Oklahoma football: Lessons learned from statement win over TCU

NORMAN, OK - NOVEMBER 11: Tight end Grant Calcaterra
NORMAN, OK - NOVEMBER 11: Tight end Grant Calcaterra /
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NORMAN, OK – NOVEMBER 11: Wide receiver KaVontae Turpin
NORMAN, OK – NOVEMBER 11: Wide receiver KaVontae Turpin /

The return of an OU defense worthy of praise

Just one week ago, the Sooner defense gave up 52 points and 661 yards of total offense and big play after big plan and appeared for most of the game at Oklahoma State that it wasn’t capable of stopping anybody. This was not a one-game phenomenon. The OU defense had struggled throughout Big 12 Conference play. Fortunately, the high-powered Oklahoma offense, led by the best quarterback in the country, bailed the Sooners out of several games they might have otherwise lost because of poor defensive play.

And it wasn’t just the passing game or the ground game that were presenting problems. The Sooners have had trouble defending against both in recent games, which certainly doesn’t bode well for a team with national championship aspirations.

On Saturday night, however, in Oklahoma’s biggest challenge of the season against a very good TCU team, the Sooner defensive unit came to play. With three freshman starters in the defensive secondary, Oklahoma held the TCU offense to 424 yards of total offense (155 rushing and 269 passing). The coverage was good on the back end and the Sooners tackled well as a unit.

The TCU offense was successful in converting just 4 of 13 third-down plays, largely attributable to the collective play of the Sooner defensive unit.

The performance of the Oklahoma defense against TCU was perhaps the best it has played overall since the Ohio State game, and it came at a pivotal point in the season.