The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

October 2, 2013

Retooled Sooner defense showing promising results

NORMAN — There were many changes made to Oklahoma’s defense since the 2012 season ended. The motivating factor was the unit’s inability to match up with the best of the Big 12 Conference’s offenses.

The goals going into 2013 were simple: get more pressure on the quarterback and get more speed on the field.

Through the first four games, the 11th-ranked Sooners appear to have accomplished both.

“We’re getting pressure and last year we weren’t getting good pressure,” safety Gabe Lynn said. “When you get pressure, it changes everything — especially with all the spread teams you play in the Big 12. You have to get pressure. There are also a lot of fast guys out there, so the speed of the defense is helping.”

Both were displayed in last week’s 35-21 victory over Notre Dame. Speedy linebacker Eric Striker blitzed off the edge and forced a wobbly throw from quarterback Tommy Rees. Linebacker Corey Nelson returned it for a touchdown. It was one of the signature plays from that game.

But the defensive

alterations the Sooners made were not specifically meant to combat a team like Notre Dame. Outside of giving up 220 rushing yards, they did remarkable well.

“So far, it has been good,” OU coach Bob Stoops said. “A lot of the changes were primarily because of what we see in our league with the spread out formations. To this point, I’ve liked what I’ve seen. We have more diversity and more speed on the field, more diversity to blitz, pressure and all those things and different ways to cover to the speed that’s all over the field.”

The changes were tailored to what OU will face in the Big 12. A string of eight straight games against conference foes begins at 6 p.m. Saturday when OU (4-0, 1-0 Big 12) faces TCU (2-2, 1-0) at Owen Field.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
OU Sports
  • _Y_R3186 Sooners succumb to Longhorns in run-rule shutout

    Oklahoma had its chances. The Sooners put eight runners on base Friday night against Texas, several times with no outs. And stranded every one of them....

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU draws even in rout of West Virginia

    As Oklahoma’s players jogged back to the dugout following the top of the first inning against West Virginia, no one appeared overly excited. It was the classic case of masking the emotions....

    April 19, 2014

  • OU V Texas Casey sparks Sooners at the plate against Longhorns

    Oklahoma put runners in scoring position all night, but midway through Thursday’s series opener against Texas, the Sooners couldn’t do much with them. Heading into the bottom of the fifth, they had stranded a handful of runners, including ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Offense disappears in shutout loss to Mountaineers

    Everything Oklahoma did Thursday night looked rushed. It fell behind quickly, hacked at pitches early in counts and even recorded outs in a time-efficient manner....

    April 18, 2014

  • OU womens gym Sooners eager for title shot

    After fighting all season long to stay near the top of the women’s gymnastics rankings, the time has come for Oklahoma to show it belongs there. The NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships kick-off at 1 p.m. today and the second ranked ...

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Shannon won’t face criminal charges

    Oklahoma linebacker Frank Shannon will not face criminal charges for an alleged sexual assault. Any punishment he receives will be through the University....

    April 18, 2014

  • Much riding on Red River rivalry series

    Coach Patty Gasso said before last weekend’s road trip to Baylor that the Big 12 championship would run through Waco. The Sooners took care of that, taking two of three from the Bears to take control of the title race....

    April 17, 2014

  • Sooners hoping to keep momentum of marathon victory

    Practice was brief Wednesday afternoon at L. Dale Mitchell Park. Rest was more important than work after what Oklahoma had gone through the previous night....

    April 17, 2014

  • OU’s Hornbeak to transfer

    In a surprising decision, sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak informed Oklahoma’s coaching staff on Tuesday he will transfer at the end of the spring semester....

    April 16, 2014

  • BedlamBaseball2 Sooners prevail in 18-inning Bedlam showdown

    STILLWATER — Oklahoma hoped a little more pop in the lineup would serve as an energy injection....

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

Facebook