Every play matters but some end up giving you a better idea of the game than others. Either for what they represented in the contest or as a look to what could be coming in the future.
Sooners Illustrated looks at the five plays that told the story of Oklahoma’s victory.
OU 52, TCU 46
No. 1: Parker gets interception
It’s tough to say the secondary played better when TCU quarterback Kenny Hill throws for 449 yards and five touchdowns. But there were moments when it looked like Kerry Cooks’ group was starting to find its footing.
No play was bigger figuratively or literally than when safety Steven Parker picked off Hill in the first quarter.
OU needed a spark, already trailing 7-0. Add in the fact the Sooners hadn’t had a pick in the first month of the season, and it set the tone for what would be another topsy-turvy Big 12 affair.
It was also Parker’s first career interception that the Sooners would turn into a Baker Mayfield touchdown run not long after.
No. 2: P-Rhino awakens
The first three games of the season were all about running back Joe Mixon for the Sooners, and it was pretty obvious why. He looked like the best back on the team.
Perhaps starting to find his legs, Saturday was key for junior Samaje Perine. No run showed the “P-Rhino” was back more than a carry early in the second quarter.
The Sooners faced a third-and-10 at the TCU 28 yard line so it seemed like OU was going to try to get some yards for kicker Austin Seibert to attempt a field goal.
Instead, Perine ran over people, kept his balance and gained 16 yards before finishing the drive with a touchdown two plays later to tie the game at 21.
Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley have been adamant about Perine getting closer and closer as he gets more time. This was the first occasion where you might actually believe that instead of thinking Perine has lost a step to the wear and tear he has gone through in two years.
No. 3: Mayfield finds Westbrook
This is an easy one. When the Sooners offense is humming, Riley knows exactly what to dial up and when to do it.
Following a big stop by the Sooners defense, Riley went for it all on a second-and-7 from the OU 33 yard line – a flea-flicker.
It worked to perfection. Mayfield-to-Mixon-to-Mayfield-to-Dede Westbrook for a wide open 67-yard touchdown reception.
Riley likes to hit a few big trick plays per game. It gives the team a lot of momentum and confidence when they work. This one? Yea, it worked.
This gave the Sooners their first lead of the game, one in which they ultimately would not relinquish and Westbrook scored his first two touchdowns of the season.
No. 4: Mayfield-Mixon magic
After getting out to a 49-24 lead at the end of the third quarter, it still boggles the mind the Sooners were desperately clinging to a 49-46 lead late in the game.
With TCU’s fans back in the game, OU faced a pivotal drive in the final five minutes, and it didn’t start well after a penalty forced a second-and-11 at its own 24 yard line.
But that’s why you have Baker Mayfield. Somehow he escaped the pressure. Somehow he had enough on his throw to find Mixon for a 25-yard strike that set up OU near midfield and quieted the Frogs fans for at least a few seconds.
Standing behind the end zone for this one, it was pretty crazy or pretty typical Mayfield the way he was able to get out of that one and fire the strike to Mixon.
No. 5: Obo strikes again
The last drive was what OU fans have wanted to see from Ogbonnia Okoronkwo all season and what they want to see going forward.
Obo was a force the entire drive. Threatening to come off the edge like a cheetah (said Bob Stoops), Obo forced a false start penalty.
Then he was able to get pressure and force and intentional grounding/sack on Hill on first down. Then he was able to get another sack on third down.
When it was all said and done, TCU faced fourth-and-20 and didn’t stand a chance. Okoronkwo finished the night with six tackles and 2.5 sacks.