The scoreboard at the end of OU’s 2005 game against TCU is one of the most lasting images of my college career.
That was the first Sooner game I ever attended, and it left me utterly bewildered. The 17-10 result is still burned into my brain.
And if it affected me that much, you can be sure it did the same to Bob Stoops.
I imagine that Stoops has been waiting for this weekend for three years. He has only lost two games at home since 1999, and this is his chance to avenge one of them. He’s going to make sure his team is ready.
Three years ago, the offense was uncertain and inexperienced. Paul Thompson was the starter at quarterback, and Rhett Bomar replaced him in the middle of the game.
It was impossible for the offense to gain any momentum. The Horned Frogs just had to stack the box and stop Adrian Peterson, and they did it.
Things won’t be so easy this time. Peterson is gone, but there’s a dynamic duo in the backfield in speedster DeMarco Murray and bruiser Chris Brown.
I know TCU has a great run defense. In fact, it’s the best in the nation. But it has also yet to face a decent rushing team. Of TCU’s four opponents, New Mexico has the best rushing numbers, and the Lobos are 61st in the nation in rushing.
I don’t expect Brown and Murray to both record 100 yards, which has become the norm, but I also don’t expect them to total 30 yards like the Horned Frogs’ other opponents. The Sooner offensive line is too good for that.
And then there’s Sam Bradford. He has somehow managed to improve on his performance from last year and has become downright scary.
That’s the complete opposite of how the Sooners looked three years ago. They now have a consistent, confident and efficient quarterback leading the offense with a bevy of weapons around him. I have no idea how TCU – or any team for that matter – can stop the OU arsenal.
If this were any team but TCU, I would be a bit worried that this would be a trap game. It’s the Sooners’ first real test against a ranked opponent with a good defense. It seems like one of those games that could easily trip a team up.
But it’s TCU, and Bob Stoops will be out for blood.
Corey DeMoss is the sports editor for the (University of) Oklahoma Daily.