• The Road Warrior Report - TCU Review - November 22, 2015

      NORMAN – Red November Phase Two is complete. Barely. The Sooners survived the loss of Baker Mayfield to a dirty hit and a fourth-quarter comeback from a scrappy TCU team to go to 10-1 with a 30-29 win in Norman last night. After the glory of last week’s win in Waco, we got a survival slog that required turning the Frogs away on a last-minute two-point try for the win.

      It was a great play by Steven Parker on that two-point try that saved the game, and the season. Parker was covering his man and came off him to attack a scrambling TCU third-string QB Bram Kohlhausen (who is also the mayor of Frankfurt in his spare time). When Kohlhausen tried to toss the ball to Parker’s now-open man, Parker leapt and rejected the pass like a Manute Bol blocked shot. Zack Sanchez recovered the ensuing onside kick to preserve the win.

      While we admire Patterson for being aggressive and going for the win, in truth he did the Sooners a big favor. We knew that if the game went into overtime, our chances were slim, much like last year’s OSU game. We would have kicked the point and continued to press the momentum in an overtime period.

      But had Patterson not inexplicably gone for two earlier in the game when he didn’t need to, he wouldn’t have had to go for two at the end. Early in the second half, Sooner kicker Austin Seibert had fielded a bad snap with his knee on the ground, giving TCU the ball on the Sooner 26-yard line. TCU’s Aaron Green then scampered in for the TD on one play, and Patterson decided to go for two with the score 23-13 with 12:43 to play in the third quarter, a decision that made no sense at the time, and made even less sense given how the game played out. The Sooners stopped a pass on that conversion attempt. Had
      Patterson simply kicked the extra point then, at the end of the game he would have needed only an extra point to go ahead, and surely win the game.

      We say surely, because the Sooner offense in the second half was a hot mess. Mayfield had dazzled in the first half, with his legs more than his arm. He had a pair of TD passes, but was only 9 of 20 for 127 yards, far below his usual completion percentage. However, in the second quarter, at the end of one of his now-patented scrambles, he was speared in the helmet by TCU’s Ty Summers. Summers was ejected on a targeting call, and Mayfield stayed in the game, but wasn’t the same, even though he threw a TD pass after being hit. At halftime, he was evaluated and admitted to a headache, so he was removed from the game for the duration.

      Even at that, the offense was out of sorts even before Mayfield’s departure. They left points on the field on a couple of occasions, most notably Joe Mixon’s drop of a sure TD pass that would have been another Mayfield Heisman moment, as he backed out of a clogged QB draw and scrambled to find an open Mixon in the end zone. Mayfield’s pass hit Mixon right in the hands . . . and went right through them. Seibert hit three of four field goals on the night, but the one he missed would certainly have come in handy at the end.

      Trevor Knight came out to start the second half and, with the exception of a couple of passes, he was a hot mess all by himself. He threw an absolutely awful interception that gave TCU a field goal, and was generally ineffective in the extreme. Frankly, we were really wondering why Cody Thomas wasn’t out there after a few series.

      We love Knight to death, and he is a great kid and a great team leader. Sugar Bowl Trevor will forever remain dear to our hearts. But Sugar Bowl Trevor stayed in New Orleans, and he ain’t coming back. He’s there now, drinking Sazeracs and toasting the odd Bama fan that walks into his Bourbon Street hideaway.

      Were it not for Samaje Perine’s apparently miraculous recovery from what appeared to be a sprained ankle, the Sooners would have been in more hurt. As it was, Perine returned to the game after his early third-quarter injury and snapped off a 72-yard TD run that ended up being the winning points.

      The Sooner defense, with the exception of a few plays, was very good on the evening. They turned TCU over four times, including a pair of picks from Sanchez, but seemed to wear out as the night slogged on. They had avoided giving up the big play for most of the season, but four plays accounted for three of TCU’s four touchdowns and 193 of their 390 yards of total offense.

      But, a win is a win, and in November, you need to survive and advance, and the Sooners did that. Every special season has one or more games like this. We already had one in Tennessee, and had another last night. In 2000, it was an escape in College Station and another in Stillwater. Championship teams win these kinds of games.

      So, now we are in the driver’s seat for the Big 12 – the only team that controls its own destiny. Win in Stillwater next week, and we win the conference. No need for help from anyone else. College GameDay will be at Rustoleum for the game.

      We said here after the Texas game that this team, silly as it may have sounded at the time, controlled its own destiny. At the time, we saw that as highly unlikely to become an actual thing. But it has. This team controls its own destiny, for the conference and the playoff, and that destiny is at hand. One game for it all. Bring on Aggy. And get well quickly, Baker. Please.
      Comments 2 Comments
      1. yermom's Avatar
        yermom -
        That 3rd quarter would not end.

        Trevor has kept a great attitude on the bench, but he just couldn't do anything out there.

        Maybe Josh wasn't so bad... It's really obvious our team is so far behind without Mayfield.
      1. SoCalBigRed's Avatar
        SoCalBigRed -
        My biggest problem with the game, was clock management. Mixon and Perine were eating up 10 yds at a time, for a period. Why Baker feels like he needs to? But, that's part of what makes him, what/who he is. Take the bad, with the wild seat of your pants, fun ride for most of it. However, that game went on forever... and a ground and pound, shouldn't. But we're going out of bounds, dropping passes.

        Stopping the clock.

        Game should have been over in the 3rd by the clock in my house. And we should have won by quite a bit more. It would have been their D gassed at the end. Not ours.
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