Every play matters but some stick out more than others. Each week Sooners Illustrated will look at the five plays that stood out in Oklahoma’s performance.
TCU 37, OU 33
Play No. 1: Knight goes deep to Shepard
You can’t spot a quality team 14 points on the road, and that’s essentially what the Sooners did as TCU raced out to a 14-0 lead.
The only solace was there were still six minutes left in the first quarter and still time. And OU tried to get it all back on one play as Trevor Knight found Sterling Shepard for a 53-yard reception down the sideline.
Shepard was sensational in the game, finishing with seven catches for 215 yards and a touchdown. That touchdown came on an even longer pass, a 75-yard strike later in the first quarter.
After such an atrocious start, it was 14-14 at the end of the first. In other words, game on.
Play No. 2: Catalon is wide open for the score
This play illustrated the defensive issues in the first half. It was so bad that you could actually watch the OU defenders watch Catalon make the catch as it is happening.
It was very reminiscent of seasons past where the OU defense would play well nine out of 10 times. But on that 10th play, it was just something ugly. This was something ugly and gave TCU a 21-14 lead early in the second quarter.
Play No. 3: Knight goes a whole long way for the first down
Tied at the end of the first quarter and tied at halftime, the first drive of the second half was OU’s chance to finally get ahead on the scoreboard.
Facing a third-and-11 from its own 29 yard line, though, it didn’t look good. OU was only 2-of-6 on third down in the first half, but Knight got going with his legs.
Rolling out one way, Knight cut back to the middle of the field with nobody to throw it to and went 17 yards for the first down.
Knight would convert another third down with his legs on the drive, a third-and-six. Samaje Perine would close it out with a third down conversion touchdown run to give OU its only lead of the game.
Play No. 4: Hayes brings the wood
The OU defense won’t want to watch the first half, but the adjustments were made in the second half. Mike Stoops’ group only allowed seven points and forced two turnovers in the fourth quarter.
The first one had OU fans thinking this was just one of those games where the defense turns the tide. With good reason, too.
The stage was set for the offense to do something, just never materialized. Knight was picked off for the second time in the fourth quarter.
Play No. 5: Perine stuffed
Everybody knew it was coming but that didn’t mean it was a bad thing. The defense created yet another turnover (Geneo Grissom fumble) after Knight’s interception to give the offense another chance.
OU had a third-and-2 and Knight rushed for one yard, setting up a fourth-and-1 at the TCU 22 yard line.
No doubt it was going to Perine, but TCU stoned the freshman. Perine said it wasn’t that TCU was more physical than the other OU opponents. What he said the difference was, however, was how fast the Horned Frogs were.
People will debate the call and already have. But with an experienced offensive line, a stellar short-yardage back like Perine, it’s the right call.
You should pick up one yard with that group. Simply didn’t happen this time around.