Ft. Worth- There were no fourth quarter antics today.
A focused Oklahoma Sooners team dispatched the TCU Horned Frogs 33-14 in their most complete performance of the season.
Unlike their first three conference games, when given the opportunity to push the game out of reach, the Oklahoma offense delivered.
Spencer Rattler’s connection with true freshman wide receiver Marvin Mims Jr. kept the Sooners offense humming. Connecting four times for 132 yards, Mims added two long touchdowns good for 50 yards and 61 yards a piece.
The pair of touchdowns brings Mims’ total to six on the season, the most ever by a freshman receiver through five games in school history.
“The thing he keeps doing is he keeps answering the bell,” head coach Lincoln Riley said after the game. “It seems like every time he gets an opportunity, he makes a play.”
“We’ve needed that.”
Mims’ performance also marks the first Oklahoma wide receiver to break the 100 yard receiving threshold this season.
Rattler looked comfortable most of the afternoon against the Horned Frogs, racking up 332 passing yards and two touchdowns on just 13-of-22 passing.
Riley said while Rattler and Mims still have some things to clean up, he was pleased with their play today.
“They’re young guys that are making some big plays for this team right now,” Riley said.
Taking care of the football, Rattler was able to work through his progressions, hitting the TCU defense for chunk plays the entire game without turning the ball over.
“I thought he had a good feel for the plan we wanted today,” Riley said.
“He’s getting more used to the emotions and ups and downs and just kind of what it feels like and I thought he had just a really good feel today of winning football.”
The deep ball onslaught started on the first drive of the game. Given plenty of time by his offensive line, Rattler was able to survey the field and float a ball into running back Seth McGowan’s hands, scampering down the field for a 43-yard gain.
“Guys won some one-on-ones, which against a Gary Patterson coached defense I mean you have to,” Riley said.
“We made some big [catches] at key times and I thought that loosened them up a little bit and helped open things up for the run game,” he said.
Rattler finished the game averaging 25.5 yards per completion.
While the offense was rolling, the defense stifled the Horned Frogs, especially in the second half.
The Oklahoma defensive line lived in the TCU backfield, limiting the Horned Frogs to just three drives totaling more than 30 yards all game.
“Just very disruptive up front,” defensive coordinator Alex Grinch said.
Grinch said he’s been happy with the depth they’ve developed along the defensive front, as they’ve made it difficult on opponents to run on the Oklahoma defense all season. With more work, the line can perhaps develop into a unit who can force opposing offenses to play one dimensional, Grinch said.
“That’s been a positive,” he said.
The work up front made life easier on the Sooners linebackers as well, with DaShaun White, Jon-Michael Terry and Brian Asamoah combining for 12 tackles.
Asamoah was also able to pressure Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan, hitting home on a sack as well.
Grinch’s defense was efficient on third downs as well, limiting TCU to just 5-of-14 third down conversions throughout the contest.
Though they didn’t ultimately force a turnover, the defense still held TCU to 351 total yards and 14 points, good enough to see the Sooners win comfortably.
“Defensive line again made a lot of outstanding plays,” Riley said. “Certainly proud of our defense. The guys did a great job.”
T.J. Pledger was also a positive on the ground for Oklahoma. Finishing with 122 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries, Pledger followed up his career high in rushing against Texas with a second 100-yard performance.
Behind Mims, Rattler was also able to keep Theo Wease involved.
Wease finished with three catches for 87 yards, including two big catches on the Sooners first drive of the second half leading to one of Gabe Brkic’s four field goals.
The road trip continues for Oklahoma as they will head to Lubbock to face the Texas Tech Red Raiders in prime time next weekend.