Senior defensive tackle Casey Walker said OU's ability to make key stops late is “what matters.”
“We try not to look at earlier in the game, how many yards we've given up,” Walker said. “Right now, we need this stop. And then next series, right now we need this stop. That's what matters.”
Still, no one is glossing over the problems in OU's defense that its recent opponents have exposed.
After appearing dominant earlier in the season — especially in wins at Texas Tech and against Texas — the Sooners, over their last three games, have allowed 131 points.
“When somebody finds a weakness in your defense ... we haven't been able to correct it,” Stoops said. “We did make some adjustments and played some things better a week ago. “
Stoops said the biggest problem is the big plays; on the Cowboys' second-half opening touchdown, safety Tony Jefferson bit on a play-action fake, which allowed OSU's Josh Stewart to get open across the middle of the field.
“Tony's was a bad mental breakdown,” Stoops said. “We let them score on one play. ... When they make plays like over the middle, guy makes a great catch, we're covering them, you can live with ...
“You just let someone run by you, that's not good.”
Quarterback Landry Jones and the Oklahoma offense's ability to bail the defense out by simply outscoring the other team can't last forever.
“We've been living on the edge,” Stoops said. “We need to contribute in a stronger way this weekend.”