The Norman Transcript

September 5, 2013

Sooners elated they won't see Tavon Austin again

Inability to adjust led to OU's nightmarish performance in last meeting with West Virginia

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s defense experienced a nightmare in its last meeting with West Virginia. The 778 yards it allowed that night was school record for defensive futility. The only saving grace was the Sooners won the game, 50-49.

What’s surprising is OU coach Bob Stoops did not go crazy on his defensive staff over the performance.

“None whatsoever,” Stoops said Wednesday. “First of all, you have to understand I'm part of the plan. I agree to the plan. I'm in meetings watching it and know what's on the field.”

OU maintains what threw them for a loop was West Virginia playing former wide receiver Tavon Austin at running back. It hadn’t done in its previous nine games. Stoops said the fatal flaw in the plan was the inability to react to what the Mountaineers did with Austin.

“He was a problem. Everyone else wasn't a problem. Therein lies our problem, what they did with him that day, which was different,” he said. “We didn't change up. We had our plan in and we needed to do some things to stop the run with him.”

OU won’t have to deal with Austin when the teams meet at 6 p.m. Saturday at Owen Field. Austin will make his NFL debut Sunday with the St. Louis Rams.