahoma winning seven of them. Two of the Sooners three losses to TCU during that time were in Norman. Half of the 16 games in the all-time series have been played in Norman, where OU’s record against TCU has been a very modest 4-4.

Oklahoma and TCU have played each other five times a members of the Big 12. OU is 4-1 in those games and 2-0 in Norman. The Sooners are 5-2 against TCU with Gary Patterson as head coach (2-1 in Ft. Worth and 3-1 in Norman).

The five Big 12 games between the two schools have been decided by a combined 21 points. The largest margin of victory in those five games was seven points.

Where the two teams stand this season, and given their recent history, it’s a pretty good bet that the contest on Saturday will be another close encounter. Based on Week 2 of the College Football Playoff rankings, the game this weekend features the No. 5 Sooners hosting No. 6 TCU.

TCU is a team that has come to Norman and won games (four to be exact), and there are many schools that can say that. Gary Patterson and the Horned Frogs won’t be intimidated the least bit to go out and perform in front of 80,000-plus raucous and wildly passionate Oklahoma fans in what is certain to feel like a Playoff environment.

Another stat to keep a close eye on in the battle of Big 12 co-leaders this weekend is time of possession. TCU is controlling the ball for an average of 32 minutes per game this season. That leads the Big 12 and ranks 26th in the country among the 130 FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) teams. This could be a critical path to victory for the Horned Frogs against Oklahoma. The longer TCU can stay on the field on offense, the more time it keeps Baker Mayfield and the high-powered OU offense on the sidelines, limiting Sooner scoring opportunities.

For the record, Oklahoma’s time of possessions numbers aren’t that far off of TCU’s. The Sooners rank 31st nationally and second in the Big 12, averaging 31:40 with the ball on offense.

Here is one more statistical comparison that could have a big impact on the outcome of the game on Saturday: Oklahoma is averaging a nation-best 8.6 yards per offensive play this season. The TCU defense is limiting opponents to half that amount (4.4 yards per play). Something has got to give here.