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Kyler Murray tosses 3 first-half TDs as Sooners take 14-point lead on Iowa State

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The first two weeks were a breeze for Oklahoma, but the Big 12 opener on the road against Iowa State is proving to be a bit more of a contest. Oklahoma leads Iowa State 24-10 at halftime in Ames, with the Sooners looking to score revenge against the only team to hand them a loss in the regular season a year ago. Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray has been locked in by completing 13-of-17 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns. The third touchdown pass came in the final seconds of the half to Myles Tease to pad the lead right before the break.

Oklahoma took early control of the game with a 10-0 advantage after the first quarter. The highlight of the first quarter was a 75-yard touchdown pass from Murray to Marquise Brown, who used speed to get by two Iowa State defenders and race to the end zone on a catch deep over the middle.

It took a couple of drives for Iowa State to get things going, but a recovered fumble on Oklahoma’s first play after the Cyclones got on the board early in the second quarter with a field goal, immediately led to a tie ballgame. After Murray completed a catch to a wide-open Grant Calcaterra, Calcaterra ran a few more yards down the field but fumbled the football away around midfield. Richard Bowens III picked up the loose ball sitting on the ground and Zeb Noland connected with Hakeem Butler on Iowa State’s first play from scrimmage after the turnover. Butler broke a few tackles to keep the play alive and he ended up in the end zone as a result of the fantastic effort.

Oklahoma starting linebacker Curtis Bolton left the game in the second quarter for an injury. But he was not out for long. Bolton returned to the game after missing just one play on defense.

The Sooners are playing their first game without running back Rodney Anderson (season-ending injury last week). Murray ha sled the Oklahoma running game with 43 rushing yards, while sophomore Trey Sermon has rushed for 30 yards so far. But, the passing game has been working quite well for Oklahoma.

WVU QB Grier, TCU DE Banogu headline Preseason All-Big 12 team

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The puffs of white smoke continue to fly out the chimney, and we got a big one on Wednesday with the first unveiling of a conference’s Preseason All-Big 12 team. It’s just a preseason team, yes, but it’s actual football talk about the actual season that’s actually about to happen…. in seven more weeks.

West Virginia quarterback Will Grier earned Preseason Offensive Player of the Year honors and TCU defensive end Ben Banogu garnered Defensive Player of the Year accolades. Grier is easily the pass-happy conference’s leading returning passer; his 3,490 yards from 2017 place him more than 1,500 yards ahead of the pass-happy conference’s second-leading returning passer in Texas’s Sam Ehlinger (1,915 yards). Banogu leads all returning pass rushers with 8.5 sacks in 2017.

Oklahoma defensive back Brendan Radley-Hiles, a freshman from Inglewood, Calif., by way of IMG Academy, earned Newcomer of the Year honors. Radley-Hiles was the 38th-rated player in the 247Sports Composite rankings for the 2018 class; for what it’s worth, three Big 12 signees ranked higher in Texas safeties Caden Sterns and B.J. Foster and Oklahoma offensive tackle Brey Walker.

The 3-time defending Big 12 champion Sooners placed five players on the Preseason All-Big 12 offense and none on the defensive side. Texas Tech did not have a single player placed on the offense but put three players on defense.

Here’s how the full teams break out.

OFFENSE
QB Will Grier, West Virginia
RB David Montgomery, Iowa State
RB Rodney Anderson, Oklahoma
RB Justice Hill, Oklahoma State
WR Denzel Mims, Baylor
WR Marquise Brown, Oklahoma
WR David Sills V, West Virginia
TE Grant Calcaterra, Oklahoma
OL Dalton Risner, Kansas State
OL Bobby Evans, Oklahoma
OL Ben Powers, Oklahoma
OL Marcus Keyes, Oklahoma State
OL Yodny Cajuste, West Virginia

DEFENSE
DL JaQuan Bailey, Iowa State
DL Daniel Wise, Kansas
DL Jordan Brailford, Oklahoma State
DL Ben Banogu, TCU
DL Breckyn Hager, Texas
LB Joe Dineen, Jr., Kansas
LB Dakota Allen, Texas Tech
LB David Long, Jr., West Virginia
DB Brian Peavy, Iowa State
DB Kendall Adams, Kansas State
DB Kris Boyd, Texas
DB Jah’Shawn Johnson, Texas Tech
DB Justus Parker, Texas Tech

SPECIALISTS
P Austin Seibert, Oklahoma
PK Austin Siebert, Oklahoma
PR/KR KaVontae Turpin, TCU

Baker Mayfield, No. 5 Oklahoma keep rolling with comfortable win over No. 6 TCU

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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.

Oklahoma offense rolling all over TCU through one half

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Oklahoma’s offense picked up where it left off from last week’s shootout win in Stillwater, and it’s defense has played an improved brand of football. That’s bad news for the rest of college football and, for tonight, it’s bad news for TCU as the Sooners hold a 38-14 lead at the break in Norman.

Oklahoma forced a three-and-out to open the game and got great field position thanks to a 17-yard punt return by CeeDee Lamb, but the drive stalled and Austin Seibert knocked in a career-long 49-yard field goal to get the Sooners on the board first.

The Frogs struck back quickly, though, as Kyle Hicks caught a 62-yard wheel rout and Darius Anderson raced in from 13 yards out. Oklahoma responded with a 6-play, 79-yard drive, capped by a 15-yard Rodney Anderson rush, to give OU a 10-7 edge at the 8:41 mark of the first quarter.

TCU again moved into scoring position, but could not convert a 3rd-and-5 at the OU 10-yard line and a false start penalty negated Ryan Graf‘s 25-yard field goal. Graf, who was not listed on the Frogs’ roster in replacing an apparently injured Jonathan Song, missed from 30 yards.

Oklahoma needed only five plays to travel 80 yards and open up the lead to 10 points as Baker Mayfield found Grant Calcaterra in the back of the end zone for a 13-yard score. After three straight possessions ended in punts, Anderson single-handedly stretched the OU lead to 24-7 with consecutive rushes of 30 and 24 yards.

KaVontae Turpin jump-started a struggling TCU offense with a 56-yard kickoff return, and Kenny Hill managed most of the ensuing drive himself, rushing for 27 of the required 44 yards, including a 1-yard sneak to pull the Frogs within 24-14 with 8:32 left in the second quarter.

Mayfield and Anderson continued to be too much for TCU’s defense, as Mayfield hit Anderson for a 24-yard connection to take the ball to the Frogs’ 45, and then again for a 14-yard score two plays later, giving Anderson the first 3-touchdown game of his career.

Anderson would add one more before the half, a 33-yard catch with seven seconds left before the half. He closed the half with a game-high nine rushes for 86 yards and two touchdowns, and a game-high four grabs for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Mayfield hit 15-of-21 passes for 299 yards and three touchdowns, and as a team Oklahoma ran 36 plays for 395 yards — 10.97 a play — with 16 first downs.

Hill completed 7-of-13 passes for 129 yards and rushed five times for 27 yards and a score. Anderson led the Frogs with seven carries for 42 yards and a score, but left the game in the second quarter with a leg injury and did not return.

Oklahoma will receive to open the second half.