TCU coach Gary Patterson: I don’t play to lose
“We have been as good as anybody in the country the last three years of responding to the very few losses we’ve had,” Riley said in his postgame remarks. “We’ve got a track record right there that you could put up against any team in the country and that’s absolutely what we expect to do again.”
Oklahoma’s next opponent? TCU in Fort Worth on Oct. 20. And, as Riley noted, that’s not good news for the Frogs.
Ever since Riley joined the Oklahoma coaching staff in 2015 as offensive coordinator, it hasn’t lost consecutive games. More important, TCU has never beaten Oklahoma since Riley joined the Sooners staff.
OU lost to Texas in the Red River Showdown in Riley’s first season as OC (2015), but responded with a 55-0 victory over Kansas State the following week.
In 2016 with Riley still serving as the offensive coordinator, OU lost the season-opening game 33-23 against Houston. The following week the Sooners responded with a 59-17 victory over Louisiana-Monroe.
Oklahoma lost the following week to Ohio State, 45-24, but it got back on track in its next game with a 52-46 victory over TCU in Fort Worth. That 2016 season, much like this season, saw Oklahoma go into its TCU matchup following a bye week.
Last year, with Riley in his first as head coach, Oklahoma lost once in the regular season to Iowa State. The Sooners answered with a win over the Longhorns the following week.
Riley doesn’t expect that trend to stop this season.
“It’s going to take a lot of effort, a lot of hard work,” Riley said. “We’ve got to get better in a lot of areas, but we’ve got fight in that room. We’ve got a bunch of guys who are incredibly disappointed right now, but they will be ready to get back on the field here in a couple weeks against TCU.”
For TCU, it’s focused on Texas Tech for now. The Frogs and Red Raiders have a matchup on Thursday night this week. The Thursday game will at least give TCU an extended break going into the Oklahoma game.
But, as stated, the Frogs haven’t fared well against the Sooners since Riley has been on staff. OU has won four straight over TCU, including two wins last year in the regular season and Big 12 title game by a combined score of 79-37.
But it’s a new year and the Sooners’ flaws came to light against the Longhorns on Saturday, particularly on defense. Texas gained 501 total yards on offense, averaging 4.7 yards a carry and 12.5 yards per completion.
“We didn’t tackle well,” Riley said. “We missed too many big tackles in the open field. I didn’t think we covered great. We had a few too many guys just getting beat to the ball in a couple situations and the glaring thing was the third and longs that we gave up.”
With that being said, OU also showed resiliency in making a late comeback. This is a team that trailed 45-24 with less than nine minutes left and ended up tying it and forcing Texas to make a game-winning field goal.
Despite the loss, that’s positive momentum for Oklahoma going into its off week.
“A lot of times, teams, when they’re down 21 in an atmosphere like this are incredibly disappointed and some teams pack it up right there,” Riley said. “We’ve all got to own it and I have confidence in every person in that room.”