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