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Big 12 football: Oklahoma, Oklahoma State defenses will get some quarterback relief in 2013

Big 12's top-flight quarterbacks Collin Klein, Landry Jones, Nick Florence, Geno Smith and Seth Doege will be gone.
by Berry Tramel Published: January 13, 2013


photo - Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein throws during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Texas, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)
Kansas State quarterback Collin Klein throws during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Texas, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012, in Manhattan, Kan. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Glenn Spencer takes over the hot seat in Stillwater and Mike Stoops stays on the hot seat in Norman. Until further notice, there is nothing easy about coordinating Big 12 defenses.

But come the 2013 football season, OSU and OU will be better on defense. Guaranteed. Maybe much better.

Big 12 defenses in 2013 get some quarterback relief.

Collin Klein, gone. Landry Jones, gone. Nick Florence, gone. Geno Smith, gone. Seth Doege, gone.

Unless TCU's troubled Casey Paschall makes a comeback, the four best returning quarterbacks will be Texas' wildly inconsistent David Ash and OSU's trio of Clint Chelf, J.W. Walsh and Wes Lunt.

Almost every Big 12 squad will replenish with a talented passer or runner or both. But their seasoning won't be the same.

“When you have quarterbacks, a lot of them are playing in the NFL, some of them are going to be playing in the NFL soon, when they're at that level and as spread out as these offenses are, it's definitely going to be tougher to stop,” Bob Stoops said.

”As well as the mobility of some of them. The years when they aren't there, it's definitely easier. I've said that forever. When you're playing teams without a good quarterback, it's a lot easier to stop them.”

Just like in 2009.

In 2008, the Big 12 quarterbacks included Sam Bradford, Colt McCoy, Chase Daniel, Graham Harrell, Josh Freeman, Zac Robinson, Todd Reesing and a rookie Robert Griffin.

But Harrell, Daniel and Freeman moved on, and Bradford and Griffin were injured most of 2009. And Big 12 defenses pounced.

Some good quarterbacks remained — McCoy, Robinson, Reesing. Some good quarterbacks emerged — Blaine Gabbert, Taylor Potts. Jones and Florence were promising fill-ins. But the QB star power was nothing like the year before. And it showed.

In 2009, 11 of the 12 teams improved in scoring defense for conference games. Most of them by a wide margin.

Nebraska allowed 34.0 points a game in 2008, 13.1 in 2009. OU allowed 30.8 points a game in 2008, 15.9 in 2009. Texas Tech allowed 31.4 points a game in 2008, 22.6 in 2009. A&M allowed 43.9 points in 2008, 36.2 in 2009. Kansas State allowed 42.4 points a game in 2008, 27.0 in 2009.

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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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