The Norman Transcript

OU Football

September 11, 2013

Improved communication, attitude redefining OU’s defense

NORMAN — There was no sense of denial with Oklahoma’s secondary following the 2012 season. The Sooner defensive backs knew there were problems that had to be fixed.

Physical issues could be handled in individual offseason workouts, but other matters took more of a collective effort.

Mainly, it was the collective effort that had to change.

“Quite frankly, we were soft last year,” OU safety Gabe Lynn said.

The senior, who was named the Big 12’s defensive player of the week after coming up with two turnovers in the 16-7 victory of West Virginia, didn’t mean the Sooners were weak physically. He described a defense that was just trying to get through games instead of win every snap.

Playing defense at the major college level requires much more than 11 really good athletes. It’s a unit that requires all 11 doing something that makes the sum bigger than the parts.

OU struggled to do that because of constant communication breakdowns.

“Last year we gave a lot of plays away just off of mental busts and relaying the wrong call to somebody,” nickelback Julian Wilson said.

Those busts creates easy plays for offenses. Receivers run around uncovered and running backs find gaping holes because of them.

Through two games, the 14th-ranked Sooners (2-0, 1-0 Big 12) have been much better in that area.

“It’s a big part of our defense. You have to communicate on any level,” OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “You saw the other night, I knew there would be a lot of movement in the game. There was movement on every play. They were moving a back out. They were moving a receiver across. Our rotations and communication as a secondary, I think we hit every one but maybe one out of 50 motions. We missed one or two, I think, out of the 45-whatever motions they had. Those were always a good sign as well.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
OU Football
  • Commish forecasts end of college sports as we know them

    You really have to read everything Bob Bowlsby said Monday, because kicking off Big 12 Football Media Days, all the conference commissioner did was not only predict the end of college sports as we know them, but explain with fairly ...

    July 22, 2014

  • Big 12 Media Days Football Most Big 12 squads won’t shy from tough non-conference

    DALLAS — Never have the words “Final Four” been used so often at a football media gathering. Monday at Big 12 Football Media Days, the College Football Playoff was the hot topic. On Dec. 7, the 12-member panel will announce the best four ...

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bowlsby:Changes come with a price

    DALLAS — Big 12 Conference Commissioner Bob Bowlsby spoke in a reserved tone Monday. But what he said to begin the Big 12 Football Media Days news conference painted a bleak future for college athletics....

    July 22, 2014

  • Outlook good for Sooners, but plenty of unanswered questions

    The Big 12 Conference Media Days start Monday morning at the Dallas Omni Hotel. The two day event will elicit far more questions than answers. The season provides more conclusive results than the late July outlooks from coaches and ...

    July 20, 2014

  • Four Sooners named to preseason All-Big 12 team

    The Big 12 Conference announced its preseason All-Big 12 football team Wednesday morning. Four Oklahoma players were named to the unit. On the offense, right tackle Daryl Williams and kicker Michael Hunnicutt were first-team selections....

    July 17, 2014

  • Oklahoma hires Drew Hill as director of player personnel

    The final piece of Oklahoma’s staff was added Tuesday with the hiring of Drew Hill as director of player personnel....

    July 16, 2014

  • OU v ISU 4 Average Owen Field ticket running $150; Red River Rivalry much more

    Starting the season as a national championship contender makes season tickets a better investment for Oklahoma fans....

    July 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU quartet on preseason watch lists

    The initial individual watch lists for the 2014 college football season started rolling out Monday. The first two out of the chute where the Bednarik Award (defensive player of the year) and Maxwell (offensive player of the year)....

    July 8, 2014

  • Green-Beckham lands in Norman

    Oklahoma signed former Missouri wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham several hours after he visited OU’s campus Thursday. Per the school, the former five-star recruit will sit out this coming season and be eligible to play in 2015....

    July 4, 2014

  • ouuniforms Sooners’ new threads a blast from the past

    Oklahoma is joining the alternate uniform craze. Tuesday afternoon, the school announced two alternative uniforms and helmets for the upcoming season....

    July 2, 2014 1 Photo