“You have to understand, I'm part of the (game) plan,” Bob Stoops said. “I agree to the plan.”
So 190-pound Julian Wilson at middle linebacker against certain formations, trying to run through a 300-pound lineman to head off Tavon Austin? Bob Stoops accepts responsibility. Big Blame Bob.
The defensive debacle down the stretch last season — Baylor, West Virginia, Bedlam, Johnny Football — prompted major changes. Heavy reliance on a three-man front, for the first time in the Stoops era. A commitment to linebackers, who shined last Saturday against Louisiana-Monroe's spread.
But make no mistake. West Virginia was the catalyst. Dana Holgorsen won that chess match decisively. The Sooners had no clue that Austin would move to tailback and had no clue once they realized he had.
Which brings us to the best news for the Sooners. There's no Tavon Austin to move to tailback Saturday night, at least none that we know of.
And this we know. Whatever Mike Stoops has cooked up for the Mountaineers has been endorsed by Big Brother Bob.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. 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.
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BY THE NUMBERS
Some crazy numbers came out of OU's defensive performance against West Virginia last season:
3: Runs by WVU tailback Tavon Austin longer than 50 yards — 74, 56 and 54. He finished with 344 yards on 21 carries.
4: West Virginia drives of 90 yards or longer. The Mountaineers also had drives of 78 and 85 yards.
9.5: Average gain per play for West Virginia — 778 yards on 82 snaps; 9.7 yards per run, 9.1 yards per pass. No Sooner defense ever has given up so many yards.
13: Catches for WVU's Steadman Bailey, for 205 yards and four touchdowns