Bob Stoops didn’t think his team was at all shaken after a third quarter in which the Horned Frogs had arrested all control of the game and pulled within three points.
“There was a lot of talk of, ‘Let’s make the plays that matter here down the stretch,’” he said.
The highlight was Brennan Clay cutting a run back to his right, breaking free and outrunning the TCU secondary 76 yards to the end zone, but it wasn’t the only one.
The Sooner defense’s one clunker drive was the next one, when the Horned Frogs went 75 yards and burned just 2:11 off the clock to get right back in the game with 2:26 remaining.
But OU came back strong from that, too, with Blake Bell running for 13 yards and then 17, tough gallops both, securing the first downs that allowed him to finally take a knee.
“You’re playing at Oklahoma, you’re expected to make big plays,” receiver Durron Neal said, which sounds great, but really hasn’t been the case so much the last couple, three seasons, when great campaigns were reduced to mere good ones because OU failed to make the plays.
Reminded of this, Neal offered something else.
“We practice all day, all week, talking about toughness and finishing,” he said, “and coach Heupel always (talks) about 15 rounds of fighting.”
That’s more like it.
You can get lost in the defensive numbers, how OU didn’t allow a first-half first down and held TCU to just 210 yards despite the Horned Frogs’ comeback, but you can get lost in the offensive numbers in a completely different way.
OU picked up only 355 yards and scored only 20 points. The Sooners had their own three-and-out issues. Until Clay’s run, they’d mustered just three scoring drives and two of them did not include touchdowns.