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Oklahoma football: Sooners' defense shines in first half

by Ryan Aber Published: October 5, 2013

“We were physically outmatched in the first half,” TCU coach Gary Patterson said.

But things weren't near perfect down the stretch.

Offense and special teams didn't help much, with a three-and-out giving the Horned Frogs good field position and then after TCU kicked a field goal, allowing an onside kick to be recovered leading to another long drive by TCU.

“Situations like that happen, so we've got to be ready for it,” linebacker Eric Striker said. “We practice those type of things so when something like that happens, with a quick exchange, we're ready.”

They also struggled with injuries. Jordan Phillips didn't play at all and linebacker Corey Nelson and defensive back Julian Wilson were both lost with injuries in the second half, Nelson with a shoulder injury and Wilson with a leg injury.

Bob Stoops said he wasn't sure of either player's status for next weeks' game against Texas, though he did say he didn't think either injury was major.

Striker, who has been a key piece all season rushing off the edge, played an even more noticeable role against the Horned Frogs.

The sophomore was in the backfield regularly early. Though he finished with just two sacks — one for a loss — he made things difficult on Boykin.

“I was in the backfield more than I've ever been,” Striker said.

Another sophomore, defensive end Charles Tapper, recorded a pair of sacks as the Sooners got to Boykin four times.

“We just have to continue to be physical,” Tapper said. “At halftime, we feel like we have to start all over again. We have to come and be physical against them all over again.”

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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