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Oklahoma football: Sooner defense's next test is toughest

Oklahoma State's offense will challenge the OU defense in Saturday's Bedlam game. The Cowboys ran wild against the Sooners last year.
by Jason Kersey Published: November 20, 2012

— Landry Jones' offense found a way to score one more point than West Virginia last weekend, allowing Oklahoma to leave the Big 12 outpost with its slim conference title hopes still intact.

That's the good news.

The bad news? The Sooner defense was historically dreadful; Saturday marked the first time since 1993 that consecutive OU opponents gained 250 rushing yards.

The worst news? The OU defense's next challenge is its toughest one yet. Oklahoma State visits Owen Field on Saturday, and despite its reputation as a highflying passing offense, it was the Cowboy run game that gashed the Sooners in last year's 44-10 rout.

Baylor rushed for 252 yards on Nov. 10 in OU's 42-34 home win. Last week, West Virginia gained a staggering 458 of its 778 offensive yards on the ground.

“You can't really pinpoint one or two things,” said senior defensive tackle Casey Walker. “It's an all-around deal. We've gotta play a thousand times better than that, especially to win out and fulfill the rest of our goals for the season.”

The Cowboys' Brandon Weeden-to-Justin Blackmon show wasn't needed in Bedlam last December; Blackmon had 95 yards receiving, and OSU didn't throw a single touchdown pass.

Oklahoma State ran in four of them, two each for Joseph Randle and Jeremy Smith, who finished with 151 and 119 rushing yards, respectively.

“We've gotta play so much better defense, especially from last week to last year,” said Walker, referring to the West Virginia win and the 2011 Bedlam debacle.

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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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