The Norman Transcript

Sports

January 14, 2013

Plenty of holes for Sooners to fix next season

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Millard is a player who should be on the field for just about every snap. He wasn’t this season; that should change in his senior year.

There’s just too many things he does that helps teams win to have standing on the sideline for 20 offensive plays a game.

Use the linebackers more: There was a reason OU didn’t use them much this season. There weren’t any receivers they could cover in man-to-man coverage. But it left gapping holes in the run defense.

“It’s just where do you put your pieces? Are you gonna be stronger defending the pass or stronger defending the run? That’s the game everybody’s playing,” Stoops said. “We’ve got to find a better balance of it.”

The Sooners sank to 89th in the country in rush defense and not having linebackers on the field had a lot to do with it. Opponents exploited it throughout the second half of the season. OU never adjusted.

Embrace the underdog role: The 2013 Sooners won’t have the burden of preseason expectations that most of Stoops’ teams carried.

They won’t be the overwhelming pick to win the Big 12 title next season, and likely won’t start the year ranked in the top 10. They’re going to play some games they won’t be favored to win.

OU hasn’t had a team that really had to prove itself in the nation’s eyes since 2000. That team embraced the underdog role and rode it to a national championship.

“We didn’t seem very close when we had a shot at it in 2000,” Stoops said. “You never know when it’s coming. We’re gonna work hard for it, and we’ll try and make some improvements through the winter and spring and hopefully have a chance to be better next year.”

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