The Norman Transcript

Sports

July 26, 2013

Beleaguered late last year by Big 12 offenses, Sooners aren’t ready to give in

(Continued)

NORMAN —

“I think you do have to give a little bit of credit to every year, it seems, in our league there’s some incredible quarterbacks. You see a good number of them littered throughout the NFL once they leave here. To me, the better the quarterback, whether it’s in the NFL or in college football, the harder they are to stop. In our league, we’ve had a lot of really good ones. And to finish that, I think, too, our decision to go more uptempo has led our defense to be on the field more, and that’s a factor, too.”

Stoops hinted that the Sooners’ offense might slow down this season in an effort to give the defense a break. It’s a risk worth taking if it actually means avoiding the shootouts that broke out in the second half of last season.

Games like those have been common in the Big 12 for several years. They might be again this year. If they are, it’s the sure-fire sign Big 12 defenses are desperately trailing in the talent gap.

“You have to be as efficient as they are. So if they’re able to get to the line, get their call and get ready to play, whatever pace that may be, you’ve got to be efficient enough defensively to have your call in order, to have it relayed, and to be down in position to play,” Stoops said. “As much as anything to counter it, you’ve got to be as prepared to play on the snap with the tempo as they have to be. From there, it’s who’s going to make the play.”

For several years, offensive players have routinely made them. The Big 12’s reputation has taken a hit because of it.

“It is tough to play in this league, in the Big 12, because you have so many explosive offenses that can exploit your weaknesses every week,” Colvin said. “But at the end of the day, that’s why you come to the Big 12. You look forward to that challenge.”

John Shinn

Follow me @john_shinn

jshinn@normantranscript.com

 

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