NORMAN — While tight ends are certainly a concern for Oklahoma’s offense, they’re also drawing plenty of attention from the defensive side.
“We never saw them two years ago,” Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. “Last year, we saw a tight end 80 percent of the time.
“It’s a new evolution learning how to play some of this power run game in this defense.”
Part of that was the emergence of several good options at tight end on teams the Sooners played. Another part was the 50 defense, which uses rushing linebackers or defensive ends on the outside, that the Sooners used much of last season.
“Those edges get a little exposed if you don’t (use a tight end),” coach Bob Stoops said. “That’s why teams, against us, might play them more than they do against other people.”
That’s a tradeoff the Sooners are willing to accept.
“You have a tight end in there now instead of a 4.3 receiver,” Bob Stoops said.
The defense showed the ability to adjust last season with the second-best scoring defense and the second-best rushing defense in the Big 12, a season after being ninth in rushing defense in the league.
“This defense gives you versatility and angles and different ways you can bring pressure,” Mike Stoops said.