Mayfield, Anderson lead No. 5 Oklahoma past No. 8 TCU
By CLIFF BRUNT, AP Sports Writer
NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Baker Mayfield used his tried-and-true November formula of making spectacular plays and taking advantage of his running game to claim yet another big win.
Mayfield threw three touchdown passes, Rodney Anderson had 290 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns, and No. 5 Oklahoma rolled past No. 8 TCU 38-20 on Saturday night to take sole possession of first place in the Big 12.
Mayfield improved to 9-0 in November during his Oklahoma career, with seven of those victories coming against ranked opponents. He said the best is ahead because the Sooners are built to play at this time of year.
“We haven’t even hit our peak yet,” he said. “We’re playing well right now. We’re getting better at the right time of the year and that’s pretty scary for the other teams out there. It’s good for us right now.”
Mayfield strengthened his Heisman Trophy resume by passing for 333 yards and rushing for 50 against a TCU defense that entered the night ranked sixth in the nation in scoring defense and total defense. He did it in front of a crowd of 88,308, the largest home crowd in school history.
“He was a little amped up early,” Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said. “He missed a couple of throws that he normally makes. He was really special in scramble situations, and then really settled in there mid-first quarter, and really in the second quarter.”
Anderson ran for 151 yards and two touchdowns and caught five passes for 139 yards and two scores for the Sooners (9-1, 6-1 Big 12, No. 5 College Football Playoff).
Kenny Hill passed for 270 yards for the Horned Frogs (8-2, 5-2, No. 6 CFP), but he completed just 13 of 28 passes. TCU defensive end Mat Boesen was ejected in the second quarter for kicking an Oklahoma player.
Oklahoma led 38-14 at halftime. Mayfield passed for 299 yards and three touchdowns in the first half and Anderson had 117 yards and two touchdowns receiving and 86 yards and two touchdowns rushing before the break.
Anderson ran for more than 100 yards for the fourth straight game.
“He was tremendous tonight,” Riley said. “He was awesome. He’s got a unique skillset in that he can kind of do it all. He can bring the power, ran through a lot of tackles and made a couple tremendous catches. He’s been awesome for us here several weeks in a row.”
The poor start for TCU gave coach Gary Patterson flashbacks to a 35-10 loss in Norman in 2008. The Horned Frogs trailed 28-3 at halftime that night.
“It was like 2008 with Sam Bradford,” he said. “We spotted them too many points, and finally when we woke up, it was too late. We have to give Oklahoma credit. They got out and outplayed us. We didn’t do a great job of tackling in the first half.”
TCU is tied for second place in the Big 12 and still has a good chance to reach the conference title game and possibly play the Sooners again.
“We need to win two ballgames,” Patterson said. “We still control our own destiny, so it starts with Texas Tech. Here we go. That’s pretty much what I told them in the locker room.”
TCU: The Horned Frogs had allowed 27 points in their four games leading up to Saturday’s showdown, but Oklahoma’s offense did whatever it wanted in the first half. The Horned Frogs, who have played with the lead for most of the season, didn’t have enough firepower to play from behind.
OKLAHOMA: After unleashing a 62-point, 785-yard onslaught against Oklahoma State the previous week , the Sooners simply kept it going in the first half Saturday.
“They’re pretty good defensively,” Riley said. “We’re pretty good offensively. We knew it was going to be a battle. We made some of the plays when it counted. It was a good battle against those guys.”
Just as impressive, Oklahoma started freshmen Robert Barnes, Tre Norwood and Tre Brown in its injury-ravaged secondary and played well. The Sooners held the Horned Frogs to 424 total yards and gave up just six points in the second half.
TCU: The Horned Frogs won’t drop too far, especially given some of the other losses by top teams across the country. TCU already has quality wins over Oklahoma State and West Virginia, and those will be factored in.
OKLAHOMA: The Sooners could jump to No. 3 after No. 2 Georgia lost to Auburn and No. 3 Notre Dame was throttled by No. 7 Miami. There’s a chance the Hurricanes could leapfrog the Sooners because of their margin of victory, but Oklahoma was nearly as impressive against a Top 10 team.
GROUND AND POUND
Oklahoma ran for 200 yards against a TCU defense that led the nation with just 69.7 yards rushing allowed per game. No team had rushed for more than 142 yards against the Horned Frogs this season.
Riley said the offensive line felt it needed to play better this week.
“That was a pretty hungry group coming into this game,” he said. “Despite all the scoring last week, we weren’t real fired up about how we played up front. Part of that is that our standards are so high. That group responded against a really talented front and a great schemed played very well.”
KEEPING IT 100
Anderson ran for at least 100 yards for the fourth straight game. He ran for 147 yards against Kansas State, 181 yards against Texas Tech and 111 against Oklahoma State before his 151-yard performance against TCU. He also has racked up 217 yards and four touchdowns receiving during that stretch.
TCU: Plays at Texas Tech on Saturday.
OKLAHOMA: Plays at Kansas on Saturday.
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