OU reaches 10 wins in rout out of TCU; Big 12 title game hopes alive

OU reaches 10 wins in rout out of TCU; Big 12 title game hopes alive

Oklahoma closed Big 12 play with a proper Big 12 shootout, topping TCU 69-45. Now, the Sooners wait for results around the league to learn their fate.

Eli Lederman

By Eli Lederman

| Nov 24, 2023, 4:09pm CST

Eli Lederman

By Eli Lederman

Nov 24, 2023, 4:09pm CST

NORMAN — Oklahoma closed its 2023 regular season with a 69-45 win over TCU Friday afternoon on Owen Field. The victory takes the 13th-ranked Sooners to 10 wins in Year 2 under Brent Venables and sends OU into the weekend still in contention for a spot in the Dec. 2 Big 12 title game. 

Here’s everything you need to know:

  • Dillon Gabriel was back under center six days after a concussion pulled him from the second half of the Sooners’ 31-24 win at BYU. The fifth-year passer went through senior day festivities, then went 24-for-38 for 400 yards, passing three touchdowns with another on the ground in his 24th career start at OU.
  • Gabriel’s aerial success was the foundation for the Sooners’ second-highest-scoring game of the Big 12 era, trailing only a 77-0 win over Texas A&M in 2003.
  • Drake Stoops matched a career-high with 12 catches that went for 125 yards and a third-quarter touchdown. Nic Anderson (four catches, 97 yards), Jayden Gibson (two catches, 76 yards) and Brenen Thompson (53-yard touchdown) logged standout performances as Gabriel’s primary downfield targets. 
  • Gavin Sawchuk accounted for 130 of the Sooners’ 207 rushing yards on 22 carries to notch his fourth consecutive 100-plus yard rushing performance. 
  • Friday’s win clinched OU’s  700th win in the modern era (since 1946) and secured the program its 59th unbeaten home season with six wins in six games on Owen Field in 2023. The Sooners last went unbeaten at home in 2021 and have achieved that mark 16 times in the last 25 seasons. 
  • Less than a year after a 6-7 finish in 2022, the Sooners secured win No. 10 in the regular season finale of Brent Venables’ second campaign in charge. Venables is the sixth OU coach since 1947 to win 10 within his first two seasons, joining Bud Wilkinson, Chuck Fairbanks, Barry Switzer, Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley.  
  • The Sooners remain in contention for a spot in next Saturday’s conference title game but will need plenty of help to get there. 
  • If Texas tops Texas Tech in Austin Friday night and Oklahoma State gets a win over BYU Saturday afternoon in Stillwater, it will be the Longhorns and Cowboys at AT&T Stadium next weekend.
  • OU’s best path toward sneaking into the title game starts with a Texas win (6:30, ABC). If the Longhorns clinch the top seed Friday night, OU can secure a spot in Arlington with an OSU loss to BYU on Saturday.
  • If Texas loses Friday, the scenarios get tricky, so much so that the Big 12 isn’t expected to release a breakdown of the possibilities until the end of play Friday. Berry Tramel did his best to cover it all earlier this week.
  • If the Sooners miss out on a trip to the Big 12 title game, OU will learn its bowl goal destination on Dec. 3.

 

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Eli Lederman reports on the University of Oklahoma for Sellout Crowd. He began his professional career covering the University of Missouri with the Columbia Missourian and later worked at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette before two years writing on the Sooners and Cowboys at the Tulsa World. Born and raised in Mamaroneck, New York, Lederman grew up a rabid consumer of the New York sports pages and an avid fan of the New York Mets. He entered sportswriting at 14 years old and later graduated from the University of Missouri. Away from the keyboard, he can usually be found exploring the Oklahoma City food scene or watching/playing fútbol (read: soccer). He can be reached at [email protected].

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