Though the TCU Horned Frogs have already dropped a game in conference play, they remain a threat to the Oklahoma Sooners’ long-standing reign over the Big 12. Though the Horned Frogs are behind the eight-ball in the conference title race, their offense still poses problems for an Oklahoma Sooners defense that has been up and down this season.
Over the Summer, TCU was named the “trap game” on Oklahoma’s 2021 schedule. It certainly has that potential after the dramatic week the Oklahoma Sooners have had.
Coming off the big win over the Texas Longhorns where the Sooners had to rally from 21 down in the first half and 18 down at halftime, there’s the potential for a letdown if the Sooners don’t start fast against TCU Saturday night.
However, with questions persisting at the quarterback position, everyone else on the roster should be on heightened alert. If head coach Lincoln Riley is willing to make a change at the game’s most important position, every player should be approaching every practice rep with a chip on their shoulder. No spot on the depth chart is safe if a player doesn’t perform the way the coaches expect.
Despite the questions at quarterback, perhaps that’s why I’m feeling relatively confident in this Oklahoma Sooners team heading into the Saturday night showdown at Owen Field. That Texas game won’t lead to a letdown but will propel them to play their best football as they start the second half of their season.
With that, let’s look at 5 Bold Predictions for the Oklahoma Sooners matchup with the TCU Horned Frogs.
1 Caleb Williams gets the Start
Earlier this week, I argued that Caleb Williams should start for the Oklahoma Sooners. Though Lincoln Riley might feel differently, Williams looked incredibly comfortable coming into that game against the Texas Longhorns down 18.
Sure, it was a no-lose situation for Williams and the Sooners at that point. If he didn’t play well, Rattler would have likely come back in and there’s no telling what would happen. If he played well, he had nothing to lose, so he could play more freely.
Despite some dropped snaps, Williams showed composure beyond his years, navigating pressure and finding wide receivers down the field. It’s not simply the positive plays that will have Lincoln Riley leaning on the true freshman, it’s how he responded when the play might be a negative one.
Williams is a nightmare matchup for any team, but especially this week against TCU, who ranks 116th in the nation at stopping the run. It seems like a perfect week to roll out your true freshman quarterback to get his first start and pound the rock with the running game.
2 Oklahoma Running Game Goes for 300
Speaking of the Oklahoma Sooners rushing attack. They follow up last week’s tremendous 339-yard rushing effort against Texas with another 300-yard day against the TCU Horned Frogs.
As I mentioned above, the Horned Frogs’ run defense is not good. They’re allowing 5.2 yards per attempt and over 200 yards rushing a game. Even against the Texas Tech Red Raiders, who were behind 35-10 at halftime, the Horned Frogs allowed 214 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
TCU is uncharacteristically bad against the run in 2021 and this is where the Oklahoma Sooners can dominate the football game.
3 Max Duggan's Rushing is Held in Check
One of the things that can make this game interesting is the running ability of TCU quarterback Max Duggan. Not counting week one where Duggan carried the ball one time against Duquesne, the TCU quarterback is averaging 56 rushing yards per game per Pro Football Focus.
He’s not as dynamic of a runner as Nebraska’s Adrian Martinez, but he’s got the ability to make you pay if you leave him unaccounted for.
TCU’s leading receiver Taye Barber has just 205 receiving yards through five games in 2021. While they are a threat for big plays, the Oklahoma Sooners should be able to play some single-high safety looks in order to account for the running threats that TCU brings to the table.
4 Another Big Day for Bonitto
There’s been just one game this season where Nik Bonitto was held in check Bonitto played just 16 snaps against Western Carolina, so we’re not counting that.
In the week three matchup with West Virginia, the Sooners EDGE rusher didn’t record a solo tackle or tackle for loss. West Virginia made a concerted effort to get the ball out of quarterback Jarret Doege’s hands quickly in an attempt to negate the Sooners pass rush.
That won’t be the case this week.
Max Duggan holds the ball on average 2.7 seconds per dropback. Doege was right at 2.56. While 0.14 seconds may not seem like a big difference, that split second can be the difference between a quarterback pressure and a quarterback sack.
Bonitto’s recorded a sack or a tackle for loss in four of the six games this season. His seven tackles for loss lead the Sooners and his four sacks are second behind Perrion Winfrey’s 4.5 sacks.
The Sooners used Nik Bonitto in a lot of spy situations against Nebraska, but I don’t think they’ll do as much of that here. Bonitto is one of their best run defenders too, and with Zach Evans and Kendre Miller coming out of the backfield, Oklahoma needs Bonitto setting the edge in the run game.
Put Bonitto down for three tackles for loss and another sack on the season.
5 Marvin Mims keeps the Good Times Rolling
Against the Texas Longhorns, Marvin Mims posted his third 100-yard receiving effort of the season and his second straight. He’ll do it again this week against the TCU Horned Frogs.
Mims had a fantastic day against a stout TCU secondary that featured second-round pick Trevon Moehrig and undrafted free agent signing for the Baltimore Ravens Ar’Darius Washington.
“Marvelous” Marvin Mims had his biggest game of the season against the Horned Frogs in 2020 when he posted four receptions for 132 yards and two touchdowns.
With the turnover TCU experienced in the secondary, look for Mims to have a repeat performance as Oklahoma softens the TCU defense up with the run before hitting them for big plays in the passing game.
Source : https://soonerswire.usatoday.com/lists/oklahoma-sooners-football-5-bold-predictions-for-oklahomas-matchup-with-the-tcu-horned-frogs-caleb-williams-nik-bonitto-max-duggan-kennedy-brooks-eric-gray-marvin-mims/2010