The Norman Transcript

OU Sports

December 1, 2010

Sooner defense has to be ready for anything when facing the Cornhuskers

NORMAN — After 12 games a defense should be used to a few things. There’s usually some carryover from game to game. What worked against one is likely to work against another similar team.

Oklahoma showed this in its defensive performances against Texas Tech, Baylor and Oklahoma State. The personnel changed, but the styles of all three were cut from the same cloth.

But all that work goes right out the window as the ninth-ranked Sooners (10-2) prepare to face No. 13 Nebraska (10-2) in the Big 12 title game Saturday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The Huskers aren’t just cut from a different cloth than OU’s last three opponents — it’s an entirely different fabric.

“It’s a very physical offense,” OU defensive coordinator Brent Venables said Tuesday night. “It’s a different type of offense.”

Most Big 12 teams rely on getting speedy backs and receivers in open spaces with chances for big plays. There’s lots of short passes and making defensive backs miss tackles means big plays.

Nebraska has speedy backs and receivers, but its modus operandi for getting the ball into the end zone is designed to leave a trail of mangled defensive linemen and linebackers in its wake.

The Huskers lead the Big 12 in rushing this season by 758 yards. In contrast, they finished last in passing yards and were one of only two teams that didn’t throw for at least 2,000 this season.

“They want to be physical running the ball. That’s what we like,” OU defensive end Jeremy Beal said.

The Sooners have faced and had success against offenses like this before. Last year in Lincoln, OU lost 10-3, but only gave up 180 yards. Stanford employed a similar style in the 2009 Sun Bowl. The Sooners only gave 262 yards in that 31-27 victory.

But the Huskers are certainly better than last year and better than a Stanford team that was without its starting quarterback.

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

  • 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

  • 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