Oklahoma did not drop 60 points on TCU’s top-10 defense Saturday night. But its defense didn’t surrender anywhere near 50, either, and the fifth-ranked Sooners took another step closer to a third straight Big 12 championship with a 38-20 win over No. 6 TCU Saturday night in Norman.
The combination of Baker Mayfield and running back Rodney Anderson was simply too much for TCU. Anderson posted a career-high four touchdowns, all in the first half. His 15-yard run at the 8:41 mark of the first quarter gave Oklahoma a 10-7 advantage, a lead the Sooners would not relinquish. After Mayfield hit Grant Calcaterra for a 13-yard strike to put OU up 17-7 at the close of the first quarter, Anderson effectively put the game out of reach with a 24-yard rush at the 11:45 mark of the second quarter.
TCU pulled within 24-14 on a 1-yard Kenny Hill rush on the next possession, but Oklahoma immediately answered with a 14-yard pass to Anderson with 5:29 left before halftime. The pair hooked up again with just seven seconds left before halftime for a 33-yard touchdown, giving Oklahoma 38 first-half points for the second consecutive game.
The Sooners did not score in the second half but still were not seriously threatened thanks to a defense that significantly improved from its 661-yard, 52-point effort in Stillwater a week ago. Oklahoma limited Hill to 13 completions on 28 attempts and just 155 rushing yards on 32 carries. The Frogs scored only once in the second half, and did not mount a serious comeback threat despite Oklahoma’s offense taking its foot off the gas.
Mayfield continued his runaway Heisman Trophy lead by completing 18-of-27 passes for 333 yards and three touchdowns with no interceptions, and Anderson posted a career night of 23 carries for 151 yards and two touchdowns plus a game-high five grabs for 139 yards and two touchdowns.
Thanks to losses by No. 1 Georgia and No. 3 Notre Dame — and No. 13 Ohio State’s dominant win over No. 12 Michigan State doesn’t hurt, either — Oklahoma should move comfortably inside the CFP top four on Tuesday night. But in the immediate term, Oklahoma moved a step closer to reaching the revived Big 12 Championship against… TCU. No. 15 Oklahoma State’s defeat of No. 21 Iowa State cleared a path for TCU to earn a rematch against the Sooners, provided the Frogs defeat Texas Tech and Baylor to close the season. Oklahoma closes the regular season with a visit to Kansas and a home game against West Virginia, needing only one victory to reach the Big 12 title game.
But, of course, Oklahoma has much bigger goals on its mind than simply playing for another conference championship. More defensive performances like this one will help the Sooners get there.
The FBI sting into college basketball malfeasance has gotten a lot of folks riled up on Friday afternoon, especially when it comes to NCAA rules and potential violations. This, in turn, is leading to everybody and their brother rehashing the argument to pay (or not pay) players.
While you would probably not have expected it, even football coaches are wading into the discourse and there’s a somewhat surprising line of thinking being taken by UConn head coach Randy Edsall on Twitter:
While Edsall’s first point about football coaches getting nervous about the FBI probe spilling over into their sport probably rings true, it’s not every day you see a head coach openly advocating for paying players and calling college football a farm system for the NFL.
The Huskies head coach’s latter tweet is referring to a proposal put forward by the SEC that was approved last month which essentially allows non-coaching analysts to evaluate film of recruits in ways they could not previously do so. This has led to many expecting programs (looking at you, Alabama) creating player personnel departments in even greater numbers to streamline evaluating prospects and allow certain staffers to handle more of the recruiting load.
Edsall is far from the first coach to advocate paying players but something says his comments on Friday will also mean he will just be the latest in a long line of advocates for advancing much the same cause, especially in light of the payments going on in college basketball that are just beginning to come to light.
Country roads, take him home.
According to Sports Illustrated’s Bruce Feldman, Charlotte assistant Greg Adkins is expected to return to his alma mater of Marshall to take over as the Thundering Herd’s next offensive line coach.
Adkins is well known around Huntington for his work with the team back in the early 1990’s when they were winning NCAA titles and making regular title game appearances at the then-Division I-AA level. He also had stops at Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma State and with the Buffalo Bills among others before being hired at Charlotte by Brad Lambert.
The return of Adkins fills the hole on Marshall’s staff after the departure of offensive line coach Alex Mirabal, who left for Oregon earlier in the week.
An offseason of change in Jim Harbaugh‘s Michigan coaching staff continues, with one of the Wolverines’ million-dollar assistants stepping down. Reportedly.
Multiple reports, including ones from The Wolverine Lounge and SI.com‘s Bruce Feldman, are indicating that Tim Drevno has decided to step down from his post as U-M’s offensive coordinator. Drevno has been Harbaugh’s coordinator on that side of the ball each of his three seasons in Ann Arbor.
Drevno also served as the Wolverines’ offensive line coach.
Under Drevno’s direction, Michigan’s offense was tied for 91st nationally in averaging 25.2 points per game this past season.
The reports come three days after McElwain was officially announced as U-M’s new quarterbacks coach. In the run-up to that hiring, it was reported that McElwain, the former coordinator at Alabama prior to his run as Florida’s head coach, could take over play-calling duties at U-M.
An already crowded graduate transfer market has gained yet another entrant.
On his personal Twitter account Thursday night, Brandon Dawkins announced that he has decided to transfer out of new head coach Kevin Sumlin‘s football program. While no specific reason was given for the quarterback’s decision to move on, the presence of a Heisman Trophy contender, rising junior Khalil Tate, for the next two seasons likely played a significant role.
Dawkins is set to graduate this May, which will make him eligible to play immediately in 2018 at another FBS school if that’s the tack he takes.
Dawkins started nine games in 2016 and the first four games this past season before Tate took over. For the Wildcats portion of his playing career, Dawkins completed just over 56 percent of his 334 passes for 2,418 yards, 15 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. He ran for another 1,582 yards and 20 more touchdowns.