There was little to cheer in the performance of both Paul Thompson and Rhett Bomar Saturday.
Thompson missed a chance to win the hearts of the fans and give the Sooners an immediate confidence boost when he overthrew a wide open Travis Wilson on the game's opening play. Given another when OU was knocking on the door later in the quarter, Thompson failed to protect the football and fumbled away a scoring opportunity. He was able to find Wilson a couple of times in the open field, but both times, Wilson had to wait on the throws or the gains might have been longer.
Thompson's longest completion of the day was 22 yards and his longest run was for seven — ironically, on the play where he fumbled. And in the final momentum killer for the Sooners, Thompson underthrew a pass for Wilson right into the hands of TCU defender Drew Coleman, ending OU's last legitimate chance to drive for a tying score.
There were also mental mistakes. On the drive following TCU's go ahead touchdown early in the fourth quarter, Thompson had to use two timeouts within seconds due to confusion on the field. And coaches alluded to the fact that there were several opportunities for the quarterback to keep the ball rather than hand it off on reads that weren't made.
Bomar started with a bang, producing the Sooners longest run of the day with a 28-yard bootleg on his first collegiate play. Had he not stumbled turning the corner, it could have possibly gone for a touchdown. But beyond that, his passing was erratic, as he underthrew several receivers. And his turnover after being sacked for a 15-yard loss led to what proved to be the game winning touchdown.
Adrian Peterson did not have a hole to run through all day, and his longest run of the day was his touchdown prance early in the third quarter. Outside of that drive, where he carried six times for 43 yards, AD managed just 20 yards on 16 carries.
Even though he came back from an ankle injury in the final quarter, he had negative yards following his return. As far as getting involved in the passing game, Peterson caught two first quarter passes for seven yards and wasn't thrown to again.
Jacob Gutierrez gained 11 yards on his only carry early in the game and never got another chance. Kejuan Jones had a couple of determined runs in the Red Zone, but only averaged 2.4 yards a carry overall.
Already depleted by the defection of Akim Millington during game week, the fears about the Sooners offensive line became reality on Saturday.
Chris Messner was often manhandled at right tackle and the offensive front failed to provide even the slightest crack for Adrian Peterson to run through. They also allowed three sacks and were unable to keep the TCU defensive line from pressuring Sooner quarterbacks.
Other than the opening drive of the third quarter, there was no forward push, as the Horned Frogs penetrated the line of scrimmage repeatedly, forcing Peterson to give ground in an effort to get around the corner. A dismal performance as a group.
Travis Wilson caught five passes for 52 yards and could have had much more. Jejuan Rankins averaged 19 yards a catch on his two receptions and Quentin Chaney added 17 yards on his lone catch. They just didn't get to see the ball, especially in the second half.
At the same time, no OU receiver came up with a big catch in traffic, something we came to expect with Mark Clayton on the field the past two years. Lendy Holmes also had a big fourth down drop on a pass that was thrown behind him, but could have been caught.
Didn't get much penetration early, but got better as the game progressed.
TCU's short drops made it difficult to get much pressure on Tye Gunn, but in the second half especially, the line did a good job. They were solid against the run as usual, holding TCU to less than three yards a carry if you take out sacks and the loss from punt formation.
John Williams was having a solid game, recording the Sooners only sack and making a couple of other big hits before suffering a possible season-ending injury. A solid but not spectacular outing.
Burned early by the TCU medium passing game, they made adjustments and played much better in the second half.
Rufus Alexander got sucked in on a 32-yard reverse that led to the first Horned Frogs touchdown, but otherwise he was all over the field, with a hand in 10 tackles and breaking up two passes.
Zach Latimer was the game's leading tackler and Clint Ingram recorded OU's only interception and had a nice runback.
Led by Chijioke Onyenegecha's performance, the secondary was solid. C.O. was the recipient of a bad interference call early in the game, but that did not stop his aggressive man-to-man coverage the rest of the way.
Of the rest of the newcomers, only Lewis Baker appeared to be playing tentatively. He was late getting over in coverage on several early TCU receptions, but played better in the second half.
They did not make any game-changing plays, but also did not give up anything deep.
Kick coverage was about the only real bright spot for the Sooners on Saturday.
Onyenegecha made an excellent play, leaping into the air to keep a punt from going into the end zone and saving it for his teammates to down inside the five, and Jason Carter stuffed the TCU punter deep in his own territory, setting up the Sooners game-tying field goal.
The coverage teams didn't allow a kickoff or punt return longer than 15 yards and even though Cody Freeby's punting average wasn't spectacular, only one of his eight punts was returned. Keep in mind that he was kicking into the wind most of the day and he got good hang time on almost all of his efforts.
OU's return game was so-so. Wilson had a pair of 22-yard kickoff returns and Rankins gave the offense great field position with a 14-yard return in the opening quarter. Other than that, nothing to write home about.
Garrett Hartley was just wide right on a 50-yard attempt into the wind on the last play of the first half and connected on a 21-yarder in the third quarter.
OU-TCU Grade Card
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