Report Card: Oklahoma's poor performance a rude awakening




Murphy's Law states that if anything can go wrong, it will. That was the entire story of Oklahoma's time in Fort Worth Saturday afternoon against the TCU Horned Frogs.

Nothing and absolutely nothing could've prepared us and the country for what we all bore witness to as TCU annihilated Oklahoma 55-24.

It was bad in every way, shape, or form. To be quite frank, there are very few positive takeaways from the game.

We're here to make sense of it all as we go thru and process just what we witnessed. Here's how we graded Oklahoma's performance.

Quarterbacks: D-

 

Oklahoma quarterbacks Dillon Gabriel, left, and Davis Beville, right, are pictured during an NCAA college football practice, Monday, Aug. 8, 2022, in Norman, Okla. AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki

Saturday's performance for the quarterback room was as bad as a quarterback performance as we've seen at Oklahoma in a long time.

Much worse than anything we saw last year when the Sooners struggled offensively.

Dillon Gabriel was highly inaccurate. It had been a problem we talked about for weeks. He's missed a few throws here and there, but Saturday's performance was a culmination of all those missed throws magnified hundred times.

Gabriel was 7 of 16 for 126 yards. 78 of those yards came on a long catch and run from tight end Brayden Willis. He posted a QBR of 25.9.

Gabriel also left the game after a cheap and unnecessary hit by a TCU defender. He immediately exited the game and would not return.

His backup Davis Beville didn't look much better as he also went 7 of 16 for 50 yards. Beville looked confused at times and offered no optimism about what could happen should he have to start the game against the Texas Longhorns. The lone bright spot? They haven't turned the ball over.

Running Backs: B-

 

Oklahoma running back Jovantae Barnes (2) plays against Nebraska during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, in Lincoln, Neb. Oklahoma defeated Nebraska 49-14. (AP Photo/Rebecca S. Gratz)

With strong confidence, this was the best group of the day. The running backs were but a small footnote in an otherwise terrible display of football and most notably true freshman Jovantae Barnes. He's going to be a real player for this team in the years to come.

Starter Eric Gray ran for 60 yards on 13 carries and a touchdown but his day was cut short when he left the game hobbling.

Jovantae Barnes took the reigns as he was the second on the depth chart behind Gray with Marcus Major not suiting up. He ran hard and scored twice even though the game was already decided. We also saw snaps from Taweek Walker and Gavin Sawchuk who traveled since the Sooners were down a running back.

Offensive Line: D

 

Brian Bahr/Getty Images

The Oklahoma offensive line didn't play its best game on Saturday. However, it's important to note they also went down two starters on top of the fact that they weren't getting help from their QB.

Starting tackles Wanya Morris and Anton Harrison both went down with injuries and were replaced mid-game. Andrew Raym and McKade Mettauer exited as well and the Sooners virtually played musical chairs along the offensive line in the throughout the game.

They found some success in the running game, but it's hard to hang your hat on that when the game is as lopsided as it was.

However, Oklahoma's offensive line's biggest failure on Saturday was not reacting with a little more fire when Dillon Gabriel was taken out with that late hit. If a single play could've summed up that performance as a team, it was that one.

You can't let that happen and not stand up for your guy. The 15-yard flag would've been a footnote and forgivable under the circumstances.

Wide Receiver: C-

 

Oct 1, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs safety Abraham Camara (14) causes a fumble by Oklahoma Sooners wide receiver Marvin Mims (17) during the first quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

There's not much to say about the wide receiver room as they weren't given any real opportunity to succeed with the lack of competent quarterbacking they dealt with all day.

Like the other offensive groups, they also lost a starter for a bit of time as Marvin Mims limped off the field during the game. Theo Wease was also dinged up a bit during the action as well.

Mims' fumble on the first drive of the game was a precursor to everything that came after it. From there, it was all downhill.

In short, there's nothing to really glean from this game about the wide receivers.

Jalil Farooq was a bright spot in the return game, setting the Sooners up with good field position several times. Unfortunately the Sooners' offense was unable to take advantage.

Tight End: C

 

Sept. 24, 2022; Norman; Oklahoma Sooners tight end Brayden Willis (9) scores a touchdown during the second half against the Kansas State Wildcats at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing to say here except Brayden Willis continued to play hard and had a nice long reception to give Oklahoma a glimmer of hope. It ultimately led to an Eric Gray touchdown but didn't matter in the grand scheme of things.

Defensive Line: D-

 

Oct 1, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas, USA; TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan (15) throws a touchdown pass during the first half against the Oklahoma Sooners at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

For the second straight week, the defenisve line earns a D-.

It's becoming increasingly clear their first three games were a mirage and that there are some pieces on this defense that just aren't playing at a high level against much stiffer competition. Players aren't getting off blocks, there's not enough penetration, and the pressure that was being generated is no longer there.

Ted Roof's calling card as a defensive coordinator is an aggressive defense that thrives off negative plays. It hasn't been said but that's in part why Venables hired him because they share similar mindsets defensively.

Those aren't happening as frequently as they were and now Oklahoma is hardly forcing any tough third-down situations. The odd front looks they ran in the first half also brought back horrible memories of Mike Stoops trying to run it without consistent success. They can't generate any pressure with three-man fronts.

It's just not good enough from the defensive line and the coaches.

Linebackers: D-

 

Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The linebackers, much like their front seven buddies, are driving the struggle bus.

They aren't fitting gaps properly and guys for the second straight week, look bewildered at what they are seeing out there on the field.

It was a rough showing from a group that has some good individual talent. They aren't in the best situation with no real help from their defensive line right now but they've not played up to snuff either.

Poor angles continue to plague this group in pursuit. They still haven't figured out how to stop the read-option. You don't give up over 300 yards on the ground by accident.

David Ugwoegbu led the team with 10 tackles and we finally saw Jaren Kanak after nothing from him last week.

Defensive Backs: F

 

Oct. 1, 2022; Fort Worth, Texas; TCU Horned Frogs wide receiver Savion Williams (18) catches a touchdown pass as Oklahoma Sooners defensive back Jaden Davis (4) defends during the first quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

By far, Saturday's worst group on the field for Oklahoma was the defensive backs. Blown coverage after blown coverage led to a first-half barrage from TCU.

Safeties and cornerbacks alike didn't seem to know their responsibilities in Cover 3 and were caught napping, leaving TCU receivers open with 20 yards of space around them in all directions.

Oklahoma had chances to make plays on the ball but some of their defensive backs were unable to make a play simply because of the physical advantages TCU's players had on them. And other times, they simply didn't look for the ball.

Losing Billy Bowman early in the game hurt this group and OU seems hopeful Damond Harmon will be alright, but it was a horrendous day for the defensive backs.

There was a lot of teaching tape in that one. Hopefully, they'll find a way to improve.

Story originally appeared on Sooners Wire

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