The Norman Transcript

Sports

November 28, 2012

After three straight shootouts against the spread offense, OU gets a break

NORMAN — The gauntlet Oklahoma’s defense has faced the last three games has been brutal. Baylor, West Virginia and Oklahoma State — three straight teams that spread a defense from sideline to sideline, stretch them until they find a weak spot and run plays at a blistering pace.

The numbers were ugly. The Sooners gave up 131 combined points and 1,692 yards in those three games. Somehow, OU won all three.

“There are a lot of issues in what we’re having here of late. Some of it’s scheme; some of it’s the talent you’re playing against,” OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “They’re exploiting some of the weaknesses of our defense, let’s put it that way.”

However, the run of having to prepare for video-game like offenses is finally over. The 12th-ranked Sooners (9-2, 7-1 Big 12) face TCU (7-4, 4-4) at 11 a.m., Saturday at Amon Carter Stadium in Fort Worth.

OU middle linebacker Tom Wort noticed the Horned Frogs lead the Big 12 Conference in time of possession. It was like seeing a light at the end of a terrifying tunnel. Finally, the Sooners get to face a team that wants to run the ball and control the clock.

“It will be a little better, more suited for our defense,” Wort said. “They’ve got good wide receivers, too. They can still throw the ball. It’s going to be more about focusing on us and getting the little things corrected.”

What the Sooners must correct isn’t little. Baylor, West Virginia and OSU all gashed the Sooners running the ball. All three rushed for more than 200 yards with the Mountaineers going for 458.

Missed tackles were some of the problem. Having to match up with four-receiver sets didn’t help either. But the shear amount of plays the Sooners had to defend hurt as well.

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