A combination of a stifling Oklahoma defense and an inept TCU offense produced one of the more interesting stat lines in recent times, as the Horned Frogs managed just 17 total yards and no first downs in the first half against the Sooners on Saturday.
Not that Oklahoma was tearing up the scoreboard either, but OU did do enough to forge a 13-0 lead behind the short passing and rushing prowess of quarterback Blake Bell.
How bad was it for TCU? Well, the Horned Frogs had -1 yards rushing, punted six times and two of their six possessions ended in negative yardage.
The TCU of three years ago seems like a distant memory at this point. That Horned Frog team went 13-0 in 2010 and averaged nearly 42 points per game thanks in large part to future NFL starting quarterback Andy Dalton — plus a more forgiving schedule.
Because of the improved competition, we all knew it was going to be an adjustment for TCU to move to the Big 12, but the difficulty of the transition has been exacerbated by the issues the Horned Frogs have at quarterback. Some of the issues are just the result of bad luck (like the injury to Casey Pachall, for instance) and others are due to lack of player development (Trevone Boykin, looked promising last year, does not look like the answer at this point). Until Gary Patterson gets this sorted out, his program will continue to struggle. Still, he’s more than earned the right to be granted the time to fix it.
As for the Sooners, they have to be looked at as a dark horse to go undefeated at this point. They might be favored in all but one game the rest of the way and if Bell can keep improving, it’s not out of the question that they win them all.