Quick Hits: No. 11 Oklahoma 24, TCU 17
Instant analysis of the Sooners' championship-clinching win in Fort Worth.
Tony Jefferson led the Oklahoma defense in one of its best days of the season. (US Presswire)
OKLAHOMA WON:The Sooners wrapped up a perfect season on the road and at least a share of the Big 12 title in Fort Worth, holding on late in their closing statement for a BCS bowl bid. The close call was fitting: Including Saturday, Oklahoma's final four wins were all decided by a touchdown or less, three of them in the final minute.
WHY OKLAHOMA WON: November was a harrowing month for the OU defense, which barely survived back-to-back-to-back shootouts against prolific, up-tempo spread attacks from Baylor, West Virginia and Oklahoma State. With the calendar now reading December, the Sooners returned to form: TCU's first six possessions resulted in six consecutive punts, and the Frogs' only score of the first half was the direct result of a turnover that set up the offense at the OU 6-yard line. For the game, TCU converted just three of 15 third downs and earned nearly half of its 350 yards on just three plays -- only one of which, an 80-yard strike from Trevone Boykin to Brandon Carter in the third quarter, resulted in points.
The Sooners were far from their usual, explosive selves offensively, but did get a pair of touchdown passes from quarterback Landry Jones and a 66-yard touchdown sprint from tailback Damien Williams. After gaining just 11 yards on seven carries last week against Oklahoma State, Williams had 115 on 18 attempts against the Frogs, good for his first 100-yard game since OU's mid-October blowout over Texas.
WHEN OKLAHOMA WON: TCU nearly rallied from a 10-point deficit in the fourth quarter, first cutting the Sooners' lead to 24-17 following a botched punt return with a little less than nine minutes to play. On the Horned Frogs' next possession, still trailing 24-17, Boykin connected with Cam White for 46 yards to the OU 12 and appeared to score the equalizing touchdown two plays later, but the 12-yard scramble was negated by a holding penalty. Boykin was unable to find the end zone again on two final passes, and Oklahoma was able to kneel out the rest of the clock for the victory.
WHAT OKLAHOMA WON: The Sooners finished the regular season at 10-2, clinching their 11th 10-win season under coach Bob Stoops along with at least a share of their eighth Big 12 championship. Now, they wait: If Texas upsets Kansas State on Saturday night in Manhattan, Oklahoma will claim the conference title outright and the automatic BCS bid that comes with it. If the Wildcats hold serve, they'll claim the big-money bid due to their head-to-head win in Norman in September, and the Sooners will be left to sweat out their BCS fate until the final standings and bowl pairings are released on Sunday night. If they are in line for an at-large slot, it will almost certainly be to the Sugar Bowl, almost certainly against Florida.
WHAT TCU LOST: The Horned Frogs' fifth defeat of the season is their most since 2007 and matches the loss column from 2008-11 combined. It also ends the Frogs' hopes of climbing back in the final polls after four consecutive finishes in the top 15. Given the injuries and attrition that ravaged the lineup long before the season even began, though, a winning record with road wins at West Virginia and Texas is not a bad debut in the conference.
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