NORMAN — Pick an adjective, one probably of anger, and place it in this next sentence: Sooner fans were (blank) with Oklahoma's secondary last season.
Those seem to fit.
Issues in the defensive backfield seemed to be a question answered during the Sooners' conference opener vs. Kansas State. Fans said it over and over, UTEP and Florida A&M weren't true testaments to how the defense, well, defended.
But the Sooners' 24-19 loss to K-State on Saturday answered a couple questions about the defense, and offense, and maybe opened up new ones.
The first question answered was about the issues in the secondary. Are they still there? At least not to the level of the problems vs. Texas Tech, Baylor and OSU last season.
Last week, senior defensive back Javon Harris said he was looking forward to doing whatever it took to bring down Kansas State's beast of a quarterback, Collin Klein.
What he didn't expect was just how many times he, and his teammates in the secondary, would have to tackle Klein.
“If he ends up where I'm at, then something else went wrong,” Harris prophesied last week.
On Saturday night, against the then 15th-ranked Wildcats, Harris made 12 tackles. Fellow defensive back Tony Jefferson led the defense with 14 tackles.
The starting defensive backfield of Harris, Jefferson, Aaron Colvin, Demontre Hurst and Gabe Lynn combined for 40 tackles.
The starting defensive line of Jamarkus McFarland, Corey Nelson, David King, Tom Wort, Chuka Ndulue and Casey Walker compiled 23.
Something else went wrong, indeed.
But it shows the improvement of the secondary under Mike Stoops.
Are there still issues on defense? Yes. The Sooners still allowed 14 fourth-quarter points Saturday.
On Kansas State's first touchdown in the fourth quarter, the longest play of the drive was an 11-yard gain.
The Wildcats second touchdown drive of the second quarter did include a 21-yard pass to start the drive. But it was not the 50-yard plus gains of old.
Cheer on Mike Stoops? Groan about why his brother rehired him after he was fired at Arizona? Fans have given opinions from both sides. But after Saturday night's loss, the common opinion seemed to be this: Don't blame this one on the secondary. Blame it on the defensive front. Blame it on the linebackers. Heck, blame it on the quarterback.