TCU will welcome the Oklahoma Sooners to Amon G. Carter stadium on Saturday in a battle between two Top 25 teams. TCU will be looking to turn some heads and upset the Sooners, who are currently the highest-ranked team in the Big 12. Here are three players to watch for both teams come Saturday afternoon.
Eric Striker, Junior, Linebacker
Pundits and college football analysts across the country have said Oklahoma is the most complete football team in the nation. While the Sooners have seen success both offensively and defensively this season, Clint Trickett and the West Virginia offense proved two weeks ago that the Oklahoma defense is far from invincible. One of the leaders of the Sooner defense is junior linebacker Eric Striker. Third in tackles, 23 through his first four games, Striker leads the team in tackles for loss with 4.5. He has shown why many have him on the shortlist to win the 2014 Butkus Award given to the nation’s best linebacker. TCU’s high-octane offense will give Striker and the Oklahoma defense a true test, and the Sooners should come prepared to face a TCU offense that racked up 56 points last weekend.
Trevor Knight, Sophomore, Quarterback
Trevor Knight and the Oklahoma offense have run rampant through the first month of the season, scoring more than 45 points in three of their four games. The sophomore quarterback has put up solid numbers, completing 58.5 percent of his passes for 1,065 yards and 4 touchdowns. Coming off of a game in which the TCU defense matched up against one of the worst offenses in college football, Knight and his core of speedy wide receivers will attack the TCU secondary at a different level this Saturday. Stopping Knight and the OU passing game will be key for the Horned Frogs to have success this weekend.
Samaje Perine, Freshman, Running Back
Hailed as the next “Earl Campbell,” freshman phenom Samaje Perine has staked his claim as the top running back for the Sooners. He currently leads the Big 12 in rushing with 419 yards and five touchdowns. Averaging over 100 yards per contest, it is easy to see why “Optimus Perine,” as he is affectionately referred to by his teammates, is so highly touted. A strong, 243-pound back, Perine has been overpowering his opponents with ease. Combined with Knight’s aerial threat, this OU offense is primed to show the nation why they are among the favorites to win the National Title.
TCU Horned Frogs
Chucky Hunter, Senior, Defensive Tackle
Stopping the powerful Perine and the Oklahoma rushing attack will be the TCU’s defensive line’s primary responsibility Saturday. Hunter, in partnership with junior Davion Pierson, will fight in the trenches to ensure Oklahoma doesn’t get easy yards on the ground. Hunter has yet to have a breakout game in 2014, and there isn’t a much bigger stage than Saturday’s matchup against the Sooners. If Hunter can get close to his career-high of 10 tackles in a game, it will be good news for the Horned Frogs.
Kolby Listenbee, Junior, Wide Receiver
The speedy wideout Listenbee leads TCU with 169 receiving yards and has been the Horned Frogs’ top deep threat this season. Quarterback Trevone Boykin has repeatedly tried to stretch the field with Listenbee, but he seems to just overthrow the track star on each occasion. The Oklahoma secondary struggled two weeks ago against West Virginia, allowing 376 passing yards and multiple completions of 30 yards or more. If Boykin and Listenbee are able to connect on deep passes this weekend, the Oklahoma defense could be in for a long day.
Cameron Echols-Luper, Sophomore, Wideout/Kick Returner
Echols-Luper is the other track and field athlete on TCU’s roster, and the Horned Frogs may rely on him as much as Listenbee this Saturday. Echols-Luper is the primary kick and punt returner for the Frogs, a much-maligned position for TCU in recent years. In games of this magnitude, the difference often comes down to special teams play, and a big return can completely change the momentum of a game. If Echols-Luper can conjure up some special teams magic on Saturday, the Frogs might be able to pull off the upset.