OU Game Preview: TCU Horned Frogs

Oklahoma will round out their non-conference schedule on September 27th against TCU. This game will mark the 11th all time meeting between these two schools, with Oklahoma leading the series 6-4. It will also mark TCU's 7th game against a Big 12 opponent in the last 4 seasons.

During that time, the Horned Frogs own an impressive 5-1 record over Big 12 foes, including a 17-10 win over the Sooners in Norman in 2005, which stands as Bob Stoop's only non-Big 12 home loss.

The pressure will be on freshman linebackers Travis Lewis and Austin Box as well as converted safety Keenan Clayton in this game, as this will likely be the most physical opponent the Sooners will see before league play. Historically, the Horned Frogs' success has been tied to their running game, they have won 21 strait when rushing for at least 167 yards. The 2008 squad looks to have the personnel to put up those kinds of numbers, with 4 returning starters on the offensive line to open holes for the tag team of Aaron Brown and Joseph Turner, who despite injury plagued seasons combined for 1,087 yards last year.

Former Katy, TX standout Andy Dalton is coming off a phenomenal freshman campaign, during which he came within 165 yards of setting the school's single season passing mark. Converted quarterback Shea Regan is a dangerous weapon at tight end, his combination of size and speed will provide a unique challenge for the Sooner secondary.

A stout defense has been the trademark of a Gary Patterson coached team, 2007 was no different. TCU ranked 15th in the nation in total defense, and return 6 starters from that squad. They will also welcome back defensive tackle James Vess, who has served his one year suspension for violation of University policy. Vess will try to keep blockers occupied and off of standout linebacker Jason Phillips, who appeared on Lombardi award watch lists a year ago. In passing situations, the Sooners may keep a running back in to block safety Stephen Hodge, who led all defensive backs in the nation with 8 sacks, including 7 in the last 7 games. With the free safety spending so much time at the line of scrimmage, expect to see Sam Bradford challenge the Horned Frogs vertically.

TCU seems to find another gear when they play Big 12 opponents, and the Horned Frogs have the talent to provide stiff competition for the Sooners. However , those freshmen who walked off Owen field with their heads hung back in 2005 are seniors now and most likely have not forgotten that dark day. With two weeks to prepare, win lose or draw, don't expect TCU to sneak up on the Sooners this year.

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