The Sooners went even deeper than six up front, with Jordan Wade and Torrea Peterson also seeing time.
“A lot of those guys are all starting to become really good players,” Sooners coach Bob Stoops said. “We wanted to limit their opportunity for injury also, so we wanted to play a lot of them. But a lot of them have shown us that they can play at a winning level.”
Romar was solid filling in for Phillips but keeping Phillips healthy is a priority for the Sooners.
While Jordan Wade filled in admirably last year when Phillips was hurt, the push Oklahoma was able to get up front was different with Phillips in the lineup.
Oklahoma coaches would prefer to be able to keep up the heavy rotation up front on the defensive line, especially with Phillips and Romar to keep Phillips fresh for when Big 12 play begins Sept. 20 at West Virginia.
“Last year, we really weren’t as established as we are this year,” Phillips said. “I don’t know for sure, but with everybody having a year under our belts, I bet you that makes the coaches feel a lot more comfortable putting us in.”
They’ll be especially comfortable if Phillips remains healthy and his reps can continue to increase.