The Sooners will have a familiar face calling the defense on the other side when they open the season against Louisiana Tech at home Aug. 30.
The Bulldogs’ defensive coordinator is Manny Diaz, who spent more than two seasons as Texas’ defensive coordinator.
Diaz didn’t make it to last season’s Red River game against the Sooners as then-Texas coach Mack Brown fired Diaz after a 40-21 loss at BYU in the second game of the season.
Louisiana Tech’s defense averaged 5.4 yards allowed per play and had the No. 69 total defense in Division I last year, allowing 408.3 yards per game.
“I think the way the game is now, it’s no different than parenting. The coach has to set the tone,” Diaz told reporters earlier this week. “What you do (as an assistant) is you have the message. Coach (Skip) Holtz has his message and you deliver the message. And then what you’re looking for, especially when adversity comes about, is who starts repeating your message—who is taking shelter in that message and then inviting everybody else to say, ‘Hey, follow this lead.’
“When you have that, that’s when you start going from a coach-driven team to a player-driven team. That’s certainly something that I think has been an issue for this program because of all the graduation that took place this year before and because of our non-traditional seniors. That’s something that we don’t have an answer for today. That’s something that we have got to find before we go to Norman because it’s too late by the time we get there.”