The Oklahoma Sooners face what could be their toughest test of the young season on Saturday when they travel south to play the TCU Horned Frogs. Oklahoma's looked strong so far in 2014 behind a potent offense led by Trevor Knight, but the TCU defense is playing nasty and only allowing seven points per game.
The Sooners entered 2014 with a lot of hype as a potential College Football Playoff team, and they've looked the part so far. Knight has not been as prolific as anticipated (four touchdowns to three interceptions in four games), but the running game has hit another level. Samaje Perine, Keith Ford and Alex Ross are all rushing for at least 5.7 yards per carry, and have combined for 13 touchdowns thus far. Ford, however, is expected to miss this game.
TCU, meanwhile, looks like a team that's finally growing into itself as a Big 12 team. The Frogs were a power in the Mountain West, but have taken time to acclimate to life in a power conference. The defense is leading the way so far, and has accumulated a staggering 13 sacks in three games, as well as 10 total turnovers.
The defense will have its hands full with the Sooner offense, but the real key to the game may rest with quarterback Trevone Boykin. Boykin seems to have matured into the position in 2014, upping his completion percentage to over 64 percent and cutting down his turnovers, which were a huge issue in the past. He's thrown eight touchdowns to only one interception, and he'll need to keep that ratio intact to keep up with the Sooners.
How to watch, listen, and stream
Game time: 3:30 p.m ET
TV: Fox (Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Molly McGrath)
Online streaming: Fox Sports Go
Rankings and records: Oklahoma enters the game 4-0, and is ranked third in the USA Today Coaches Poll and fourth in the AP Top 25. TCU enters the rankings at 25th in both polls, and is 3-0 on the season.
Vegas: The Sooners opened as 5-point favorites, and are holding steady at that line at most sportsbooks. The over/under is 56.5.
Weather forecast: It should be sunny and in the low 80s.
Two things at stake
Oklahoma needs to just keep winning to stay on course for a spot in the College Football Playoff. The Sooners could potentially still get in with one loss, but they would be taking their destiny out of their hands by doing so. If they keep winning, they should be there.
For TCU, this is its shot to show the nation that the team is back after a few down years. The Frogs are only four years removed from winning the Rose Bowl, but their transition into life in the Big 12 has taken them off the national radar somewhat. A win at home over Oklahoma would serve notice to the rest of the conference, and to the country, that this is not a team to be trifled with.
One big matchup
Oklahoma RB Samaje Perine vs. the TCU front seven: Perine is a true freshman from Pflugerville (Texas), but has run like a cannonball covered with sharp cutlery so far. He introduced himself to the country against West Virginia, gashing an improved Mountaineer defense for 242 yards and four touchdowns on 34 carries. He'll face a much tougher challenge against a TCU front seven that is allowing only 2.1 yards per carry this year. If he can eat up yards and keep the offense on track, it will go a long way to securing the game for the Sooners.