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Oklahoma football: Sooners defenders not satisfied despite limiting La.-Monroe to 166 offensive yards

by Ryan Aber Published: August 31, 2013


photo - Oklahoma's Aaron Colvin (14) and Oklahoma's Frank Shannon (20) bring down Louisiana Monroe's Monterrell Washington (2) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Oklahoma won 34-0. Photo by Bryan Terry The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Aaron Colvin (14) and Oklahoma's Frank Shannon (20) bring down Louisiana Monroe's Monterrell Washington (2) during a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the University of Louisiana Monroe Warhawks at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., on Saturday, Aug. 31, 2013. Oklahoma won 34-0. Photo by Bryan Terry The Oklahoman

“It makes our job completely easier,” cornerback Zack Sanchez said. “We have an athletic D-line this year. It's a lot different from last year's D-line. Those guys, they get after it and they pressure the quarterback and it makes things easier.”

Plenty of young players contributed on defense, with Tapper, Eric Striker and Sanchez leading the way and junior college transfer Quincy Russell getting some work up front

“We have a bright future looking ahead,” Tapper said. “We're going to try to do this every game, try to hold them under 100 yards rushing.”

Another sophomore, Striker, didn't have eye-popping numbers either, recording just one tackle, but did plenty to disrupt the Warhawks.

Striker started, creeping toward the line in his linebacker spot and made things difficult for ULM.

“That's his spot,” Nelson said. “That's where we needed him at. He was balling in fall camp at that position and he kept that up.”

Nelson was the Sooners top linebacker last year but by the end of the season, linebackers had grown obsolete in the defensive scheme as Stoops adjusted to Big 12 offenses that were vastly different from what he coached against during his first term.

While Nelson preached about not being satisfied and staying hungry, he also said this was a positive first step toward the redemption of the defense.

“Absolutely it is,” Nelson said with a laugh. “We just played out there with a chip on our shoulder. I feel like every week this whole season we have to play with a chip on our shoulder. We have to stay hungry and we have to stay humble in what we're doing.”

by Ryan Aber
OU Athletics Reporter
Ryan Aber has worked for The Oklahoman since 2006, covering high schools, the Oklahoma City RedHawks, the Oklahoma City Barons and OU football recruiting. An Oklahoma City native, Aber graduated from Northeastern State. Before joining The...
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