TCU (9-1, 6-1) at Oklahoma (9-1, 6-1)
When: Saturday, November 21st 2015
Where: Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Norman, OK
Time: 8:00 ET | TV: ABC
Baylor at Oklahoma State isn’t the only huge Big 12 game taking place on Saturday with major implications. TCU invades Norman, Oklahoma to play the resurgent Sooners. Oklahoma suffered an inexplicable loss to Texas on October 10th, but since then, they have been one of the best teams in the country. They are averaging 55.2 points a game since that loss and came up with a huge road win at Baylor last week to put them in position for a run at the College Football Playoffs. The Sooners have a terrific three-headed attack with quarterback Baker Mayfield, running back Samaje Perine, and wide receiver Sterling Shepard. Mayfield has 3,082 yards and 31 touchdown passes on the season while throwing just five interceptions. Perine (972 yards, 12 touchdowns) is averaging 121.6 yards a game during the current five-game winning streak and Shepard has 61 catches for 1,003 yards and nine touchdowns. Shepard had a career-high 215 receiving yards in last season’s 37-33 loss to TCU. The defense has only allowed 16.2 points a game since the Texas loss including holding Baylor to 20 points under their season average.
The nation’s second ranked offense could very well be without it’s star quarterback as Trevone Boykin is questionable with an injured ankle he suffered in last week’s game. It looks like he’ll be a game-time decision according to coach Gary Patterson. Boykin is having a terrific season passing for 3,426 yards and 29 touchdowns, but threw four picks in the loss to Oklahoma State two weeks ago that could have ended their chances at making the playoffs and winning the Big 12. We saw how valuable Boykin is to this team as TCU barely squeaked by 0-9 Kansas last week 23-17. Redshirt freshman Foster Sawyer, who went 1-for-7 with a 42-yard touchdown pass last Saturday against Kansas, is being prepared to start in case Boykin can’t play, while senior Bram Kohlhausen (13-of-19 for 112 yards and one interception against the Jayhawks) will be an in-game option if Sawyer is ineffective again. Senior running back Aaron Green had a career-best 177 yards against Kansas and needs just 27 yards to break 1,000. Boykin isn’t the only star that is injured as wide receiver Josh Doctson (78 catches, 1,326 yards, 14 TDs) will not play the final two games with an injured wrist.
Most online sportsbooks put up lines way in advance for future big games. I’m willing to bet that a month ago this line would have been pickem, but with Oklahoma surging and TCU’s stars hurt, the Sooners are 11.5 point favorites. I don’t like laying all those points against great offenses, but TCU’s offense without Boykin and Doctson is just average. Even if Boykin plays, he won’t be 100%, and he likes to run (596 yards). I think Oklahoma cruises to a victory Saturday and sets up a great matchup with in-state rival Oklahoma State next week.
Pick: Oklahoma -11.5