It’s a clash between two teams that have started 3-0 without facing much resistance in the form of quality opposition. Oklahoma has already played its fourth game, a home loss to Kansas State, whereas TCU may be awaiting that fate this weekend as they host the Sooners. Let’s take a look at the odds and make some predictions for Saturday’s matchup.
Oklahoma Vs. TCU Odds
Oklahoma are currently road favorites, with the spread sitting just below a touchdown at -6.5. As the lone ranked team in this matchup, this is a fairly predictable number. The points total is set at 68.5, which is also more than reasonable for a Big 12 Conference matchup.
Oklahoma Vs. TCU Prediction & Pick
EPA still sees Oklahoma as a top-10 team, propped up by just about a top-5 offense in year 1 under defense-minded head coach Brent Venables. The defense is about 60th in the nation, better than some Oklahoma teams of years past but not quite elite. The same metric sees TCU as highly underrated, the 14th best team in the nation despite being unranked by the AP and Coaches and sporting an offense ranked just outside of the top 5 as well.
PFF, however, sees things differently, placing them in the mid-teens just like the standard polls do, and also believes that TCU being unranked is appropriate as they are the the 34th-highest graded team. This source also sees both offenses as being elite (Oklahoma 6th, TCU 16th), while the defenses are ranked 54th and 55th, with the Sooners just a hair ahead. TCU has relied on a strong and impressively egalitarian air offense, led by QB Max Duggan. Oklahoma’s strength has been running the ball on the shoulders of RB duo Eric Gray and Marcus Major, as UCF transfer Dillon Gabriel has taken the helm under center, and has supplemented efficient passing with excellent rushing.
It should surprise nobody that both of these teams have been offense-first, and I expect a high-scoring affair deep in the heart of Texas this Saturday. That being said, I don’t see either defense as having the firepower to slow the opposing offense much, and that includes the Sooners. They’ll stay out in front, on the road against an opponent that can realistically score with them- the Horned Frogs have averaged over 45 points per game so far while the Oklahoma’s total sits just over 40- but don’t expect them to pull away enough to cover that spread of essentially a touchdown.
Oklahoma Vs. TCU Key Matchups
How will the TCU offensive line hold up against this Oklahoma front? Can Dillon Gabriel and this Oklahoma passing offense make hay against the TCU secondary? Check out the key matchups and mismatches for Oklahoma vs TCU below.
Oklahoma Defensive Front vs. TCU Offensive Line
If the TCU offense has a relative weakness, it’s their offensive line, a unit that has been good more than great both in terms of pass and run blocking. The left side of the line has been stronger, as guard Steve Avila has been outstanding in pass protection, and tackle Brandon Coleman has been all around solid. Alan Ali has been adequate at center, while John Lanz has been really good at right guard. The main weakness is right tackle Andrew Coker, who has really struggled for the Horned Frogs.
Oklahoma’s rushing defense and pass rushing both track around or below the average of all power-five conference teams, and will have to spend Saturday performing more like an above-average to great unit in order to give their offense some breathing room At the heart of that Sooners front seven is the outside linebacking duo of DaShaun White and Danny Stutsman, the former of whom has been good and the latter of whom needs to be much better. White has been one of the more effective pass rushers for the Sooners, along with edge rushers Ethan Downs and Reggie Grimes, who have 3 and 4 sacks apiece. If the Oklahoma linebackers and ends can truly dominate Coker, they may be able to stifle the TCU offense- otherwise it could be a genuine shootout.
Dillon Gabriel and Oklahoma’s Pass Catchers vs TCU Secondary
Oklahoma runs the ball really well, but it’s hard to consistently control a shootout like this game could be without a solid air attack. Dillon Gabriel and co. have been somewhat less outstanding, each ranking around 35th in the country at their respective jobs as per PFF. Meanwhile, TCU’s secondary is a relative bright spot of the defense, the only position group whose main job (coverage) is seen by PFF as being done at an above-average level. Safety Millard Bradford has been the best performer, doing a good job of limiting overtop passes and other big plays. Abraham Camara and Josh Newton have been solid at corner, while the Frogs will need much more from starters Mark Perry and Tre’Vius Hodges-Tomlinson at safety and cornerback, respectively.
They’ll be tasked with covering an Oklahoma pass catching group that has a little less talent than some in years past, but still plenty to go around. Junior wideout Marvin Mims is building off of a solid breakout season in ‘21, racking up nearly 100 yards per game and over 22 per catch so far, with 3 touchdowns as well. He’s joined by Theo Wease, another big-play threat, and tight end Brayden Willis who has absorbed a good amount of red zone targets, who averages under 10 yards per catch so far but he’s snagged four touchdowns already. If the Sooner wideouts and tight ends can create some separation for Gabriel, it’ll help him really explode against a pretty solid but somewhat vulnerable TCU secondary.
- Washington St vs USC Prediction
- Purdue vs Maryland Prediction
- Louisville vs Virginia Prediction
- Ohio St vs Michigan St Prediction
- Auburn vs Georgia Prediction
- Iowa vs Illinois Prediction
- Texas vs Oklahoma Prediction
- North Carolina vs Miami Prediction
- Texas A&M vs Alabama Prediction
- Tennessee vs LSU Prediction
- Washington vs Arizona St Prediction
- TCU vs Kansas Prediction
- BYU vs Notre Dame Prediction
- Michigan vs Indiana Prediction
- Oregon vs Arizona Prediction
- Utah vs UCLA Prediction
- Nebraska vs Rutgers Prediction
- Houston vs Memphis Prediction
- Texas Tech vs Oklahoma St Prediction
- Florida St vs NC State Prediction
- Clemson vs Boston College Prediction