There was a lot to like in OU's 20-17 victory against TCU. How well did the Sooners stack up after reviewing things?
Thought the quality might drop off because of defensive tackle Jordan Phillips not being able to play but that wasn't the case at all. Jordan Wade and Torrea Peterson came up huge for the Sooners inside, while Charles Tapper and Chuka Ndulue were dominant at defensive end. The signature play of the game might well be Tapper running down TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin for a sack in the second quarter. OU coach Bob Stoops said that even impressed him.
He admitted after the game that every time he's out there it's a new experience. And the TCU defense might end up being the toughest the Sooners see this season. Cornerback Jason Verrett was as good as advertised and made life difficult for Bell in trying to find anything down the field. Once again, though, Bell took care of the ball and was in control of the team at the line of scrimmage. A couple of big throws combined with some huge runs to ice the game late and another productive night for Bell.
The only question right now is how accurate Hunnicutt's leg is if asked to kick a long field goal. For the short and intermediate length kicks, might as well just add the three points to OU's total. Hunnicutt nailed field goals from 39 and 37 yards out in the first half. He is now 50-of-58 for his career. His first conversion Saturday gave him the all-time school record for field goals made. He'll just add onto it with every kick from this point on.
Before the season, it sounded crazy to think Sanchez would start the game. Now it's not even all that crazy to say he's playing better than Aaron Colvin right now. Each game seems to be the best Sanchez game yet. In this one, he broke up four passes and was "this close" to an interception he could have returned for a touchdown. The throw was too high for everybody, but he made a great jump on the route and would have taken it to the house.
A down night for special teams. Hunnicutt was solid as usual, but punter Jed Barnett struggled throughout the night. It didn't matter if he had the wind or didn't, just an off day for him. The game changed when TCU recovered the kickoff late in the third quarter, too. You know OU special teams coach Jay Boulware wasn't happy about that, and it will definitely give him something to emphasize this week.
No running back is getting the bulk of the carries, but Clay continues to do all the little things to be on the field and be on the field when it matters most. No doubt his 76-yard touchdown run made sure the Sooners would come out victorious, but Stoops has mentioned his pass protection more than anything else. The 76-yard run was the longest of his career, and he finished with 111 yards on nine carries and added four receptions.