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Oklahoma football: Sooners ready for their introduction to Johnny Football

HEEERE'S JOHNNY — Oklahoma's defense has struggled to contain running quarterbacks this season. On Friday, the Sooners get their chance at stopping Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel.
by Jason Kersey Published: January 3, 2013

“They probably run more quarterback draws than anybody we've seen,” Mike Stoops said of the Aggies. “And that play's been problematic for us all year, so I'd imagine we'll see a good dose of him running the ball.”

Oklahoma's chief ally for this matchup could prove to be the time it had to prepare for Manziel.

The Sooners' bye weeks were all in September; they played nine opponents in nine weeks to end the regular season, leaving little time for significant schematic alterations.

But with a month off, Oklahoma players not only had time to get healthy and relax; they also were afforded more time to study and scheme for Manziel than any of Texas A&M's other opponents.

“You get to rest from the long season, especially with our stretch at the end,” said junior safety Tony Jefferson, who fought a high-ankle sprain through much of the season. “Your body's probably hurting.

“Anytime you get extra time to work on someone with talent like him does justice for you.”

Mike Stoops toyed with different defensive personnel groups throughout the late-season struggles with little success, and said the time off gave him and the OU coaching staff time to design a diversified plan specifically for Texas A&M.

“We'll probably be more diversified, change up some looks,” Mike Stoops said. “I think you can go in with a little more of an arsenal than we have previously in a week's period of time. We'll just add a little bit to our game plan.”

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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