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Oklahoma football: Inside the Mike Stoops Factor

COMMENTARY — Mike Stoops' return as defensive coordinator has produced a better prepared, less hesitant Oklahoma defense. Exhibit A was the Sooners' performance versus Texas.
by Jenni Carlson Published: October 19, 2012

/articleid/3720572/1/pictures/1861617">Photo - Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops is upset with his defense during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Kansas State University Wildcats (KSU) at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Saturday, September 22, 2012. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman
Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops is upset with his defense during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Kansas State University Wildcats (KSU) at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, Saturday, September 22, 2012. Photo by Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

What remained was drilled into the players' heads.

Granted, credit needs to go to the players for their dedication to study and film. They say more guys are spending more time preparing than the past few years. Part of that is because of the embarrassment of last season.

But part of it is Stoops.

He has taken the guesswork out of the game and put the defense in positions to be successful.

“You know we can narrow it down to what three plays they're running,” Sooner defensive tackle Jamarkus McFarland said. “You can pretty much be confident in where you're going and don't hesitate.

“People always want to look for an easy way out in a game. Like it's some kind of special formula to the game.”

It's not magic.

It's preparation.

“I think we have a completely different attitude with what we're doing on the field,” Harris said. “Guys want to make those plays.”

And they're making them.

That's a direct result of Mike Stoops. Everyone knew he'd have an impact, but even program insiders are surprised just how much he has changed things.

He hasn't dramatically overhauled the scheme, but he has drastically altered the style.

Jenni Carlson: Jenni can be reached at (405) 475-4125. You can also like her at facebook.com/JenniCarlsonOK, follow her at twitter.com/jennicarlson_ok or view her personality page at newsok.com/jennicarlson.

by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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