The Norman Transcript

October 22, 2013

Out of position

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma went back to the drawing board Monday, trying to correct its defensive alignment issues. Getting the defensive line and the linebackers in the right spots before the snap was a problem early in last week’s game at Kansas.

“I’m not gonna sit here and point fingers but there’s a good bit of the alignments that we worked. We have to be able to recognize it and react properly on the field,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “We’re working hard on it, but obviously we have to keep doing it. It shouldn’t take a quarter and a half to figure it out. We’ll keep pushing it.”

One change that appears to be coming in that regard is with the defensive line. Nose guard Jordan Wade said the defensive line is going to start getting their calls from the sideline instead of waiting for them to relayed by the linebackers.

“All we need to do is look over to the sideline and get our calls. We know what we’re doing,” Wade said. “(Defensive line coach Jerry) Montgomery just talked to us. We need to know what we’re doing as a defensive line, so we don’t have to worry about getting the calls from the linebackers.”

Injury update: Oklahoma safety Julian Wilson is expected to play Saturday when the Sooners face No. 10 Texas Tech at Owen Field.

“He was much better Sunday, so they’re anticipating him being fine and should practice tomorrow,” OU Stoops said during Monday’s Big 12 coaches’ teleconference.

Wilson suffered a shoulder injury in the first half of OU’s 34-19 victory over Kansas. The junior has a team-high two interceptions to go along with three pass breakups.

The 17th-ranked Sooners (6-1, 3-1 Big 12) will need all the secondary help it can muster Saturday. The Red Raiders (7-0, 4-0) average 416.4 passing yards a game.

Stoops said Monday he wasn’t sure about the status of left guard Adam Shead. He also left the game with an injured shoulder and did not return.

Plea for noise: One of the most memorable games of the Stoops era was OU’s 65-21 victory over Texas Tech in 2008. That game featured two top five teams and an electric crowd at Owen Field.

Stoops would love to see that kind of energy again Saturday.

“It’d be awesome if we could recreate that atmosphere, and everybody jump in and do their best to try to affect the game, and, you know, build some excitement and all,” Stoops said.

One thing that helped get Sooner fans enthused that day was the 28-0 lead OU built by the second quarter.

“We’ve got to do our part. It’s a lot easier to be excited when you’re playing well. We’ve got to hopefully give them some things to cheer about and jump in the game,” Stoops said.

No issue: Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and defensive line coach Jerry Montgomery appeared to get into a heated sideline discussion during the Kansas game.

“That’s pretty standard around here. That happens,” Mike Stoops said. “We don’t consider it anything out of the ordinary. We were just sliding our defense one way and were just trying to get it straightened out.”

OU coach Bob Stoops was also part of the sideline discussion, but he was mum about that manner Monday.

“I said a lot, but I’m not gonna sit here and detail it for you,” he said.

Montgomery typically isn’t available to reporters.

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com