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The Road Warrior Report - TCU Review - October 17, 2021

The Road Warrior Report - TCU Review - October 17, 2021


NORMAN – The Caleb Williams era at Oklahoma, to the extent it had not already started after last week’s game in Dallas, officially kicked off in stunning fashion in Norman last night, as the heralded true freshman led the Sooners to a 52-31 win over TCU in his first college start. Caleb Williams was 18-23 on the night (including at least two drops, one of which would have been a TD) for 295 yards and four TDs. That total does not include 45 yards in pass interference penalties drawn on deep balls. Caleb Williams also added 66 yards and a score on nine carries.

The Sooner offense just looks, well, like it’s supposed to look with Caleb Williams at the controls. He is solid in the pocket and stands in there to deliver the ball. He is not afraid to wing it down the field to make things happen, and his running threat has opened up the Sooner ground game for Kennedy Brooks. As much as we all thought it was the line that was the problem through the first few games, as it turns out, the QB has made all the difference.


Jadon Haselwood had a breakout game with six catches for 56 yards and three scores. Mike Woods had three for 75, Marvin Mims had two for 56, and Brayden Willis had two for 22. Trevon West had one catch for 35 yards, Eric Gray had one for 28, Jeremiah Hall had one for 17 and a score, and Mario Williams had one for 11.

Brooks led all rushers with 153 yards and a score on 20 carries. Gray added 11 yards and a score on six totes.

The Sooners took the opening kickoff and started from their 25. On the third play of the possession, Brooks broke loose for a 32-yard gain that set OU up at the TCU 33. Consecutive passes of 15 yards to Mims and eight yards to Haselwood led up to an eight-yard carry from Caleb Williams and a first down at the Frog two. Brooks carried it in from there, and it was 7-0 Sooners only 2:59 into the game.


After a TCU three-and-out, OU took over on their own 38. Five plays later, on second and seven from the Frog 45, Caleb Williams hit West for 38 yards to the TCU six, but an ineligible lineman downfield pulled it back. Undaunted, Caleb Williams simply hit West for 35 yards to the 15. After Brooks lost two, Caleb Williams fired a dart to Hall on a post route for a score and a 14-0 Sooner lead with 5:40 to play in the first quarter.

A 53-yard TD pass from TCU QB Max Duggan to Kendre Miller on the next possession pulled the Frogs back within a TD with 3:43 to play in the first quarter. The Sooners moved to the TCU 29 on the ensuing possession, powered by a 41-yard connection from Caleb Williams to Mims. The drive stalled there, however, and Gabe Brkic doinked a 46-yard field goal attempt solidly off the upright, and the score remained 14-7.

A 33-yard pass on the next play got TCU into OU territory at the 38. Four plays later, however, Duggan was stopped short on a fourth and two play from the 30, and OU took over on downs. A 59-yard pass from Caleb Williams to Woods two plays later got the Sooners to the Frog four-yard line, but a third-down sack ended the drive and Brkic was good from 28 yards out to make it 17-7 with 11:13 to play in the first half. TCU would answer with a 14-play, 78-yard TD drive that cut the Sooner lead to 17-14 with 4:27 to go in the first half.

After the teams exchanged three-and-outs, the Sooners extended their lead. Caleb Williams hit Gray for 28 yards, then a pass interference penalty on a bomb to Mims made it first down at the TCU 31. Caleb Williams then hit Woods for 16 yards to the 15. Gray lost a yard, then an offside penalty made it second and six from the TCU 11. Caleb Williams then hit Haselwood with a back shoulder throw in the front left corner of the end zone for a TD and a 24-14 lead with only 20 seconds to play in the first half. That would be the halftime score.

TCU went three-and-out on their opening possession of the second half. The Sooners took over on their own 23 after a punt and quickly extended their lead. Another bomb attempt to Mims drew a pass interference flag, then Brooks rumbled 45 yards down the right side to set the Sooners up with a first down at the TCU 16. Caleb Williams then hit Haselwood with a laser on another post route, and it was 31-14 Sooners with 11:48 to play in the third quarter.


A 75-yard TD pass two plays into the ensuing possession cut the lead back to 31-21. Billy Bowman was in good position on the play, but never turned for the ball, allowing TCU’s Quentin Johnston to haul it in and go the distance. OU answered almost as quickly, helped by Gary Patterson’s ill-fated attempt to Snyder the Sooners with a surprise onside kick. The Frogs popped up a short onside kick, but Bryson Washington alertly waved for a fair catch and fielded the ball. TCU hit him in the process, drawing a kick catch interference penalty and giving the Sooners the ball at the TCU 33 to start the possession. Yet another pass interference penalty, this one on a deep ball to Woods, made it first down at the Frog 23. Caleb Williams then hit Willis for 16 yards and finished the drive with a seven-yard pass to Haselwood that put the lead back to 17 points at 38-21 with 9:21 to go in the third.

After a Frog field goal, the Sooners found the end zone once again. Caleb Williams started the possession with a 22-yard carry for a first down at the Sooner 47. Four plays later, Caleb Williams carried left, juked a defender out of his undergarments, then went around the left side and down the sideline, cutting back for a TD and a 45-24 lead with 2:20 to go in the third quarter.

On the next play from scrimmage, the Sooner defense looked to have salted the game away. Latrell McCutchin forced a fumble that was picked up by DaShaun White and returned deep into TCU territory. White lost the ball through the end zone trying to extend it over the goal line, but it was initially ruled that he stepped out of bounds before doing so, which would have given the Sooners a first and goal. However, the pylon cam clearly showed White was in bounds when he lost the ball, resulting in a touchback and TCU retaking the ball at their own 20.

After an exchange of punts, TCU scored their final points of the evening on a 25-yard pass that was intercepted by a Sooner defender but cleanly taken away by Johnston on the way to the ground. That made it 45-31 with 11:16 to play in the game.


The teams exchanged punts, then the Sooners embarked on a very satisfying game-closing drive. Taking over on their own 32 with 6:53 to play, OU ran the same play to Brooks eight times in a row for gains of 25, eight, one, two, seven, -1, five, and four. Throw in a TCU personal foul penalty, and that all adds up to first and goal at the Frog two-yard line. Gray took it in from there with 1:09 to play, and the Sooners had their final points of the night to make the final score 52-31.

The Sooners next travel to Lawrence, Kansas for an 11:00 a.m. kickoff Saturday against the Jayhawks. If you’ve never been to Lawrence, the campus and game setting are beautiful on a fall afternoon, and there will be PLENTY of tickets available. See you in Kansas.

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