The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 6, 2013

Sooners have to get better up front for future success

(Continued)

ARLINGTON, Texas —

“We’ve just been kind of a group up front. We haven’t had a Tommie Harris, a Dan Cody-type of player up front,” he said. “It’s probably why we’re not like we were in some of the years we really excelled. Up front is a big part of the game.”

One of the calling cards of OU’s great defenses has been dominant defensive linemen. This season, the Sooners didn’t have a first-team All-Big 12 defensive lineman for the first time since 1999.

What should scare OU fans is that with the exception of Ndulue, the defensive linemen used most of the season were seniors. If OU had better options, they would have been on the field.

OU got away with it in the first half of the season. By November, teams figured out spreading out the Sooners and running the ball was something they couldn’t handle.

“People started picking up on what we were doing. I think one thing was when we first came into the season a lot of people weren’t ready for what we were running,” said safety Javon Harris, who had one of OU’s few Cotton Bowl highlights with a second quarter interception. “We ran a lot man (coverage). A lot of teams just spread us out. When we started facing running quarterbacks, you have to account for them … Once you start spreading out, there’s a lot of gaps open, a lot of lanes open.”

The Sooners have the offseason to try to correct the problem. Perhaps an influx of defensive talent will arrive next month on signing day.

If it doesn’t, OU’s defense will get exposed like it did throughout the final month of the regular season and Friday night.

John ShinnFollow me @john_shinnjshinn@normantranscript.com

 

For local news and more, subscribe to The Norman Transcript Smart Edition, or our print edition.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing Jeff Gordon wins at Indianapolis for record fifth time

    INDIANAPOLIS — With a tinge of gray hair at his temples, his hat on backward and his two young children by his side, Jeff Gordon celebrated as if he was 23 years old again. Gordon won a NASCAR-record fifth Brickyard 400 on Sunday, eight ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Zac Selmon joins UNC as associate AD

    Zac Selmon, an associate director of athletic development with the Sooner Club since 2012, has been hired by North Carolina as an associate athletic director and special assistant to Tar Heel athletics director Bubba Cunningham....

    July 28, 2014

  • Italy’s Nibali cruises to Tour victory

    PARIS — Vincenzo Nibali put his lungs and legs to work one last time, marching up to the winner’s podium of the Tour de France and sighing deeply before the Italian anthem echoed over the Champs-Elysees....

    July 28, 2014

  • Scott says he will coach Lakers

    LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles Lakers have waited nearly three months to hire a new coach, and they’re apparently making Byron Scott wait a few more days....

    July 28, 2014

  • BoSox snap Rays’ streak

    ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — David Ortiz hit a three-run homer, and the Boston Red Sox beat Tampa Bay 3-2 Sunday to end a five-game losing streak and stop the Rays’ longest winning streak in 10 years at nine games....

    July 28, 2014

  • The Big Hurt and Joe Torre headline Hall of Fame class

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy. Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats....

    July 28, 2014

  • Telling The Boss, sorry

    COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Before he answered a question at the press conference following the Baseball Hall of Fame’s induction ceremony on Sunday, Joe Torre wanted to address someone he regrettably omitted from his speech....

    July 28, 2014

  • Wainwright bounces back to beat Cubs

    CHICAGO — When St. Louis Cardinals Mike Matheny visited the mound with two out and two on in the seventh inning on Sunday, he had no idea whether he was going to replace starter Adam Wainwright....

    July 28, 2014

  • A’s rout Rangers

    ARLINGTON, Texas — John Jaso drove in three runs, helping Scott Kazmir and the Oakland Athletics beat the Texas Rangers 9-3 Sunday night....

    July 28, 2014

  • Clark rallies in Montreal

    MONTREAL — Tim Clark rallied to win the Canadian Open on Sunday, birdieing five of the last eight holes for a one-stroke victory over Jim Furyk....

    July 28, 2014

Facebook