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Baylor's high-powered offense rises above all defensive tricks

Mike Stoops' defensive acumen won't help all that much Thursday night in Waco, Texas.
by Berry Tramel Published: November 6, 2013

It's a mission fit only for the stingiest of defenses. OU has played solid defense most of this season but has faced nothing like the Baylor challenge, and the wounds of recent defensive embarrassments — Baylor 2011, West Virginia and OSU 2012 — remain fresh.

Can OU summon a herculean performance, like the night OU swamped Florida State 13-2 in the national championship game 13 years ago? Or the 16-13 staredown with Colt McCoy and Texas in 2009. Or the several stoppages of Mike Leach's machine?

Mike Stoops at least has OU in the right alignment. The Sooners went to the 3-4-4 defense, or the 3-3-5, because of Baylor and the other spread teams. The old 4-3 just wasn't fit for this conference.

“We felt it gave us more versatility,” Bob Stoops said. “It played to our strengths better. It put more speed on the field.”

This alignment against Baylor's spread reduces the mental aspect of the game. This will be a physical confrontation.

“No question,” Stoops said. “Being able to cover people, tackle in space. Same thing inside. Being able to make plays when you're there to make plays.”

Mike Stoops, who was not on the OU payroll the last time the Sooners came to Floyd Casey, will have his defenders lined up correctly. But then it's out of his hands and up to them.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at btramel@opubco.com. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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