Oklahoma didn’t have any answers for TCU on Saturday.
The Horned Frogs dominated the Sooners for four quarters in a way that few teams have been able to since the turn of the century. In the end, the 55-24 defeat gives the Sooners their second straight loss to begin conference play.
Oklahoma allowed 668 yards of total offense and entered halftime trailing 41-17. Quarterback Max Duggan and running back Kendre Miller combined for six of the Horned Frogs’ touchdowns on the day.
Here are four takeaways from the Sooners’ loss to TCU:
1. A noteworthy loss
Oklahoma hasn’t had many losses of 30 points or more in recent history. Saturday’s loss was just the Sooners’ sixth loss by 30 points or more since 1999.
It was the program’s biggest margin of defeat since falling to LSU, 63-28, in the 2019 College Football Playoff.
Still, among the losses to come by 30 points or more in recent years, few have been more surprising.
Kansas State now joins LSU, Clemson (34-point win in 2014 Russell Athletic Bowl), Baylor (34-point win in 2014), Oklahoma State (34-point win in 2011), Texas (33-point win in 2005 Red River Rivalry), USC (36-point win in BCS national championship) as the teams to have accomplished that feat since the start of Bob Stoops’ tenure.
The loss also drops the Sooners 0-2 to start conference play for the second time in the last 19 seasons. The other time Oklahoma started out its Big 12 schedule with back-to-back losses was in 2020, and it went on to win the Big 12 championship.
2. Duggan doing it all
Duggan threw all three of his passing touchdowns in the first half as Oklahoma’s secondary struggled to contain TCU’s talented wide receivers. The senior quarterback found a wide open Taye Barber for a 73-yard touchdown pass early in the first quarter to put the Horned Frogs up 13-3.
On TCU’s next possession, Duggan showed he’s more than just a threat in the passing game with a 67-yard touchdown run to extend the lead to 20-3. Oklahoma’s front seven struggled to get pressure on the Horned Frogs’ quarterback and he made him pay with 302 yards through the air and a 70% completion percentage on 33 attempts.
The Sooners finished with just three quarterback hurries and didn’t get their first sack until TCU brought in its backup quarterback late in the fourth quarter.
There were moments in between the celebration at Amon G. Carter Stadium, where fans, players and coaches from both teams went completely silent.
The first came early in the first quarter, when OU starting quarterback Dillon Gabriel was hit hard in the head while sliding to the ground on a scramble. Gabriel laid on his stomach on the field while trainers hurried onto the field and both teams took a knee.
The Sooners’ signal caller was able to walk back to the sideline under his own power, but eventually was escorted to the locker room and didn’t return. TCU’s Jamoi Hodge was called for targeting on the play and was disqualified from the rest of the game.
“Don’t have an update,” Venables said. “He’s under concussion protocol. I don’t think a whole lot about the hit. It’s football. You don’t like it, it’s part of the game.”
Late in the fourth quarter it was defensive back Damond Harmon that went down with an injury. Both teams went onto the field and took a knee as Harmon was down for several minutes while he was being looked at by the trainers.
Both teams came onto the field while Harmon was being checked out. The two sides offered the sophomore defensive back their support as a cart carried him off the field.
4. Giving up big plays
TCU came up big in the ground game with 361 yards rushing on 8.8 yards per carry. Miller led all backs with 136 yards and two touchdowns on just 13 carries, while Duggan carried the ball five times for 116 yards and two more scores.
Of those 361 rushing yards, 249 came on just seven plays alone. Two runs went for over 60 yards and four came on runs of 35 yards or more.
It was the same story in the passing game. TCU picked up 307 total yards through the air on Saturday, with 213 of those yards coming on just six plays.
The Horned Frogs picked up seven of 14 third down attempts and completed seven of 10 passes for 130 yards through the air on that down.