TCU football beats Oklahoma
Sept. 3, 2005
NORMAN, Okla. -- Robert Merrill's 2-yard touchdown run with 11:56 to play provided the winning score as TCU defeated No. 5 Oklahoma, 17-10, before a national television audience and a record crowd of 84,332 this afternoon at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla.
It was TCU's first victory over an opponent ranked that high since a 6-0 decision over No. 1 Texas in 1961. The Frogs also handed Oklahoma its first home-opening loss since a 20-7 defeat to TCU in 1996, the Frogs' most recent visit to Norman. TCU is now 4-1 all-time when playing at Oklahoma.
The Frogs (1-0) handed the Sooners (0-1) just their second defeat in 38 home games under seventh-year coach Bob Stoops. It was also Stoops' first September loss in his Oklahoma tenure.
"I think that nine times out of 10, Oklahoma wins this game," TCU coach Gary Patterson said. "Today was our one. We got a chance to show off on national TV and show America that TCU is not gone."
The attendance was a record for a Sooner home opener and the third-largest crowd ever for a TCU football game.
Merrill's go-ahead touchdown was set up by the Frog defense. Jamison Newby's sack of Sooner quarterback Rhett Bomar forced a fumble that was recovered by David Hawthorne at the Sooner 17 with 13:04 to play.
"When we got the turnovers, their heads dropped," Hawthorne said. "It wasn't the same OU team that you saw last year."
Four plays later, Merrill took an option pitch from quarterback Tye Gunn and raced into the end zone to put TCU on top 17-10. Merrill, who ran for all 17 yards on the drive, helped set up his score with a 13-yard carry to the Sooner 4 on a second-and-10.
It was the second fumble recovery of the game for Hawthorne, a sophomore linebacker from Corsicana, Texas. He also had a tackle for loss in the contest.
A Drew Coleman interception with 8:46 to play helped preserve the Frogs' win. Coleman added two pass breakups on the day.
The Frogs held Oklahoma to 225 yards of offense. Sooner Heisman Trophy candidate Adrian Peterson was limited to 63 yards rushing on 22 carries (2.9 per attempt).
Peterson had five yards on eight carries in the first half as TCU led 10-0, becoming the first team since Baylor in 1998 to hold the Sooners' scoreless over the opening 30 minutes. Oklahoma had 97 yards rushing on 36 carries for the game, while Bomar and fellow Sooner signal caller Paul Thompson were a combined 13-of-31 in the air for 128 yards.
TCU controlled the line of scrimmage in recording three sacks and holding a 34:45-to-25:15 edge in time of possession. Oklahoma was 3-of-14 on third-down conversions and 0-for-2 on fourth-down attempts.
The Frogs took a 7-0 lead on a 16-yard touchdown pass from Gunn to Derek Moore with 10:05 to play in the first half. The scoring toss came on a third-and-12 to cap an 11-play, 84-yard drive that consumed 4:50. The key play was a 32-yard carry on a reverse by wide receiver Donald Massey.
A sophomore walk-on from Cedarburg, Wis., Moore recorded his first two collegiate receptions for a total of 30 yards.
After the Frogs forced a three-and-out on the Sooners' ensuing series, a 41-yard pass from Gunn to Lonta Hobbs put TCU on the Oklahoma 13. Three plays later, a 25-yard field goal by Peter LoCoco extended the Frog advantage to 10-0 with 7:16 to play in the second quarter. It capped a six-play, 46-yard drive that took 1:48.
An Eric Buchanan sack of Thompson on Oklahoma's next series forced a second straight three-and-out for the Sooners. Buchanan made his mark defensively earlier in the game.
The Sooners threatened to get on the board first as they reached the TCU 4-yard line before David Roach forced a fumble by Thompson. The recovery was made by Eric Buchanan with 3:17 remaining in the opening quarter.
Trailing 10-0, Oklahoma got on the board when it took the opening drive of the second half 72 yards in nine plays to close within 10-7. Peterson had six carries for 43 yards on the series, capped by his 11-yard scoring run.
After TCU punter Brian Cortney was unable to get off a punt and was tackled in the backfield by Jason Carter, the Sooners took possession at the Frog 16-yard line with 4:15 remaining in the third quarter.
Oklahoma reached the TCU 5-yard line with a first-and-goal, before the Frog defense stiffened and held the Sooners to a 21-yard field goal by Garrett Hartley. It evened the game at 10-10 with 1:40 left in the third quarter.
TCU's Cory Rodgers tied a single-game personal-high with 10 receptions (79 yards). In the process, he moved into ninth place on the Frogs' career receiving list with 108 grabs.
Gunn completed 24-of-45 pass attempts for 226 yards. Tight end Chad Andrus had three catches for 22 yards.
The Frogs continue on the road next week at SMU. Kickoff is 8:30 p.m. for the nationally-televised contest on CSTV.