Posted on November 6, 2017, by Travis Pulver
We are still weeks away from seeing who is going to have a shot at playing in the CFB Playoffs this year. But with each passing week, there will be games where the winner will remain in contention, and the loser will have to wait until next season.This weekend’s game between the TCU Horned Frogs and Oklahoma Sooners will be just such a game.
A win will not guarantee either a spot in the CFB Playoffs, but it will enhance the argument that they deserve a spot.
The Sooners will come in riding a major high after taking down their arch rivals, the Oklahoma State Cowboys, 62-52 last weekend. As could be expected, Baker Mayfield led the way with 598 yards, five touchdowns, and a pair of interceptions.
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He didn’t do it alone, though. The running game chipped in 187 yards total with Rodney Anderson leading the way (21 carries for 111 yards and a touchdown).
Impressive numbers? Of course, but it was out of necessity. Their own defense struggled immensely against the Oklahoma State offense. Mason Rudolph to throw for 448 yards, five touchdowns, and a pair of interceptions. Justice Hill ran for 228 yards and a pair of touchdowns.
TCU won in commanding fashion as well, but not in the way Oklahoma did. A week after becoming Iowa State’s latest victim, the Horned Frogs bounced back with a 24-7 win over a very tough Texas Longhorns team.
Kenny Hill didn’t have a flashy game (18-26 for 146 yards; 12 carries for 43 yards), but he did what matters most—he didn’t make any major mistakes. Darius Anderson helped out with 99 yards and a touchdown. Kyle Hicks did his part by chipping in another 41 yards and two touchdowns.
While capable of great things on offense, the Horned Frogs are a rarity in the Big 12 in that they play great defense. They held Texas to just 263 total yards of offense and only nine rushing yards. On the season, they have the No. 6 defense overall (284.1 yards allowed/game), the No. 1 run defense (69.7 yards/game), and the No. 6 scoring defense (13.9 points allowed/game).
Who’s going to win?
This is a hard one to call. It is not hard to imagine the TCU defense slowing down Baker Mayfield. But can Kenny Hill get the offense going enough to win the game? Oklahoma’s defense is one of the worst in the country against the pass (110th; 262.8 yards/game).
Kenny Hill should be able to get the ball moving. His accuracy has been good this year overall (68 percent). But he does have two games where he struggled to connect (53.6 percent against West Virginia; 48 percent against Iowa State).
Baker Mayfield has faced a couple of tough defenses this season, Ohio State and Texas. He threw for 300+ yards against both and completed at least 63 percent of his passes. So, it is not hard to imagine him being able to do the same or similar against TCU.
With the potential the Sooners have on offense, it is not hard to see why the opening line has them favored by seven. While it would be nice to say this will be a close one and could come down to whoever has the ball last, it is hard to have faith in a Kenny Hill-led offense. He has improved a lot at TCU, but not enough to see him besting Baker Mayfield.
Take the Sooners.