OU defense seeks ground control at TCU
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Saturday, December 01, 2012
12/01/12 at 4:42 AM
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FORT WORTH - College football teams put together detailed scouting reports on upcoming opponents.
It's strongly believed recent planning for Oklahoma's defense includes these words: "You can run on them."
The Sooners have given up acres of rushing yards this season. The final total easily will be the largest in the Bob Stoops-era.
OU defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland agreed that teams are now expecting to be able to run on the Sooners.
"It's a hard pill to swallow," McFarland said. "If you stop the run, you can control the game. That's been a hard part on us.
"That's not the style of defense that Oklahoma plays. It is tough on us and (has placed) a chip on our shoulder."
TCU likely will try to take advantage of its ground game in Saturday's 11 a.m. game against visiting Oklahoma.
Running the football has been the Frogs' best friend over the years. TCU has won 47 consecutive games when it has more rushing yards than passing yards.
In a 20-13 victory over Texas on Thanksgiving, the Horned Frogs threw the football only 10 times.
One key statistic to watch in Saturday's game: the 200-yard mark.
TCU is 64-3 under coach Gary Patterson when it rushes for 200 yards.
Oklahoma has given up 200 or more yards on six occasions this season, topped by West Virginia's eye-popping 458 yards. In Stoops' 13 previous seasons, the Sooners had only allowed 200 or more yards 17 times in 173 games.
Whether it's been the zone read or quarterback draw, OU's opponents have been able to pick up chunks of yardage.
"Having good control of the run game is problematic," Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. "(The zone read has) given us problems. We continue to try to make adjustments to get that play because it's creating some seams in our defense. And as a defensive coordinator, and as a defense, you've got to be able to stop the run and feel good about your commitment to stop the run.
"We'd been a little bit resistant to that. We'd been a little more pass-conscious. We're not good enough right now at both things. In this league, you're gonna have to try to find a balance. Right now, we still haven't found that balance in our defense to stop the run."
TCU is led by quarterback Trevone Boykin, who has hurt opponents with his legs and his arm. He became the first Frogs QB with at least four touchdown passes in back-to-back games against Baylor and Texas Tech. He then rushed for a team-high 77 yards at Texas.
"This quarterback even brings a stronger dimension than we saw a week ago in the quarterback run game," Mike Stoops said. "The quarterback draw has been problematic for us. I'm sure ... their offense has shown the ability for their quarterback to run the ball. They're gonna do what they have to do, and we have to make the right adjustments to try to contain the run game."
Oklahoma has plenty to play for in Saturday's game.
A victory could keep the team's BCS bowl and Big 12 championship hopes alive.
"Everything is at stake in this game," OU linebacker Tom Wort said. "It's basically a championship game depending on what happens with other teams.
"We could win it all. It's definitely a huge game for us and everyone is really focused for it."
NO. 12 OU AT TCU
11 a.m. Saturday
Fort Worth, Texas
Radio: KMOD fm97.5, KTBZ am1430
OU's run defense by the numbers:
6: Teams that have run for 200-plus yards against the Sooners in 2012.
17: Teams that ran for 200-plus yards in previous 13 seasons.
86: The Sooners' 2012 rank nationally among 120 schools in rushing defense. From 2000-09, OU was never lower than No. 23. It was No. 58 in 2010, No. 43 in 2011.
911: Total rushing yards by Baylor, West Virginia and OSU in last three games against Oklahoma.
1,087: Total rushing yards allowed in entire 2005 season.
TCU's rush offense by the numbers
10: Total passes needed in 20-13 victory at Texas on Thanksgiving.
47: Consecutive games won by TCU when finishing with more rushing yards than passing yards.
77: Quarterback Trevone Boykin's team-high and personal-best rushing yards in Texas win.
167: TCU is 63-3 in its last 66 games when rushing for at least 167 yards.
511: Team-high rushing yards by true freshman B.J. Catalon.
- Eric Bailey, World Sports Writer
Oklahoma's bowl situation
Oklahoma has options heading into the final week of the season. At one point, it appeared that the Sooners would be awarded a BCS bowl bid if they won out, but it remains to be seen if the MAC Championship game winner or Boise State can jump into the Top 16 of the BCS standings and nab a BCS bowl bid.
A look at different scenarios:
If Kansas State and Oklahoma win: The Wildcats would get the league's automatic BCS bid because of its higher ranking and head-to-head victory. Kansas State likely would head to the Fiesta Bowl while Oklahoma could head to the Sugar Bowl, where Florida has been projected. Once again, the MAC champion or Boise State could kill this scenario with a top 16 finish in the BCS.
If Oklahoma wins and Kansas State loses: The Fiesta Bowl is typically reserved for the Big 12 champion, which would likely face Oregon. But the BCS bowls are allowed to shuffle teams. Could the Sugar Bowl be an option?
If Oklahoma loses or is pushed out of the BCS race because of MAC champion or Boise State: It appears the Sooners would face an SEC opponent in the Cotton Bowl, possibly LSU. It's also possible the Alamo Bowl could be in play.
- Eric Bailey, World Sports Writer
Original Print Headline: OU defense seeking ground control
Eric Bailey 918-581-8391
West Virginia's Geno Smith runs the ball under pressure from OU's Gabe Lynn. Opposing offenses have had success on the ground, and TCU's strength is in its run game. MIKE SIMONS/Tulsa World
TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin passes against Kansas State last month in Fort Worth, Texas. Boykin has hurt opponents with his legs as well as his arm. LM OTERO/Associated Press