The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

March 29, 2013

For now, Sooners content to stick with four down linemen

NORMAN — All that talk about Oklahoma switching to a 3-4 defensive alignment appears to be on hold.

“We’ve been playing a lot of 4-3,” OU defensive tackle Jordan Phillips said Wednesday. “We thought we were going to play 3-4, but we stayed with the 4-3.”

There was a lot of talk about switching after signing day. OU coach Bob Stoops said before spring practice that OU would experiment with multiple fronts in the spring.

Over the last few seasons, the Sooners have used three-man defensive lines on several occasions. In 2010 and 2011, they switched to almost exclusively against spread offenses. The move seemed more likely, considering OU’s depth issues at defensive tackle.

However, it’s not a move OU is ready to make.

“We want to be a four-down (front); that’s who we are,” defensive tackles coach Jerry Montgomery said.

One thing the Sooners have done to help out the defensive tackle spot is move Chuka Ndulue to tackle after spending the last two seasons at end.

“I like it. I like hitting people. Getting inside, the point of contact is a lot quicker,” Ndulue said. “Converting inside, I’m a little quicker, so I kind of enjoy that, too. I’ve got two things to hit them with while I’m in there, so it’s fun.”

Secondary help: Assistant coach Bobby Jack Wright is handling the cornerbacks after coaching the defensive ends for the previous seven seasons.

Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops, who now just handles the safeties as a position coach, believes being able to split up the secondary will help him as a coordinator.

“Well it helps me a great deal. Able to save a lot of time,” he said. “Bobby and I have been together, and he’s coached the secondary, so he knows exactly from a schematic, strategic position what we’re trying to do and understands it very well. It’s really helped. The continuity of our group is very good and able to split up with him. We’re able to cover a lot more with our players, able to cover a lot more ground, I am with the safeties and him with the corners. It just saves us a lot of time, too. It’s beneficial for the players.”

Text Only | Photo Reprints
OU Sports
  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • Red White Transfer QB Baker Mayfield shows promise in Red-White Game

    Individual awards were not handed out after Saturday’s Red-White Game. If they had, quarterback Baker Mayfield wouldn’t have left Owen Field empty handed. He only played against defensive backups, but going 9 for 9 for 125 yards and two ...

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • OU skipper looking for more firepower in the lineup

    What Oklahoma coach Pete Hughes did following the two-hour rain delay against Texas was telling. It didn’t pay off in the Sooners’ 8-1 loss that secured a series sweep for the Longhorns. But it declared where the Sooners are and that some ...

    April 15, 2014

Facebook