Soon­ers im­pres­sive in win over Frogs

The Oklahoman (Sunday) - - SPORTS - Brooke Pryor bpryor@ ok­la­homan.com

Rod­ney An­der­son and Baker May­field led No. 5 Ok­la­homa to a blowout win of No. 6 TCU in Nor­man. An­der­son had 290 all-pur­pose yards and four touch­downs.

NOR­MAN — Rod­ney An­der­son popped up from the crim­son-painted turf, football in hand.

As the roar of 88,308 es­ca­lated to a fever pitch, An­der­son spiked the ball on the white block H in the end zone, fac­ing the field as quar­ter­back Baker May­field sprinted to­ward his fa­vorite weapon, arms flail­ing.

An­der­son had just capped May­field’s strike down the mid­dle with his fourth trip into the end zone, us­ing the body of a TCU de­fender to keep his knee from graz­ing the turf as he dove.

The spike was the ex­cla­ma­tion point on the play and on An­der­son’s firsthalf the­atrics.

With four scores be­fore half­time of No. 5 OU’s 38-20 win against No. 6 TCU, An­der­son didn’t just dis­pel any ounce of lin­ger­ing doubt about his abil­ity — he blew the doors off it.

May­field said he wanted a new-era “Jump Around” game. What he got was the Rod­ney An­der­son game.

An­der­son, once all-but-for­got­ten in the run­ning back ro­ta­tion, made sure ev­ery­one gath­ered at Owen Field on Satur­day night would re­mem­ber him with a four-touch­down, 290yard per­for­mance.

TCU (8-2, 5-2 Big 12) came into Ok­la­homa Memorial Stadium with the na­tion’s best rush­ing de­fense, smoth­er­ing ev­ery op­po­nent be­fore the Soon­ers (9-1, 6-1) to just 69.7 rush­ing yards per game.

In the three games lead­ing up to the tan­gle in Nor­man, TCU lim­ited op­po­nents to 12.3 rush­ing yards per game.

That’s not a typo, that’s just a tes­ta­ment to the tal­ent of TCU’s de­fense.

But none of that mat­tered to An­der­son, who sliced up TCU for 80 yards by the time he scored a 24-yard touch­down early in the sec­ond quar­ter.

When half­time rolled around, An­der­son had 206 to­tal yards of of­fense.

Bol­stered by a strong per­for­mance from the Soon­ers’ of­fen­sive line, An­der­son burst through gi­ant holes in TCU’s de­fense and av­er­aged 10 yards per play.

He was a Swiss Army knife threat, fill­ing a role oc­cu­pied by Joe Mixon for most of the 2016 cam­paign. For the first time in his ca­reer, An­der­son fin­ished with more than 100 yards re­ceiv­ing and rush­ing, notch­ing 139 and 151, re­spec­tively.

Since scor­ing a touch­down against Texas, the red­shirt sopho­more has one-upped him­self each week.

There was the game-win­ning touch­down against Kansas State to go with 177 yards and an­other score. Then, 181 yards against Texas Tech and a touch­down. In Still­wa­ter, two touch­downs and 159 yards.

And it wasn’t just what he could do on the field.

After his Kansas State hero­ics, An­der­son pulled off an­other super hero move, leap­ing out of a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pool in the Switzer Cen­ter and onto the deck, no hands re­quired.

Ev­ery week, a high­light more ridicu­lous than the week be­fore, all from a guy who missed two years of football thanks to cat­a­strophic freak in­juries.

Say­ing An­der­son is back wouldn’t be ac­cu­rate be­cause he never had an op­por­tu­nity to get started.

But after Satur­day night, this much is cer­tain: Rod­ney An­der­son has ar­rived.

[PHOTO BY STEVE SISNEY, THE OK­LA­HOMAN]

Ok­la­homa’s Grant Cal­caterra scores on a Baker May­field pass dur­ing the first quar­ter of the Soon­ers’ game vs. TCU on Satur­day in Nor­man.

[PHOTO BY BRYAN TERRY, THE OK­LA­HOMAN]

Ok­la­homa’s Rod­ney An­der­son runs through TCU’s Rid­wan Is­sa­haku (31) and Markell Sim­mons for one of his four touch­downs Satur­day dur­ing a 38-20 win in Nor­man.

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