NORMAN — There was a lot of uncertainty surrounding Oklahoma’s game with Kansas State last Saturday. Most was focused on the quarterback spot. But Trevor Knight practiced all week, so the Sooners knew what they had there.
Cornerback Aaron Colvin didn’t practice in the days leading up to the game. His right shoulder was too vulnerable. The plan was to use him in only in likely passing situations, if at all.
An audible was called after Kansas State wide receiver Tyler Lockett started getting behind OU’s secondary on a regular basis.
“Something needed to be done to stop the bleeding,” Colvin said.
The change was Colvin playing the rest of the game with that fragile shoulder. It was risky, but it was a gamble Colvin and the Sooners felt had to be taken.
It worked. OU matched him up with Lockett as often as possible in the 41-31 victory. The Wildcats’ big plays in the passing game ceased. Colvin managed to hold up until midway through the fourth quarter.
There’s no doubt the defense is different when Colvin is on the field. There’s the option of sticking him on an opponent’s top receiver or leaving him isolated on one side and shifting coverage to the other.
“Aaron gives us confidence and he gives us some stability in the secondary,” defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “We don’t have a lot of experience back there but when he’s back there he seems to settle everyone down and he gives us an outstanding cover guy. You’re trading up a top level NFL guy for somebody that hasn’t played much. So that’s pretty evident what you’re losing.”
Colvin has battled the shoulder injury all season. He did not play in the Iowa State game because of it. If he’s on the field when the 20th-ranked Sooners (9-2, 6-2 Big 12) face No. 7 Oklahoma State (10-1, 7-1) Dec. 7, it will be under the same circumstances.