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Oklahoma football: Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops had little desire to look at postgame statistics

After all, Stoops' highly acclaimed return to Norman came with the expected abolition of Sooner defensive showings precisely like the one Saturday on Mountaineer Field.
by Jason Kersey Published: November 18, 2012

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — As Mike Stoops stepped to the postgame podium Saturday night, someone laid a stat sheet in front of him.

“Do I have to look at them?” the Oklahoma defensive coordinator asked.

“I don't want to see them.”

Following the Sooners' nail-biting, 50-49 win at West Virginia, which racked up 778 total offensive yards — the most ever against Oklahoma — who could blame him?

After all, Stoops' highly acclaimed return to Norman came with the expected abolition of Sooner defensive showings precisely like the one Saturday on Mountaineer Field.

“They had a great plan and we didn't make great adjustments,” Stoops said. “Football is about making adjustments and we didn't make any good ones.”

West Virginia senior Tavon Austin caught the Sooners completely off guard Saturday, when he played a new position, had a historic individual night and made it look easy.

Usually a wide receiver, Austin regularly lined up in the backfield and finished with 21 carries for a stunning 344 rushing yards.

Austin's 572 all-purpose yards — which include 82 receiving and 146 on kick returns — were six short of the NCAA's single-game record.

Four Mountaineer touchdown drives went 90 or more yards.

OU's narrow win at West Virginia came a week after Baylor gashed the Sooners for 252 rushing yards in OU's closer-than-expected home win.

In the consecutive games, Oklahoma's defense regularly featured personnel groups with seven-man secondaries and no linebackers; the sets were designed to limit Baylor's and West Virginia's high-powered passing offenses.

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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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