Plenty of blame to go around in Sooners' loss to TCU

BY foxsports • October 4, 2014

The Oklahoma defense wasn't good, the running game couldn't get a single yard when it had to have it, quarterback Trevor Knight was miserable and the final score was a massive disappointment.

Tough afternoon for the Sooners.

OU fell to TCU, 37-33 in Fort Worth, but the thing more troubling than all of the above is the fact that the Sooners lost their identity in the process.

The loss can be overcome, because while OU dropped a game, so did Oregon, Alabama and Texas A&M – all in the same weekend. One loss likely won't sink the Sooners.

But losing their way sure can.

Right now, through five games, we don't know who Oklahoma is.

Is it the team that threw the ball all over the Sugar Bowl turf against Alabama? A perfect performance from Knight, who tossed the ball far and wide and had no problems against the Tide.

Sure, doesn't seem that way. Knight isn't that kind of passer. He had a great game back in January, but that's not who he is. He came into Saturday's game against TCU, completing less than 60 percent of his throws. He was 14-of-35 with two interceptions against the Frogs. In the second half, Knight was 8-for-22 with two interceptions and just 79 yards passing.

Is this the kind of time that puts its head down and runs the ball like its the Sooners' job? It worked against West Viriginia when Knight, not the sharpest of throwers that night in Morgantown, turned and handed the ball to Samaje Perine, who went off for 242 yards.

Sure doesn't seem like that's what this team is all about either. After all, something happened in the second half that caused the Sooners to want to put the ball in Knight's hands, over and over again, despite Knight only having eyes for Sterling Shepard and locking in on his favorite target. The passing game didn't work, but the trust in the running game, behind an accomplished and massive offensive line, wasn't there either. Meanwhile, Perine couldn't get a yard on a fourth-quarter, fourth-and-one call with the Sooners driving late. 

Or maybe this is the season the Sooners rely on defense. It looked to be leaning that way, anyway, because of quarterback play and an unreliable receiving group. The defense was outstanding early, great against West Virginia late and filled with playmakers from Zack Sanchez to Eric Striker.

Sure doesn't seem like the defense is the way to go, either. OU's secondary was out of sorts from the beginning and out of position throughout. TCU and quarterback Trevone Boykin seemed comfortable all game long. TCU went 10-of-18 on third down. Boykin threw for 318 yards. The Frogs ran for another 151. That's not the numbers a "we're an elite defense" allows.

So, where are we with the Sooners?

There's no quarterback controversy, that's for sure. With Baker Mayfield on the sideline, due to losing his appeal, Knight will be not be replaced. Not saying he should be, just saying he won't be. Knight will have to deal with his inexperienced receivers. He'll have to make better throws.

Texas is up next, a chance for redemption starts in Dallas and can still manifest itself in a Big 12 championship, a shot at the playoff, maybe more. Panicking now is too soon. There are too many opportunities available.

Last season, after losing to Baylor, the Sooners righted themselves and rallied around Knight, winning at Kansas State, at Oklahoma State and then against Alabama.

There's no chance of it happening again unless OU can figure out what kind of team it is.

Follow Andrew Gilman @andrewgilmanOK


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