The Norman Transcript

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December 20, 2013

Hail the Sooner defense

(Continued)

NORMAN —

The shift to a 3-4 alignment was the grand experiment for this season. OU has been able to handle spread teams and be good enough against the run to feel like it has laid a foundation for the future and can now fully recruit to its needs.

“I didn’t know if we were going change anything at first. We went from one defense in the spring and switched in the fall. I really didn’t know where we were going, we just went with it. The spring was cool, and then we came up with a new one in the fall and we ran with it,” OU linebacker Eric Striker said. “We fit it well. I fit it well.”

The Sooners will lose some key pieces after the Sugar Bowl. Cornerback Aaron Colvin and safety Gabe Lynn are both seniors. OU would love to have linebacker Corey Nelson back next season, but his appeal for a fifth season is still a work in progress. But the rest will come back and should be better next season.

The Sooners had a defensive plan this season and have executed it.

“It’s been fun. I think the players like the newness and the variety. We’re not where we need to be. We know that,” Mike Stoops said “But their willingness to prepare, get better, work out of that … We’re all young and growing together … It’s validating.”

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com

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