Sooners hold on to beat TCU in high-scoring thriller
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — Baker Mayfield made up for two lost fumbles with four touchdowns, running for two and throwing two to Dede Westbrook, and Oklahoma held on to win its Big 12 opener, 52-46 at 21st-ranked TCU on Saturday.
After giving up 21 points in the first quarter for the first time in 20 years, the Sooners (2-2) went ahead to stay with 28 consecutive points in the second quarter. Westbrook was wide open on a flea flicker for a 67-yarder that put Oklahoma up 28-21, and Mayfield then hit in him stride again for a 40-yard score.
"That’s Baker for you," said Westbrook, smiling.
Mayfield was facing TCU for the first time since saying before the Orange Bowl last year that TCU was the team that disappointed him the most in recruiting, and claiming the Horned Frogs "kind of drug it out" without offering a scholarship while he turned down other offers.
TCU coach Gary Patterson and Mayfield both insisted this week all that was in the past, with Mayfield even saying things were blown out of proportion. But when they were the same field, the Sooners junior quarterback was 23-of-30 passing for 274 yards, and ran 12 times for 55 yards.
When asked what the game meant to him personally, Mayfield responded that it was huge to start conference play with a win.
"Everybody was saying our season was over, but to start the conference off 1-0 against one of the better teams in the conference, especially on the road, it’s going to be a confidence booster for us," he said. "Personally, just moving forward, it’s great to see the offense have some success and realize our full potential."
The Sooners had a 49-24 lead after Samaje Perine’s second TD run, a 1-yarder late in the third quarter. Perine, who finished with 105 yards on 16 carries, had an 8-yard TD in the second quarter when he reached the ball over the goal line while on top of TCU linebacker Sammy Douglas and 340-pound left tackle Orlando Brown.
Kenny Hill completed 26 of 44 passes for 449 yards and five touchdowns for the Frogs (3-2, 1-1 Big 12), including scoring strikes of 64 and 74 yards to Taj Williams in the fourth quarter, the later ending a stretch of 22 consecutive points for the Frogs that got them to 49-46. Williams finished with five catches for 210 yards.
"Well, I like the way we fought back. What I wasn’t happy with was we did it when they let down," Patterson said. "The defense, you can’t give up big plays by not doing your job on double moves and you’ve got to tackle. Offensively after 21 points, we didn’t play for two quarters."
Oklahoma: While the Sooners’ chances of a return to the College Football Playoff most likely ended after those two September losses, even though they were to No. 2 Ohio State and No. 6 Houston, they took advantage of their fresh start in pursuit of a 10th Big 12 title. And Oklahoma hasn’t lost consecutive regular-season games since 1999, in coach Bob Stoops’ first season.
TCU: Those defensive woes for the Frogs clearly aren’t settled. While not allowing a touchdown against SMU a week ago, Patterson’s squad allowed more than 40 points for the third time this season.
Oklahoma: The Sooners have already been ranked as a two-loss team, so there’s a good chance they get back in the poll this week after the impressive comeback. They were second in others receiving votes a week ago, having fallen out after an open date.
TCU: Already in and out of the Top 25 in the first month of the season, the Frogs could fall out again after climbing back in last week.
Oklahoma: Coach Bob Stoops’ team will be about 40 miles east in Dallas next Saturday for the annual Red River rivalry game against Texas at the State Fair of Texas.
TCU: The Horned Frogs head to Kansas next weekend, the first of consecutive road games before an open date. Their next home game is Oct. 29.
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