Oklahoma Prediction: Quarterback Questions To Be Answered Against TCU

When: 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Gaylord Family - Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman

Records: Oklahoma (6-0, 3-0 Big 12); TCU (3-2, 1-1 Big 12)

Last meeting: Oklahoma defeated TCU 33-14 in 2020

TV: ABC

Point Spread: Oklahoma, -13.5

What’s at stake?

Oklahoma is in search of its fifteenth consecutive win as a program, currently holding the second-longest active streak in the nation. The Sooners return to play in front of their home crowd for the first time since the West Virginia game three weeks ago, the infamous “We want Caleb” game. Those who were participating in the chants are far more likely to get their wish this week.

All eyes across Sooner nation have been on which quarterback, freshman Caleb Williams or the starter to this point, Spencer Rattler, will get the start on Saturday after the question was left up in the air following the Texas game last week -- and after OU halted all media access in the week leading up to TCU.

If it’s Rattler that gets tapped, it’s a chance for him to steady the ship, reclaim his job, and show that he’s capable of protecting the football for a full 60 minutes.

If it’s Williams, it’ll be a chance to seize the job.

Lincoln Riley made clear on Tuesday that he’s not a fan of the two-quarterback game and it’s doubtful that he’d want another week full of QB questions like this one has been. If Williams gets the call on Saturday and plays like he did against Texas, he will be the penciled-in starting quarterback as OU moves into the second half of the season.

When Oklahoma has the ball

The moment the OU offense takes the field for the first time on Saturday may be the most intrigue-filled moment of the season to this point as there will finally be an answer to this week’s starting quarterback question.

Regardless of whether it’s Williams or Rattler, chances are the Sooners’ run game is going to be what moves the offense on Saturday. TCU has the second-worst rushing defense in the Big 12 (only ahead of an atrocious Kansas team) and OU has a back that went off for over 200 yards last week. Kennedy Brooks could have another big day, especially with how the offensive line has settled in over the past couple weeks.

If it’s Williams as QB1, he’ll add another facet to the running game. The power run offense that Riley has run in the limited action that Williams has gotten has been very effective, just one more consideration for Riley when deciding upon a starter.

When TCU has the ball

TCU’s offense is headed by running back Zach Evans, who’s averaging over 100 yards a game on the ground. The question will be if he’s able to do that against the OU defense and its strong front seven. Oklahoma allowed over 100 yards to Bijan Robinson in the first half last week against Texas, but shut him down in the second half. Isaiah Thomas, Nik Bonitto and Perrion Winfrey lead the way, and it’ll be worth a watch to see how they’re used on Saturday. Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch swapped Thomas and Winfrey on the line in the second half last week and that seemed to help staunch Texas’ strong run game. There could be more of that against TCU.

If Evans is bottled up, it’ll fall to Max Duggan to win the game with his arm. Duggan is smart with the ball and can dink and dunk the Frogs’ way down the field as we’ve seen teams like Kansas State do against this Sooner defense. But Oklahoma’s offense has put up 92 points in the past two weeks, and if it’s clicking TCU is going to have a hard time keeping up.

Prediction

For Oklahoma, they enter this one coming off an emotional win last week at the Cotton Bowl, and they’ve had a week where the focus around the program has often strayed from the game itself. This could be looked at as a possible “trap game” against a well-coached TCU team coming off a high-scoring win at Texas Tech.

But it doesn’t seem like the stars are aligning for the Horned Frogs to pull off the upset. The TCU defense is banged up with injuries and its offense’s strength is something the OU defense has had great success against so far this season.

The Williams-led offense against Texas last week looked reinvigorated and it’s hard to imagine the Frogs being able to prevent that version of the Sooners from scoring at will. If it turns into a shootout, neither Duggan’s arm nor the help he has around him will be enough to hang.

Score: Oklahoma 43, TCU 31

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a href="/sports/oklahoma-sooners/2021/10/13/oklahoma-football-cancels-media-availability-after-student-newspaper-reports-on-closed-practice/"">>Oklahoma head coach Lincoln Riley congratulates running back Kennedy Brooks (26) and other players during the fourth quarter of an NCAA college football game against Texas at the Cotton Bowl, Saturday, Oct. 9, 2021, in Dallas. Oklahoma won 54-48.Oklahoma Sooners

Oklahoma football cancels media availability after student newspaper reports on closed practice

By R.J. Coyle

Find more Oklahoma coverage from The Dallas Morning News here.

Source : https://www.dallasnews.com/sports/oklahoma-sooners/2021/10/14/oklahoma-prediction-quarterback-questions-to-be-answered-against-tcu/

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