Stopping the run vital to Oklahoma’s success vs. TCU

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After facing Deuce Vaughn two weeks ago and Bijan Robinson last week, the Oklahoma Sooners will face another tough test with Zach Evans coming to Norman this evening.

Evans, the lead running back for TCU, and Kendre Miller lead the Horned Frogs offense and will be the focus of defensive coordinator Alex Grinch’s gameplan.

Last week, the Horned Frogs racked up nearly 400 yards rushing en route to a blow out win in Lubbock. Stopping the run will be crucial if the Oklahoma Sooners hope to improve to 7-0 on the season.

It all starts up front for the Sooners who will rely on Perrion Winfrey, Isaiah Coe, and Jordan Kelley. With Jalen Redmond still on the sidelines, this trio must continue to be strong up front, helping the Sooners linebacker corps stay clean and have a chance to run.

They’ve got to win their matchups inside and get penetration. If they can get into the backfield or at least keep the offensive line from getting to the linebackers at the second level, it will go a long way to slowing the Horned Frogs rushing attack.

Tackling will be a key at every level as that’s been a problem for much of this season. In order to limit the missed tackles, the Sooners need to get guys to the ball carrier in bunches. Much like the last two weeks, it won’t be enough to get one defender to the running back. The Sooners need to tackle as a team in order to limit the impact that Zach Evans and Kendre Miller have on the outcome of this game.

TCU showed last week that they’re more than happy to run the ball and keep it out of Max Duggan’s hands if they can. The Sooners can’t allow the TCU ground attack to dictate the flow of the football game.

The Oklahoma Sooners rank eighth in the country at stopping the run. They’ve been up for every challenge they’ve faced in 2021.

After a rough first half against Bijan Robinson and the Texas offense, they bounced back and held Robinson and the Texas offense in check as they rallied to overcome an 18 point halftime deficit.

With another tough test ahead, hopefully their second half performance from a week ago can be the catalyst for this week’s outcome. For the Sooners to win the game, it’ll start with controlling the TCU Horned Frogs rushing attack.