The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 21, 2012

Derailed by big rushing attacks, Sooner defense tries to get back on track

NORMAN — The sky was still where it should be, but everything else appeared to plummet on top of Oklahoma’s defense in the last two weeks.

The 14th-ranked Sooners (8-2, 6-1 Big 12) will bring a three-game winning streak into Saturday’s Bedlam meeting with No. 22 Oklahoma State (7-3, 5-2) at Owen Field. They’ll bring another streak, more difficult to take, as well. They’ve allowed 710 rushing yards in the last two games against Baylor and West Virginia.

The appearance that OU’s defense is hemorrhaging leaves many wondering if major surgery is needed.

In some ways, yes.

Both the Mountaineers and Bears exploited something the Sooners gave them. Both teams often spread the field with at least four wide receivers and sometimes five. OU’s counteraction has been to play seven defensive backs against that kind of personnel.

“In the end, some of what teams are doing makes it difficult to cover like you need to and still support the run. Obviously, we’re still working through that,” OU coach Bob Stoops said.

The progress better come quickly. If there are gaping holes on Saturday, the Cowboys will run right through them.

Statistically, OSU is the best rushing team the Sooners will face this season.

On thing that will likely change is the seven-defensive back personnel will stay on the sideline unless there’s a third-and-long situation.

“We were caught with seven DBs on the field and it’s kind of hard to play the run,” defensive end David King said. “Still, guys have to make plays and guys have to step up.”

Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops has taken the blame for the last two weeks. After OU escaped West Virginia by the skin of its teeth, he thought he’d put his unit in some tough spots.

He hasn’t exactly said what needs to change against the Cowboys, other than to tackle better.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports
  • BedlamBaseball2 Sooners prevail in 18-inning Bedlam showdown

    STILLWATER — Oklahoma hoped a little more pop in the lineup would serve as an energy injection....

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tigers suffer smashing loss to Stillwater in second meeting

    Monday’s game against Stillwater showed exactly how good Norman High can be when it’s playing well. The Tigers held a lead in that game over 21-1 Stillwater, and had a chance to win it before the Pioneers staged a late comeback....

    April 16, 2014

  • North remains perfect in district

    Norman North remained a perfect 10-0 in district play with their second straight win over Lawton Eisenhower. After beating Ike 11-1 Monday, the Timberwolves turned around and hammered the Eagles 13-1 Tuesday night....

    April 16, 2014

  • Cards pitching shuts down Brewers again

    MILWAUKEE — Shelby Miller struck out seven and allowed three hits over six innings, and Mark Ellis had two RBIs in his return from the disabled list to lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 6-1 win Tuesday night over the Milwaukee Brewers. ...

    April 16, 2014

  • Commissioner calls replay start ‘remarkable’

    NEW YORK — Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig says the sport’s new replay system is working well despite a few problems during its first two weeks....

    April 16, 2014

  • Fielder finally goes deep as Rangers shut out Mariners

    ARLINGTON, Texas — Prince Fielder and Kevin Kouzmanoff hit back-to-back homers, Robbie Ross limited Seattle to five singles in seven-plus innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Mariners 5-0 Tuesday night....

    April 16, 2014

  • Warriors trying to move on without Bogut

    OAKLAND, Calif. — Go small or go home....

    April 16, 2014

  • White Sox wear Boston Strong on 1-year anniversary

    CHICAGO — The Chicago White Sox have paid tribute to victims of the Boston Marathon bombing before their game against the Red Sox....

    April 16, 2014

  • OU’s Hornbeak to transfer

    In a surprising decision, sophomore guard Je’lon Hornbeak informed Oklahoma’s coaching staff on Tuesday he will transfer at the end of the spring semester....

    April 16, 2014

  • Injuries taking a toll on CCS girls squad

    If luck, like karma, is supposed to come back around, Community Christian’s girls soccer team has a lot to look forward to because, right now, they’re living the other side of the equation....

    April 16, 2014

Facebook