With a BCS bowl bid still a possibility for the No. 11 Oklahoma Sooners (9-2, 7-1), Saturday's road game at TCU (7-4, 4-4) becomes all the more important.
While the Sooners don't own complete control of their own destiny, a win on Saturday is a must if Oklahoma wants a trip to a BCS bowl. If the Sooners and Kansas State both win, college football would see a tie in the Big 12, and OU would have a shot at the Sugar Bowl.
If the Sooners win and K-State falls, Oklahoma gets a trip to the Fiesta Bowl.
And, of course, a loss dooms the Sooners of any BCS-bowl hope, sending them to the Cotton bowl.
They'll have their hands full with a Horned Frogs squad that's coming off a huge win over No. 18 Texas, but I still like Oklahoma's chances.
Here are my three keys to a Sooners win on Saturday afternoon.
That's the key to any football game, isn't it?
Well, yes, but two turnovers against West Virginia a couple of weeks ago almost cost Oklahoma its season. Landry Jones has been relatively careful this season, throwing just nine interceptions to 27 touchdowns, but OU needs to play a clean game on Saturday.
TCU ranks in the top five in terms of defensive interceptions, picking off 20 passes this season. If Jones isn't cautious, he could fall into the Horned Frogs' defensive trap and blow this thing up for the Sooners.
Stop Trevone Boykin
Freshman QB Trevone Boykin will be the focal point of the Sooners defense on Saturday.
Boykin, who is not a star yet by any means, is having himself quite a season for a freshman. He's thrown for more than 1,600 yards and 14 touchdowns, with nine interceptions and a 129.9 rating. When you factor in his 344 rushing yards and two ground touchdowns, Boykin becomes a double threat.
Oklahoma's defense has been solid limiting the rushing yards of opponents, but it has allowed 29 rushing touchdowns, which the Sooners will have to limit against TCU.
Establish the Ground Game
Oklahoma's is by no means known as a rush-heavy offense, but against an interception-happy defense like the Horned Frogs, establishing the running game early is a real key to success.
I'm not saying that Damien Williams has to carry the team offensively, but if the Sooners can get him going like he was in the beginning of the season, there will be a lot less pressure on Jones and his receivers.
I'd like to see Williams get at least 15 carries to put those 5.6 yards per carry to use.
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