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College Sports: 5 takeaways from Oklahoma’s win over TCU: Kyler Murray was dominant, defense was improved

Here are five takeaways from Oklahoma’s 52-27 win over TCU:

Kyler Murray was dominant

Oklahoma’s Heisman Trophy candidate continues to live up to the hype. Kyler Murray was excellent again on Saturday with his decision making, arm and legs. He completed 19 of 24 passes for 213 yards and four touchdowns. The yardage might be lower than usual, but his precision accuracy was still present. He also rushed for 51 yards, including a long of 19.

Running back duo emerges

Oklahoma has been waiting for a running back to emerge after it lost Rodney Anderson for the season earlier this year. Kennedy Brooks looked like he might be the guy at times on Saturday, rushing for a career-high 168 yards on just 18 carries. But Trey Sermon was also highly effective vs. the Horned Frogs, rushing for 110 yards on 17 attempts before exiting with a leg injury.

Going forward — assuming Sermon’s injury isn’t season-threatening — the Sooners will need both of these backs. Sermon is exceptional in the passing game and can make defenders miss. Brooks thrives with straight-line speed and finding the opening hole. That mixture will be critical to OU’s offense going forward, especially in matchups at Texas Tech and at West Virginia.

Special teams take a step back

Oklahoma’s special teams were excellent through the first few games of the season, but have been average of late. Against TCU, the Sooners were flat out bad. OU gave up a kick return touchdown to KaVontae Turpin that tied the game at 7-7 early on. Kicker Austin Seibert struggled at times to boot the ball out of the end zone, which led to more lengthy returns. Seibert also miss-hit a squib kick early in the second half that gave the Horned Frogs great field position. It didn’t end up mattering to the final score, but special teams was dominated by TCU.

Second-quarter meltdown

Oklahoma briefly melted down in the second quarter. Following a quarterback change by TCU halfway through the stanza, Brendan Radley-Hiles dropped a would-be pick six that would have put the Sooners up 35-7. Instead, the Horned Frogs went on a tear. They got the game to 28-24 at the break. OU committed eight penalties for 60 yards in the first half, much of that damage coming during that stretch.

However, the Sooners were able to turn it around in the second half. OU wasn’t called for any penalties after the break, and managed to get separation after trading field goals early.

Defense played well

Outside of that stretch in the second quarter, the Sooners defense passed their first test after Mike Stoops was fired. The defense shut down Shawn Robinson and eventually figured out Michael Collins after a few big plays. Cornerback Parnell Motley had the two biggest plays of the day: An open-field tackle on fourth down to give the Sooners the ball back, and a game-sealing touchdown on TCU’s ensuing possession.

Twitter: @Davis_Spenser

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