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SPORTS: University of Oklahoma

Clay Day: Oklahoma Squeaks By TCU Thanks To Long Touchdown Run

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NORMAN, Oklahoma -

It was the perfect trap game for the Oklahoma Sooners Saturday night.

A tough opponent in TCU sandwiched between a win over an historic power in Notre Dame and a game against archrival Texas was a script that couldn't have been written any better for a letdown.

The Sooners stuck to the script, dominating the first half defensively and struggling in the second half before ultimately squeaking by the Horned Frogs, 20-17 in Norman.

The game was a back and forth defensive struggle that featured 16 combined punts and 6-for-27 on third down conversions. Yet, despite the defensive performances and offensive struggles, neither team had a turnover. The Horned Frogs did recover a pooch kickoff in the third quarter the Sooners failed to fall on.

TCU held Oklahoma to just 355 total yards with only 152 of those coming through the air. The Sooners held TCU to 210 yards 44 of those on the ground.

Both defenses had plenty of time in the spotlight throughout the game. In the first half, the Sooners held TCU to 16 yards and zero first downs. In the second half, TCU held OU to four yards on eight plays in the third quarter.

Oklahoma was clinging to a 13-10 lead with 5:30 remaining when running back Brennan Clay sprinted 76 yards off right tackle to give the Sooners a 10-point lead with 4:37 remaining in the contest. The Sooners weren't originally going that way, but OU coach Bob Stoops said after the game the Sooners audibled to that play call.

Clay finished the game with 111 yards on just nine carries.

TCU responded quickly, driving 75 yards in five plays, taking just 2:11 off the clock. TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin hit David Porter down the sideline for a 45-yard gain on first down to put the Horned Frogs in business. Boykin ended the drive himself, scrambling in the backfield before finding a vacated right side of the Sooner defense and beating all OU defenders to the pylon.

The Sooners got the ball back with 2:26 remaining, and quarterback Blake Bell had gains of 13 and 17 yards on the ground to melt the clock and clinch the win for OU.

Bell finished the game 20-of-31 for 152 yards. He struggled finding open receivers, as the TCU secondary made passing lanes very difficult to find throughout the night. The Horned Frogs had three sacks, all of them due to Bell being unable to find an open receiver and holding the ball too long in the pocket.

He also carried the ball 14 times for 61 yards.

Boykin did it all for the Horned Frogs, hitting 16-of-26 passes for 166 yards and carried a team-high 12 times for 18 yards and two touchdowns.

The Sooners grabbed an early lead on a 39-yard field goal from Michael Hunnicutt, the 49th of his career. The kick made him OU's all-time leader in made field goals. In the second quarter, the Sooners added a bit of tempo to the offense, marching 84 yards in 13 plays, capped by Trey Millard's eight-yard touchdown run.

Hunnicutt added another field goal at the end of the second quarter to put the Sooners up 13-0 at halftime.

The Horned Frogs dominated the third quarter, holding the ball for 12:48 of the 15 minutes and letting OU run just eight plays without a single first down. The Horned Frogs got on the board with a 25-yard field goal from Jaden Oberkrom, and then recovered a pooch kick to get the ball back immediately. The 35-yard drive was capped by a Boykin two-yard run for the touchdown that cut the Sooners' lead to 13-10.

The Sooners defense stiffened in the fourth quarter, not allowing TCU to draw any closer until the Sooners had secured a 20-10 lead thanks to Clay's touchdown run.

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