NORMAN — When Gabe Lynn was called for targeting late in the first quarter of Oklahoma's 51-20 win over Tulsa, Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops was livid.
Stoops was upset about the call but also about what an ejection would mean for the defensive backfield.
After review, Lynn's ejection was overturned. He came up with his second interception of the season on the next drive, but he was knocked out of the game on the play.
The Sooners' secondary was a big part of the team's success the first two weeks. But without Lynn and Aaron Colvin out there against Tulsa, the secondary looked shaky.
That was never more apparent than on third (and fourth) downs.
After holding Louisiana-Monroe and West Virginia to a combined 5 of 32 on those downs, giving up just seven points in the first two games, Tulsa converted on seven of its 15 third-down tries and converted its only try on fourth down.
“I think third down was the most disappointing element of the game for me personally,” Stoops said. “We extended drives, couldn't get off the field on some drives.
“It was frustrating.”
Oklahoma went into the game knowing they'd be without Colvin, though he dressed for the game after suffering a broken tooth and a possible concussion against West Virginia.
Although the secondary lost Lynn and freshman Stanvon Taylor — who started in Colvin's place — during the game, Stoops said the issues started long before Saturday morning.
“We were just kind of lethargic throughout the week and we kind of played that way,” Stoops said. “They out-executed us on third down. That part was disappointing.
“I thought our kids played hard, just our execution wasn't what it's been.”
Sooners coach Bob Stoops said he expected Lynn to miss a couple of days of practice this week but return in plenty of time for Oklahoma's Sept. 28 game at Notre Dame.
Colvin is expected to return to practice Monday.
Taylor, the freshman from Tulsa, made his first career start while another freshman, Hatari Byrd, came in for Lynn.
When Taylor was knocked out late in the first half with an ankle injury, sophomore Cortez Johnson replaced him.
Bob Stoops said he was pleased with Taylor's play, and then Byrd's play coming on in relief.
“Stanvon is the most mature — the one that's the closest right now to play,” Mike Stoops said. “I thought he did some good things. He made some young mistakes on a play here or there, but those are all learning situations for him.”
Bob Stoops said Taylor, who tested his ankle in warmups at halftime but did not return, would be back in practice soon.
Sooners defenders, especially Lynn and Colvin, had talked about the increased communication early in the season helping Oklahoma's defense. With those two out, though, communication was sometimes strained.
“We had a few busts here and there in the backfield, but overall they did what they had to do,” linebacker Corey Nelson said. “The defense did pretty good, we had a couple of miscommunication calls out there.”