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Quarterback Baker Mayfield returned to Oklahoma with one goal in mind — win a national championship. With a Saturday victory over TCU, the Sooners would take a huge step in achieving that dream. It’s obvious that as Mayfield goes, so goes OU. Mayfield sets the tone and also asked fans to do the same by challenging them to be loud during the prime-time showdown.

Can OU play strong defense from the start?

Oklahoma’s defense hasn’t given up more than 14 points in the second half in four consecutive games. But look at the points allowed during the first half of those games — Texas (10), Kansas State (21), Texas Tech (20) and Oklahoma State (38). Will the defense have a start-to-finish game, which would take pressure off an OU offense that’s already facing a tough task against the Big 12’s top defense?

Don’t get behind the chains

First down will be important for the Sooners. TCU’s defense is stingy on third down and only one team has reached 50 percent on third-down conversions against the Horned Frogs (Oklahoma State, 7-of-14). In the past four games, TCU opponents are just 11-of-61 (18 percent) on third-down. Plus, third-and-long could open up pressure on Mayfield. The Frogs lead the Big 12 with 28 sacks.

— Eric Bailey, Tulsa World

Eric Bailey

918-581-8391

eric.bailey@tulsaworld.com

Twitter: @ericbaileyTW

This article originally ran on tulsaworld.com.

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