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Oklahoma football: Sooners' 'attention to detail' critical vs. Kansas State

by Jason Kersey Published: September 21, 2012

The Sooners' defense allowed UTEP running back Nathan Jeffery to rack up 177 yards in three quarters, and it was largely due to botched assignments on zone-reads, a bread-and-butter part of Kansas State's attack.

If Klein hands off to tailback John Hubert, he's more than capable of busting a long run if players are out of position.

And if Klein keeps the ball and runs himself, Sooner defenders had better take the right angle and tackle with technique in mind, or the 6-foot-5, 226 pounder will have little problem breaking away or just running people over.

“He's a big, physical presence, so you're not going to arm tackle him,” Bob Stoops said of Klein. “So, if you don't have a good square shot on him, he's going to run through it.”

With both Stoops brothers on his staffs in the 1990s, Snyder orchestrated college football's greatest turnaround by intensely focusing on little things.

On paper, his Wildcats have no business beating the Sooners, who are 14-0 — by an average 43-16 score — at home against ranked teams during the Stoops era.

One team has kept such a game's final margin in single digits: Kansas State in 2001, when it lost 38-37.

“It's a very disciplined game,” Mike Stoops said. “You've got to play 11 on 11. ... That's gonna come into play on Saturday night. They're gonna make you execute every single play.”

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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Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops stressed attention to detail as vital to success Saturday, when his No. 6 Sooners host No. 15 Kansas State. Here is a checklist of OU's most important tasks that must be successfully fulfilled to stay unbeaten and knock off the 'Cats.

1. Tackling: The Sooners tackled poorly in the first half last year vs. K-State and led by 6. When tackling improved after halftime, the Sooners shut KSU down and won in a rout.

2. Staying mindful of assignments: Against UTEP, the Sooners defensive ends busted assignment after assignment, and OU nearly lost. KSU's unique and changing blocking schemes can't confuse OU's defensive front or it won't ever get off the field.

3. Blocking, inside and outside: It goes beyond the pass protection that's plagued OU thus far; the Sooner linemen and outside receivers must get on — and stay on — their man until the play is over.

4. Get 3-and-outs: If Oklahoma's defense allows Klein and KSU to pick up first downs and keep the Sooner offense on the sidelines, OU could be in for a long day. The Wildcats can make big plays, but are also capable of four-yarding you into oblivion.

5. Special teams matter: KSU's Tyler Lockett is always a threat to return kicks for touchdowns, and the Wildcats are kick-blocking fiends. Little things like the holder messing up the snap-to-kick transition could be critical in a game like this.


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