The Norman Transcript

October 7, 2013

Sooners fall one spot in AP rankings to No. 12

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma dropped one spot in the Associated Press Top 25 Sunday to No. 12 after Saturday night’s 20-17 victory over TCU. The Sooners remained at No. 10 in the latest USA Today coaches poll.

As for the Big 12 Conference, it still has four ranked teams. Baylor is at No. 15 in both polls. Texas Tech remained at No. 20 for the second straight week in the AP poll and moved up to No. 21 with the coaches.

Oklahoma State holds down the 20th spot in the coaches poll and is No. 22 in the AP Top 25.

Beginning next Sunday, the polls will take a backseat to the BCS standings. The first BCS rankings of the season will be released then.

Protecting the ball: Technically, OU’s streak of games without committing a turnover ended when it failed to recover a pooch kick in the third quarter against TCU. However, OU’s offense has not committed a turnover since the West Virginia game and the streak is the longest since 2004.

Third quarter woes: How bad was OU’s offense in third quarter of the TCU game? Nine plays, three punts, 2 minutes, 12 seconds time of possession, four rushing yards, 0-for-5 passing, two penalties for 20 yards.

“It was frustrating, but obviously our defense was doing a great job at the time, holding them. We weren’t on the field I don’t think that much in the third quarter, but it was rough,” OU quarterback Blake Bell said.

It was the worst the Sooners’ offense has looked this season. After building a 13-0 lead in the first half, it simply grounded to halt in the third quarter.

Bell said TCU didn’t make any major changes after halftime.

“No, obviously you always have your halftime adjustments, and coming out, we obviously wanted to move the ball down the field when we had the chance and we didn’t,” he said.

Close calls: OU never tried to block a punt against TCU. Perhaps it should’ve. Linebacker Eric Striker nearly got to two of them on punt safe calls.

The first time in the first quarter, Striker pulled up because he didn’t want to get a roughing the punter call. But he said he was surprised TCU was letting him through virtually untouched. He narrowly missed a blocked punt in the second quarter.

“It’s not a block call that I was close so on that second one, I was like well, if I can get it, I’m going to get it,” Striker said.

Pleased with the tackles: Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips did not play against TCU due to an undisclosed ailment. OU coach Bob Stoops does expect him to be back for the Texas game.

Jordan Wade and Torrea Peterson filled in for Phillips. Stoops thought both held up well against TCU.

“We’ll have to see on tape, but I thought we had a great run defense the entire day and we had all kinds of pressure,” he said. “Even though we didn’t end up with sacks we were chasing him everywhere and he wasn’t able to set his feet very often.”

More work needed: Odds are OU’s Monday practice will include some work on fielding a pooch kick. TCU’s execution of one in third quarter led to its first touchdown.

“I think it was big. That was a big factor. They put the defense right back out there in positive field position,” Stoops said. “We have a few penalties that bring it closer. That was it. It put them right back in the game. I’m disappointed in our kickoff return team and we need to be able to handle that. Obviously, it’s something we have to work on more. That can’t happen.”

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn