The Norman Transcript

December 2, 2012

Benefiting from better ‘judgment’

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

FORT WORTH, Texas — All season long, Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has voiced his displeasure with some “judgment calls” that didn’t go his team’s way.

This was not the case on Saturday. 

The biggest was the holding call on TCU right guard Blaize Foltz that negated a potential game-tying touchdown with 38 seconds to go. TCU coach Gary Patterson correctly pointed out it was the day’s only holding call.

However, two officials saw the hold on OU defensive tackle Casey Walker and flagged it.

The other was defensive end R.J. Washington’s sack and strip of TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin with five minutes left in the third quarter. The play was initially ruled an incomplete pass. It was overruled by the replay official, but OU had a 25-yard fumble return by linebacker Frank Shannon negated.

“I finally got one of those judgment calls that you guys all want to get on me about,” Stoops said. “I tell ya what, the other one, the fumble that wasn’t called a fumble? I had a great discussion with the referee on my sideline. We were laughing. I said, ‘I’m tellin’ ya, I haven’t gotten one of those all year. We’re getting it today. You watch.’ Sure enough, that’s what happened. We’ve been on the other side of so many of those, so many that were not called. Fortunately, they saw it and called it.”

Turning point: The game’s pivotal point was late in the second quarter. OU faced a third-and-23 from the TCU 24. The game was tied and its momentum was shot after Sooner left tackle Tyrun Thompson picked up a personal foul that severely damaged the drive.

Landry Jones ended up hitting Jalen Saunders for a 24-yard touchdown to give the Sooners a 14-7 lead.

“That was huge play,” offensive coordinator Josh Heupel said. “Obviously you don’t want to be behind the chains like we were. Protection was great based on the coverage you see pre-snap; that’s probably not where you are going to go with the football. Landry does a great job reading it out and great job by Jalen continuing to work and flattening off and going against a linebacker.”

More on Thompson: On the play where Thompson picked up the personal foul, replays showed him punching TCU defensive end Stansly Maponga.

Big 12 rules call for players to be ejected when they throw a punch or kick an opposing player. Thompson stayed in the game, but the Big 12 could still take action against him.

Handling the run: OU only allowed 119 rushing yards on Saturday, ending a three-game streak of allowing 200 or more. Most of it had to do with the defense’s success on first down. TCU was in a third-and-long situations most of the game.

“The first play of any drive, when you get down there, is critical. We were able to get them in a no-gain situation. Then we got them in a pretty predictable situation and we were able to come up with some plays when we needed them,” OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “We were in good position. Guys made plays when they needed to.”

First-half success continues: The Sooners led 14-7 at halftime and the victory marked the 33rd straight game they’ve won when leading at halftime.

Bad decisions: Justin Brown had a tough day fielding punts. Twice he dove for balls, which is a no-no when it comes to fielding punts. He got away with the first one. Brown muffed the second and it set up Jaden Oberkrom’s 47-yard field goal midway through the fourth quarter. 

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