5 Questions: TCU vs Oklahoma

Horned Frog Insider talks with Sooners Illustrated publisher Bob Przybylo to get his thoughts on the Frogs' matchup with Oklahoma.

Unless the college football world was completely rocked upside down, the Sooners have no shot at the playoffs. Winning the Big 12 is still a possibility. Was the week off in your opinion a good or bad thing for Oklahoma last week to reset?

It was a great week for the Sooners to recover. Not relax or catch a breath but recover. OU was manhandled physically by both Houston and Ohio State. It was a tough lesson for the Sooners to learn, and they learned it the hard way about having to be more physical going forward.

There were a lot of guys banged up and some most likely still will be heading into this week. OU has seemingly been in this position every year here lately about having to bounce back. It’s nothing new, but nobody knows how this particular group is going to respond.

Some of the early lines have Oklahoma as the favorite in this one. Does that surprise you? 

Not really. The way been phrasing it is TCU has shown nothing to prove OU cannot win the game. But the Sooners have shown nothing to prove they will win the game.

OU fans don’t want to listen to this line of thinking at 1-2, but all the Sooners really did was lose to two of the top seven teams in the country. If OU had played lesser competition, OU would be 3-0 but wouldn’t know a thing about how it would respond in a tight situation.

Instead OU is 1-2 and has no margin of error. OU is actually averaging more yards per play this season than last. The yards are there, but the points haven’t. That can change.

Oklahoma has struggled to create turnovers and defensively are giving up over 30 points a game, after sporting a top 20 ranking in the category last season.  What have their issues been so far and do see that improving? 

That’s the $64,000 question right there. The second cornerback spot opposite Jordan Thomas has been a mess. Dakota Austin, Parrish Cobb, Michiah Quick have all tried and faltered on multiple occasions.

Seriously have no idea if it gets fixed. But if it does, look out. That has been part of the problem as OU is one of only seven teams in the FBS to not have an interception this season.

Not only has OU not had a pick, but Jordan Thomas is the lone defensive back to even have a PBU (2). It has been an awful struggle and grind for OU at the spot, something nobody really saw coming this season.

You hate to pin all the issues on one spot, but it’s true. If OU can find the cure at corner, the Sooners should roll in no time. 

Mixon or Perine? 

Both. OK, if you had to pick one, it just feels like Joe Mixon has taken over in Norman as the best player for the Sooners. His off the field issues behind him, he’s playing like the five-star ranking he earned in high school.

Mixon has been dynamic as a running back, receiver and returner. He’s averaging a whopping 8.4 yards per carry this season. OU has to get him more touches.

But if it does, it might mean a little less for Samaje Perine. Coming off of ankle surgery in the spring, he just seems a bit slower. Or if not slower, like something is off like he’s tired from the beating he has taken the last two years.

Offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley believes Perine is always going to be someone who gets stronger as the season goes on, but it’s tough to go away from Mixon with the way he’s producing.

Your biggest key to the game and prediction? 

Two of them for OU. No. 1, quarterback Baker Mayfield must trust the playmakers for the Sooners. Sometimes he gets too courageous and plays hero ball and makes unnecessary mistakes, the head-scratching errors.

No. 2, hey, it would be nice to win the turnover battle just once this year. OU hasn’t whatsoever and has only recovered two fumbles. A jolt of energy from a turnover could get the offense going as well.

Prediction? Patterson and Stoops always play tight battles. Look at the last four years.

2012: OU 24-17

2013: OU 20-17

2014: TCU 37-33

2015: OU 30-29

So we’ll go OU 31-24 as long as Sooners get a couple of turnovers.


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