All plays matter but some end up factoring in the game more than others. Here are the five plays that told the story of Oklahoma and TCU.
OU 30, TCU 29
Play No. 1: Mayfield goes down
You knew at the time it was a nasty hit. You knew at the time it was a targeting penalty. What you didn’t know was the lingering effect it would have on quarterback Baker Mayfield.
The game was tied 7-7 and OU faced a second-and-16 at the TCU 40 yard line when Mayfield did what he always does in extending the play. As he was going down, TCU’s Ty Summers speared him with crown of his helmet.
Mayfield played the rest of the first half but was clearly not himself. Head coach Bob Stoops said Mayfield said he was suffering from a headache at halftime, which is when OU decided to take the ball out of his hands.
OU’s offense was clearly a different animal with Mayfield out of the game. No idea what his status will be for Bedlam as of now, but yea, OU needs him back pronto.
Credit to Mayfield for admitting he was having symptoms of a concussion and credit to OU for not allowing him to come back no matter how much of a big game it was vs. TCU.
Play No. 2: Knight falls down
Sooners Illustrated does not like to bash players, especially college players. But this one play with backup quarterback Trevor Knight epitomized the difference between himself and Mayfield.
OU was up 23-13 in the third quarter and faced a second-and-nine at its own 29 yard line. Knight dropped back to pass and slipped/panicked and fell down for a seven-yard loss.
Mayfield has made a living this year out of improvising and making something special happen when it wasn’t there. Knight just couldn’t do that, in going 5 of 16 through the air and one incredibly costly interception in the fourth quarter.
Play No. 3: Thomas makes the adjustment
It was clear what TCU’s passing attack was going to be with Foster Sawyer. Chunk it up and hope for the big play. It worked in the first half, but the Sooners and Ahmad Thomas made the adjustment in the second half.
With OU clinging to a 23-13 lead and TCU building that momentum, Sawyer looked for another big one. Thomas, who has done an incredible job of doing this all season, knew his responsibility and got over there.
It’s not enough to knock it down, though, as Thomas once again corralled it in for OU’s third interception of the game.
A lot of people wondered if Ahmad Thomas could keep his job this year. He has answered that about as emphatically as you possibly can.
Play No. 4: Perine saves the day
The third quarter was about as tense a 15 minutes as OU and its fans had experienced all season. Mayfield was out. Samaje Perine suffered an ankle injury. Joe Mixon was dinged up with an apparent leg injury.
But Perine wasn’t about to sit out one more time. His first carry after returning was a 72-yard score to give OU a 30-13 lead with 7:55 left in the third quarter.
TCU, as all teams do, went low on Perine, but he was able to bounce off the tackle and get enough separation for his career-long run.
Said at the time 30 points would be enough for the Sooners, didn’t understand just how prophetic those words would be toward the end of the game.
Play No. 5: Parker plays hero
Duh. Steven Parker knew it was a calculated decision, but he did it anyway and deflected the two-point conversion pass for the win. Could be remembered for a long time in Norman.