The Norman Transcript

Sports

September 11, 2013

Sooners fortunately flexible at quarterback

(Continued)

NORMAN —

Disruptive defensive line: In August, Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops believed success hinged on the play of the defensive line. Playmakers had to develop in the group. After two games, he likes what he’s seeing from defensive ends Charles Tapper and Geneo Grissom and nose guard Jordan Phillips.

“I thought Jordan Phillips was very disruptive for the most part all day on Saturday,” Stoops said. “Getting him to understand if we can be over the nose like that, that creates a lot of problems for the offense getting up to the next level and keeps our linebackers clean.

“I thought him and Charles Tapper were really good and Geneo gets better every time he steps on the field. They are starting to be playmakers for us.”

Speed is the key: One of the biggest keys to Oklahoma’s defensive success apparently came from some offseason speed training.

“I think we’re also faster at every position than a year ago. That matters,” OU coach Bob Stoops said.

It’s been especially important in the secondary, where cornerback left Aaron Colvin is the only returning starter.

Right cornerback Zack Sanchez said developing more speed was an emphasis since the 2012 ended.

“We had a really good summer this year,” Sanchez said. “(Strength and conditioning coach Jerry Schmidt) can account for that. We put in a lot of work this summer. We knew what we had to do coming into the season and we knew we were going to have to put in a lot of work to be the defense that we wanted to.”

Feeling the pain: Oklahoma doesn’t publish an injury report and very few college teams do. The obvious reason is coaches don’t want opponents knowing which players are at less than 100 percent.

But Sooner running back Brennan Clay said it’s something fans might want to consider when they’re getting on players.

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