OU defense with historic first half

OU linebacker Frank Shannon

You couldn't have scripted a better first half by OU's defense in a 20-17 victory against TCU.

NORMAN, Okla. – The Oklahoma defense once again answered the bell this season. Against TCU, the 11th-ranked Sooners held the Horned Frogs to 210 total yards.

But the first half is going to be something everybody remembers in OU's 20-17 victory against visiting TCU on Saturday night.

Halftime stats for TCU: 18 plays, 16 yards, no first downs.

"I don't think that's happened with anyone I've been a part of," OU coach Bob Stoops said. "They played sensational. The guys were aggressive, fast, played the run, the played the pass really well."

OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops disguised the defense all night, showing different blitz packages and utilizing different pre-snap movement to keep TCU off guard throughout the night.

TCU had six possessions in the first half. All went three and out with minus-1 rushing yard and 17 passing yards.

"We take pride in our defense," linebacker Eric Striker said. "Tonight I was one-on-one with the tackle a lot. I didn't get chipped, and I was able to get back there a lot."

Striker was only credited with two tackles, but he was seemingly in the face of TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin throughout the night.

The Horned Frogs finally broke through, earning their initial first down with eight minutes left in the third quarter.

"I've never been a part of anything like that," defensive lineman Chuka Ndulue said. "I haven't played football as long as some of these guys but that was special."

Defensive end Charles Tapper continued his stellar sophomore season, registering five tackles and two sacks and showed his quickness in tracking down Boykin on a sack in the first half.

One thing OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops pointed out after the game was it's tough to single out any one player or unit right now. A lot of players are playing well for the Sooners.

Redshirt freshman cornerback Zack Sanchez followed an outstanding game at Notre Dame with four pass breakups.

The defense had reason to stumble. Defensive tackle Jordan Phillips was not suited for the game, out with a leg injury. During the third quarter senior captain linebacker Corey Nelson injured his right shoulder and didn't return.

But you never could tell with the way the Sooners found the answers.

"One person goes down, next person has got to come up," Striker said. "I thought Dominique (Alexander) did a great job."

Defensive tackles Jordan Wade and Torrea Peterson each had two stops replacing Phillips, while Chuka Ndulue returned to the starting lineup with six tackles. Linebacker Frank Shannon led the team with seven tackles.

The Sooners had a season-high four sacks and seven tackles for loss in the game.

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