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Oklahoma football: Eric Striker, Geneo Grissom will be key pieces on defense

by Ryan Aber Published: August 21, 2014

— When OU last played, Eric Striker and Geneo Grissom were everywhere.

The pair combined for 5.5 sacks, a forced fumble and two fumble recovers — one for a touchdown — in the Sooners’ upset win over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

This season, Striker and Grissom will once again be key pieces on OU’s defense — although with slightly different roles.

As a sophomore last year, Striker was primarily used as a rusher off the edge.

This season, he’ll still get after quarterbacks plenty, but will also drop back into coverage at times.

“It’s not a big deal like people are making it,” Striker said, though he added he’s excited to be in coverage.

Grissom seemed to find a home at defensive end last year after bouncing around. But now, Grissom is transitioning once again, moving to linebacker.

“Everyone asks me if I’ve found a home,” Grissom said. “It’s not really about finding a home. It’s just about finding a place where I can make plays for the team.

“I love it. I feel like it’s a great position for me and I can make plays there and help the defense.”

While Grissom and Striker are adjusting to shifted roles in the second season of Mike Stoops’ three-man-front defense, the linebackers on the inside are growing after getting to play as true freshmen.

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