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October 3, 2012

Sooner secondary ready for a shot at redemption against Texas Tech

NORMAN — Most of the positions have changed, but Oklahoma’s secondary shares a common experience. All of them — cornerbacks Demontre Hurst and Aaron Colvin, safeties Tony Jefferson and Javon Harris and nickelback Gabe Lynn — were on the field when the Sooners faced Texas Tech last season.

The 41-38 loss was the kind of bonding experience a secondary doesn’t want to experience. OU gave up 452 passing yards in a loss that ended a 39-game home winning streak that dated back to 2005.

Agony remains.

“Just losing in general and losing at home, being part of the team that broke that streak we had going at home messed with me,” Jefferson said. “Just losing isn’t good at all.”

In a sense, the Sooner secondary never recovered from that night. They finished the 2011 regular season by giving up 485 passing yards in a loss to Baylor that ended any chance for OU to play for a national championship.

There was a sense that any team truly accomplished at throwing the ball was capable of posting big numbers against the Sooners.

OU (2-1, 0-1 Big 12) will find out if anything has changed when it faces the Red Raiders (4-0, 1-0) at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock.

This game isn’t about revenge. That word has become removed from OU’s vocabulary.

“We know what happened last year, but there’s nothing we can do about that,” Harris said.

Changes have occurred since the last meeting. All five players in OU’s five-defensive-back package are the same. However, only Hurst is still playing at the same spot.

Jefferson has moved from the nickel spot to free safety. Harris has shifted from free safety to strong safety. Colvin has moved from strong safety to cornerback. Lynn, who was forced into starting duty at cornerback after regular starter Jamell Fleming suffered a knee injury last season, is now playing the nickel spot.

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