QB Dillon Gabriel Knocked Out After Late Hit As TCU Beats Oklahoma

By Terrance Turner

Oct. 1, 2022

FORT WORTH, TX – OCTOBER 01: Coaches surround quarterback Dillon Gabriel #8 of the Oklahoma Sooners as he lies on the field after taking a hit from linebacker Jamoi Hodge #6 of the TCU Horned Frogs in the second quarter at Amon G. Carter Stadium on October 1, 2022 in Fort Worth, Texas. Hodge was disqualified from the game. (Photo by Emil Lippe/Getty Images)

Today, the undefeated TCU Horned Frogs faced the Oklahoma Sooners in Amon G. Carter Stadium in Fort Worth. TCU ran over Oklahoma in the first half, outscoring them 27-10 in the first quarter alone. But the reastory of the game wasn’t the touchdowns or TCU’s high-powered offense — it was the injuries. At least two players suffered major head/neck injuries during the game, leading to lengthy play stoppages and medical timeouts.

In the second quarter, Oklahoma QB Dillon Gabriel had to leave the game after a brutal hit left him lifeless on the field. With nine minutes left in the half, Oklahoma was down 34-10. Gabriel took off running and got laid out by TCU linebacker Jamoi Hodge. As Gabriel tried to slide to a stop, Hodge launched at him and hit him on the way down. Gabriel’s head hit the ground. He lay lifeless on the field for several minutes after the play.

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The hit is especially hard to watch after the brutal hit on Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa in Thursday night’s game against the Bengals. For the second time in four days, a quarterback got taken out the game by head trauma. Thankfully, Gabriel eventually got up and walked off the field. But he later headed to the locker room, exiting before halftime. According to ESPN, Gabriel was replaced by Davis Beville, a 6-foot-6, 235-pound junior who transferred from Pitt this offseason. Hodge got flagged for targeting and was ejected.

Two plays later, the Sooners scored on a 20-yard run by Jovantae Barnes to cut the lead to 34-17. The Horned Frogs took possession. But their drive was foiled by another major hit. TCU QB Max Duggard threw to wide receiver Geor’Quarius Spivey, but defensive back Trey Morrison broke up the pass. Morrison hit Spivey in mid-air; Spivey crumpled to the ground and was slow getting up.

Morrison’s play was clear pass interference. And ABC commentators alleged that Morrison was also guilty of targeting, pointing out that Spivey qualified as a defenseless receiver. But the referees missed the call — all three of them, actually. None of the refs threw flags for interference, targeting, or hitting a defenseless receiver. TCU’s coach was irate. The crowd booed in outrage. And Twitter users noticed the fouls, too:

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Thanks largely to the missed call, TCU turned the ball over on downs. But on their next possession, the Horned Frogs scored big. Duggan found a wide-open tight end Gunnar Henderson, who ran free into the end zone for a 62-yard touchdown.

Henderson’s touchdown put TCU ahead 41-17 at halftime. Then running back Kendre Miller ran 69 yards for a touchdown to put TCU up 48-17 early in the second half. He finished with 136 yards and two touchdowns on 13 carries. And Duggan added a rushing touchdown of his own in the fourth quarter.

But play soon had to stop for another injury. Oklahoma safety Damond Harmon hurt his neck on a play in the fourth quarter. According to Sports Illustrated, Harmon’s head snapped back following a hit. He was immobilized, lying on the ground for up to 15 minutes afterward. He had to be placed on a stretcher and carted off.

Thankfully, Harmon was able to move his arms and legs (he reportedly flashed a thumbs-up as he left the field). Harmon’s been transferred to a local hospital in Fort Worth. TCU won 55-24. But, significantly, TCU coach Sonny Dykes started the presser by saying he hopes Gabriel and Harmon are OK.

And so do we.

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