Oklahoma football: What fans need to know about regular-season finale vs. TCU

Oct 16, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Marvin Mims (17) and TCU Horned Frogs safety T.J. Carter (7) go for the ball during the game at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 16, 2021; Norman, Oklahoma, USA; Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Marvin Mims (17) and TCU Horned Frogs safety T.J. Carter (7) go for the ball during the game at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports /

The 13th-ranked Oklahoma football team will play its final Big 12 regular-season game after 28 seasons when it entertains TCU on Friday at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium.

In actuality the Sooners membership in what is now the Big 12 Conference goes back over 100 years to 1919, when OU became a member of the Missouri Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Association. That conference evolved into the Big Six, followed by the Big Seven and Big Eight and, in 1996, into its present form.

Not only will Friday’s game with TCU be Oklahoma’s final Big 12 game (unless, of course, the Sooners make it into the conference championship game), it will be OU’s final game in its relatively short series with TCU which began in earnest in 2012 when the Horned Frogs became formal members of the Big 12.

The Sooners are 10-2 against TCU in the twelve years both teams have been members of the Big12 and own a 17-6 record against the Horned Frogs overall. Of note for the game on Friday, Oklahoma has won the last six times the two teams have played in Norman.

Sooners -10.0. 11 a.m. CT. 5-6, 3-5. 872. FOX. Friday, Nov. 24. 9-2, 6-2. 815

Friday games after Thanksgiving was a staple for the Sooners in the Oklahoma-Nebraska Big Eight era, particularly in the mid 1970s and 1990s. Since World War II, or 1946, Oklahoma has played 15 regular-season Friday games. The Sooners are 9-6 in those games, and all six losses were against Nebraska.

Over the last nine meetings between the Sooners and Longhorns, Oklahoma has averaged 499 yards of offense per game and six times has gone over 500 yards. The Sooners have recorded at least 200 rushing yards in seven of the nine games.

The game on Friday will be Oklahoma’s seventh 11 a.m. kickoff this season and 13th in the past two seasons. The game will be televised by FOX with Tim Brando, former OU player Spencer Tillman (1983-86) and Josh Sims announcing.

What to know about TCU

TCU ranks seventh in the Big 12 in scoring offense (30.1) and third in total offense (461.8 yards per game). The Horned Frogs are second in the conference behind Oklahoma in passing offense (309.3 yards per game). Defensively, TCU is fifth in the Big 12 in scoring defense (24.1) and fifth in total defense (390.3 per game).

The Horned Frogs are quarterbacked by redshirt-freshman Josh Hoover, the backup to former OU QB Chandler Morris, who has been battling an injury. Hoover has completed 63.8 percent of his pass attempts for 1,862 yards and 11 touchdowns in nine games. Three TCU receivers (JP Richardson, Jared Wiley and Savion Williams) have caught at least 38 passes this season and have combined for 13 touchdowns.  TCU’s chief threat running the football is Emani Bailey, who has rushed for 1,059 yards and five touchdowns and averages 5.2 yards per carry.

TCU and OU have had four common Big 12 opponents this season (Texas, West Virginia, Iowa State and BYU). The Sooners have wins over all four, while TCU lost by three to both Texas and West Virginia and by 13 to Iowa State. The Horned Frogs defeated BYU 44-11.

There is a wide disparity exists between OU and TCU in turnover margin. OU is +12 in that category and No. 3 in the country, while the Horned Frogs are -8 and ranked 120th among 131 FBS teams.

What to know about Oklahoma

A win over TCU on Friday will give the Sooners 10 for the season and their 42nd season of at least 10 wins, second most in college football. A win also will mark the program’s 700th all-time, the most in college football since the end of World War II.

Head coach Brent Venables said this week in his press conference that he believes QB Dillon Gabriel and WR Jalil Farooq, both of whom were injured in the BYU game, will be available to play against TCU. That is huge news for the Sooners. Despite not playing in the second half of the season opener against Arkansas State and last week at BYU and not playing in the fourth quarter against Tulsa, Gabriel’s 38 touchdowns accounted for are seven more than the next Big 12 player.

Gabriel continues to lead the Big 12 and ranks in the top-10 nationally in points responsible for per game, total offense, passing efficiency, passing touchdowns, pass yards per attempt, pass offense and completion percentage.

Drake Stoops ranks second in the Big 12 with 66 receptions and he and redshirt-freshman Nic Anderson are tied for the conference lead with nine touchdown catches.

In his last three games, redshirt-freshman RB Gavin Sawchuk has averaged 118 rushing yards per game and over 7.0 yards per carry.

Defensively, Oklahoma has shown major improvement over last season. OU ranks in the top three in the Big 12 and in the top-15 nationally in interceptions (18), turnovers gained (24), tackles for loss (7.5 per game), 3rd-down conversion percentage (29.3) defensive touchdowns (3) and pass efficiency defensive rating (114.2).

Key matchup

Oklahoma’s pass defense, which allows 233 passing yards per game and ranks eighth in the Big 12, against TCU pass offense, which ranks second best in the Big 12 with three highly talented receivers and averages 309 yards per game.


Oklahoma is a 10-point favorite and playing at home in the final home game of the 2023 season. Regardless of which quarterback plays, the Sooners have enough offensive firepower and a much stronger defensive presence than in previous years, which should be enough to defeat TCU for win number 10 on the season. The Sooners are working on an undefeated season at home. They rarely loose at home and have gone undefeated at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in 15 of the last 24 years. Oklahoma wins 45-24 and waits to see what happens between Texas and Texas Tech on Friday and Oklahoma State and BYU on Saturday.