Oklahoma football: Tom Wort responds to critics

Notebook — Junior linebacker graded out the highest he ever has in opener against UTEP.
by Jason Kersey Published: September 4, 2012

Junior linebacker Tom Wort came under some criticism for his performance in Saturday's season opener at UTEP.

Monday, Wort told reporters that coaches graded him at 93 percent and that his role was to maintain a gap.

“I graded out the highest I've graded out since I've been here,” Wort said. “I've seen what's been said about me, that I played terrible that game.

“I don't think people understand what gap defense is. If you have a gap, you have to maintain that gap. If you leave your gap and they run it in there, it's your fault. This whole game is about playing your gap and being right. The grades show me and Corey (Nelson) did the right thing. We hit our gaps inside.”

He defined what make up his grade from coaches.

“Every play, you either do it right or you do it wrong,” Wort said. “You get a plus or a minus, and it's a percentage out of that. It's like a test.”

Wort recorded seven tackles Saturday, six of which were assisted. He said Nelson's grade was also in the 90s.

“The linebackers, pretty much all night, were hitting our gaps,” Wort said. “It kind of restricts us a little bit in terms of free range and to make plays. Me and Corey did our job exactly how we were told to do it. I'm pleased with the way me and Corey played.”

OFFENSE WILL PLAY FASTER WITH TIME

Co-offensive coordinator Jay Norvell said the offense will begin to pick up the tempo a little more once the younger, less-experienced players are more familiar with the offense.

In Saturday's opener at UTEP, Oklahoma ran its traditional no-huddle offense, but didn't move nearly as fast between plays as it did last season.

“The more familiar our guys become, the faster we'll play,” Norvell said. “We kinda wanted to find out about some people.

“We have a lot of new guys that are playing our system for the first time. The more that they understand it and the more that we push them to play faster, the faster we'll play. I expect that to improve as we go along and we take the training wheels off these guys. We've gotta go.”

FOUR FAMU PLAYERS SUSPENDED FOR OU GAME

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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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