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Oklahoma 69, FAMU 13: Postgame thoughts on the Sooners’ defensive performance

by Jason Kersey Modified: March 29, 2013 at 5:05 pm •  Published: September 9, 2012
NORMAN — Some quick thoughts on Oklahoma’s defensive performance in Saturday’s 69-13 win over Florida A&M.

* If Tony Jefferson’s ankle injury winds up being worse than Bob Stoops said it was last night, I can’t think of any player who would be more missed. His absence was apparent on FAMU’s 75-yard touchdown pass, when Jesse Paulsen wasn’t there to help Demontre Hurst in deep coverage, but he’s also a huge asset in run defense because of his ability to play close to the line.

* There’s no reason to believe Jefferson won’t be OK, but seeing Jefferson limp off the field Saturday night isn’t what any Sooner fan wanted to see.

* On the Rattlers’ second drive, quarterback Damien Fleming found Travis Harvey for a 26-yard completion, but a false start and three incomplete passes later, FAMU was forced to punt.

* The bye week comes at a great time for the Sooner defense. It gives Casey Walker time to get back in the swing of things and ready to rejoin the defensive tackle rotation, it allows the young defensive ends (Charles Tapper, Michael Onuoha) an extra week to get ready for the Big 12 opener and it gives Jefferson some time to get his ankle healthy.

* The 26-yard completion and the 75-yarder (even though that play is easily fixable) are signs that the secondary still has a long way to go. But it’s going to be tough to get too good a read on the defensive backs until OU plays at Texas Tech on Oct. 6; that’s the first time the Sooners face a team that’s fully committed to the pass.

* Florida A&M had some early success against the Sooners, picking up 21 yards and a first down in its first two offensive plays. The Rattlers were able to bust off a couple pretty good runs, which would seem troubling considering 1) OU’s struggles vs. the run at UTEP last week; and 2) Kansas State and its strong rushing attack come to town Sept. 22.

* I thought Javon Harris really played well Saturday. He intercepted a first-quarter pass, but also seemed to come up with some nice stops and big hits. When I re-watch the game a second time, Harris will be one player I pay close attention to.

* I’m thinking the Kansas State game, two weeks from yesterday, is going to give everyone a good idea of just how good this Oklahoma defense can be. If the Sooners come out and shut down Collin Klein and the Wildcats, there is still hope that 2012 can become a special season in Norman. But if Klein and KSU have big success against OU’s defense — even if the Sooners end up winning the game — I think Oklahoma fans may need to lower their 2012 expectations.

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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