The Norman Transcript

OU Football

September 26, 2013

Many reasons to play tough schedule

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Last season was a perfect example. OU had two weeks to prepare for its game with Kansas State and played its worst game of the regular season in a 24-19 loss the Wildcats.

On the other hand, the Sooners had two weeks to get ready for their game at Texas Tech two weeks later and rolled to a 41-20 victory. The win was the Sooners’ first in Lubbock, Texas, since 2003.

So, how did OU handle the extra time to prepare for the showdown with the Fighting Irish?

“We had one of, probably, the best bye weeks that I’ve been a part of as far as practice-wise went,” OU fullback Trey Millard said this week. “We had a lot of good on good (first team against first team), just knowing that the competition is going to be good again this weekend and we would have to come out and compete.”

One thing that has helped is getting safety Gabe Lynn healed up. He might not have been able to play against Notre Dame if he hadn’t had an extra week to allow a leg injury to heal.

Changing fronts? Will Oklahoma change from a three-man to a four-man defensive front against Notre Dame? It’s a valid question, but OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops wouldn’t give a straight answer this week.

“We can get in and out of a three- and four-man front. That’s not been a problem for us,” he said.

OU’s played, primarily, with three defensive linemen in the first three games. One reason for that is Louisiana-Monroe, West Virginia and Tulsa rarely used tight ends or had more than two running backs in the backfield.

Notre Dame employs more of a pro-style offense and typically uses at least one tight end on every snap. One way for OU to counteract a big offense is to put one more defensive lineman on the field.

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