Oklahoma football: Javon Harris has been waiting for rematch with Baylor for a long time

Harris said: “Man, back in two-a-days, I used to watch the Baylor game every day. ... It's nothing new to me. I can tell you front and back, left, right, every call that happened in that game.”
by Jason Kersey Published: November 5, 2012

NORMAN — During interviews over the past several months, questions about Oklahoma's disastrous pass defense in losses last year have been answered with polite and concise — but often repetitive — replies.

“The past is the past,” or, “We all know what happened last year,” or “This is a new team and a new season.”

Monday, many similar responses were given to questions regarding last season's secondary struggles.

But on the same day, Mike Stoops ordered his defensive backs to relive one of those forgettable games — a 45-38 loss at Baylor, during which quarterback Robert Griffin III and his offense abused OU's secondary to the tune of 616 total yards and four touchdowns.

The Bears and Sooners meet again Saturday on Owen Field at 2:30 p.m.

“(Stoops) told us, ‘Go watch the game,'” said senior safety Javon Harris, who has already re-watched the film more times than he can remember.

“Man, back in two-a-days, I used to watch the Baylor game every day. ... It's nothing new to me. I can tell you front and back, left, right, every call that happened in that game.

“I lost my spot after this game.”

He shouldered the vast majority of blame for the loss, which knocked the Sooners from the national-title hunt and effectively won Griffin the Heisman Trophy.

Harris was continually beat deep by Baylor receivers, then yelled at mercilessly on the sideline by coaches.

He subsequently became one of the fans' favorite targets for criticism and got benched for Oklahoma's final three contests.

So why would he repeatedly — and voluntarily — dredge up painful memories by watching the game tape?

“For me, it was about knowing what happened last year,” Harris said. “I use it to just work on getting better.

“It's about going out here and proving people wrong — what their perceptions of me are — and building on this year.”

When Mike Stoops returned as defensive coordinator to Oklahoma — where from 1999-2003 he coached a secondary that rarely played as poorly as the 2011 unit — he moved Harris from free to strong safety.


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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