Oklahoma run defense must improve
Oklahoma has nearly lost its last two games because of poor run defense. Those mistakes will cost the Sooners in Big 12 play, OU beat writer Jake Trotter writes.
CINCINNATI — Coming out of the weekend, turns out Texas has problems bigger than Oklahoma ever imagined.
But despite escaping the nonleague slate unscathed, the Sooners should be concerned with an alarming development heading into the Red River Rivalry.
Videoview all videos
Sep 26OU gets a win in its first road game of the season,...
Sep 26Berry Tramel and Jake Trotter explore the Sooners' 31-29...
Photoview all 34 photos
NewsOK Related Articles
OU against the run this season: Opponent, Rushing yards allowed per game Utah State, 80 Florida State, 123 Air Force, 351 Cincinnati, 156 Sooners against the run in the Bob Stoops era Year, Rushing yards allowed per game, Run defense ranking 2010, 178, 93 2009, 92, 8 2008, 116, 20 2007, 110, 17 2006, 99, 16 2005, 91, 4 2004, 95, 6 2003, 113, 20 2002, 108, 14 2001, 90, 7 2000, 108, 23 1999, 125, 37 Compiled by Jake Trotter
The inability to stop the run.
A flaw that almost doomed the Sooners in narrow wins over Air Force and Cincinnati.
A flaw that almost certainly will doom them in the Big 12 — if not corrected.
"Someone having the ability to establish the run is very concerning," said defensive coordinator Brent Venables. "They're issues that are very correctable, but some of our good players are making mistakes technique and fundamental wise ... very simple concepts. Plays that we just have to stay in our gaps and play with discipline."
Up until now, a staple of the Bob Stoops era at OU has been the systematic stuffing of the run.
Last year, the Sooners ranked eighth nationally in run defense. In fact, every Sooner defense since 2000 has been in the top 25 in run defense.
But through four games this season, OU is No. 93 in run defense while surrendering almost 178 rushing yards a game.
A week after Air Force's triple-option attack churned out 351 yards on the ground in Norman, Cincinnati's Isaiah Pead gashed the Sooners for 171 yards on 21 carries.
"I thought, first, he's an excellent player ... he was able to find spaces, cut back and break tackles," Stoops said Saturday night. "But I thought, for us, there were a few times execution-wise that we didn't squeeze him out when he was bending it back, and there were times we missed tackles. We had 'backers there to make tackles a time or two, and he'd either break the tackle or go right by us."
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 31709Oklahoma weather: Crews work to clear storm damage in Oklahoma City as the state braces for severe weather Sunday.
- 22246Oklahoma Severe Storm Updates
- 7126OKC Thunder GM Sam Presti won't amnesty Kendrick Perkins
- 6322Wild hogs continue to be a growing menace across Oklahoma
- 5037OKC Thunder: Thunder trio praise fans before potential departures
- 4484Student shot dead during botched home invasion
- 3553Oklahoma State football: Todd Monken thinks Wes Lunt should've stayed in Stillwater