Oklahoma Football: 10 Things We Learned from Sooners' Win vs. TCU Horned Frogs
The Oklahoma Sooners beat the Texas Christian Horned Frogs in a close hard-fought game that they barely held on to win on a 4th-and-13 play at the end.
In a matchup punctuated by big plays from both TCU's Brandon Carter and Oklahoma's Damien Williams, the battle between the pair of schools from rival states was won on some key plays throughout the game.
The following are the 10 things that we learned from the Oklahoma-TCU matchup.
Despite What the Major Analysts Say, Landry Jones Is Not a Good Pro Prospect
Landry Jones is being looked at by NFL teams and media as someone who could be taken in the top three rounds of the draft. I just don't see it. His reads are terrible, and he misses grossly on deep balls that he has more than enough time in the pocket to make accurate throws.
His line of 22-of-40 (55 percent) for 244 yards, two touchdowns and one interception looks average on the surface. However, the defense that TCU has averages closer to 300 yards allowed versus its Big 12 competition. So he didn't do very well against a poor defense.
NFL quarterbacks aren't lacking in the talent that Landry seems to be missing. Expect him to go much lower than anyone expects come April.
Damien Williams Is an Underrated Running Back
As bad as Landry Jones looked today, that's how good Damien Williams looked. A typical grinder in the running game, his 18 carries and 118 yards set the tone for the Oklahoma offense.
The big plays he made on an extremely stout run defense—TCU allowed just 3.07 yards per carry before today—were what changed the entire momentum of the game.
He can also catch the ball well as his four catches for 39 yards and a touchdown showed. As a whole, his two touchdowns came at vital times both to open the game and to open the second half.
Kenny Stills Is Vital to the Oklahoma Offense, but He Isn't the Only Option
Despite just gaining 16 yards on his two catches today, Kenny Stills was drawing protections and coverages all day to open up the rest of the passing offense—rightfully so as Stills is the most explosive player on the offense.
However, Jalen Saunders and Damien Williams opened up on the TCU defense on the routes underneath gaining a combined 147 yards on 11 catches and two touchdowns. Without Stills drawing the coverages and double-teams, Saunders and Williams wouldn't have seen so many open looks.
Oklahoma's Defense Needs to Get More Pressure Moving Forward
Oklahoma averages just two sacks per game. It had 22 going into this week's game, and R.J. Washington and Chuka Ndulue added to the total to bring it to 24. Twenty-four sacks shouldn't be good enough to win the Big 12.
In a conference known for it's passing, the Sooners have to get more pressure to force bad throws and end drives. Otherwise, they will have to compete in more close games and even some huge shootouts in the coming years.
3rd-Down Defense Was Key for Oklahoma's Win
Despite a bad day getting pressure on TCU's Trevone Boykin, Oklahoma won this one with great third-down defense. The Sooners allowed just 3-of-15 third-down conversions and even stopped the one fourth-down attempt.
They will have to continue it in their bowl game and into the future. It's a hallmark of great teams and of great Bob Stoops teams.
Bob Stoops Proved That He Is Still a Great Coach
Speaking of Bob Stoops, this is yet another 10-win season under his belt as the head coach of the Sooners. In his 14 years as the head coach of the Sooners, he has just three years without reaching double-digit wins.
And in all three of those seasons, he has been able to bring Oklahoma to winning seasons and bowl appearances. Without losses to an immensely talented Kansas State team and a Notre Dame team that's in the national title game, this Oklahoma team would be in the national title game itself.
Oklahoma Will Win at Least a Share of the Big 12 Championship
This may be one of those "Thank you, Captain Obvious" moments. But it has to be said. After going 8-1 in the conference, Oklahoma has earned at least a share for the conference title and will be getting into a BCS bowl game if Kansas State loses as the Big 12 outright champion.
Trevone Boykin Is Raw, but Could Be the Best QB in the Big 12 with Seasoning
Trevone Boykin looked superb against a top defense. On a defense that has 12 interceptions and allowed just eight touchdowns heading into today's game, Boykin went 17-of-31 (54.8 percent) for 231 yards and a touchdown.
He also had 11 runs for 36 yards. His overall play today showed his all-around potential as a quarterback in the Big 12. With some added coaching and experience, the redshirt freshman could end up in the discussion for Heisman talk as his play on the field today showed some very good overall potential.
TCU's Rushing Game Has to Improve Against Big Teams to Win More
The TCU offense averaged just 3.8 yards per carry today. However, 45 of its 119 yards came on just two plays. When you average 2.55 yards on your remaining 29 carries, the running game just is not being effective.
It's a tough road ahead if the Horned Frogs can't improve the running game in 2013. They don't want to be the Georgia Tech of the Big 12—rarely in contention for title but almost always in a bowl game. So to get better as a team, they need to bring more balance.
TCU's Ascension Is Complete with a 7-5 Record Due to Close Losses
Despite moving up from the Mountain West this season, the Horned Frogs proved that they belong in the Big 12. Their five losses include a one-score loss to Oklahoma and a three-overtime loss to Texas Tech.
With a more experienced quarterback in future years, Texas Christian will end up surprising many teams out there with a good record against the solid competition in the Big 12. The overall point here though is that the Horned Frogs prove they belong in the Big 12.
Scott Carasik is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report. He covers the Atlanta Falcons, NFL and NFL Draft. He is also the Falcons analyst at Drafttek, runs the NFL Draft Website ScarDraft.com and hosts Kvetching Draftniks Radio.