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Oklahoma Sooners defense in midseason form

Published on NewsOK Modified: September 1, 2014 at 4:43 pm •  Published: September 1, 2014

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — Oklahoma said all summer it expected to field a better defense than the unit that led the Big 12 in total defense last year.

The Sooners are off to a good start. They shut down Louisiana Tech for much of a 48-16 win Saturday night. Oklahoma held the Bulldogs to just 245 yards, including 54 yards rushing on 29 attempts.

Oklahoma's starters were especially dominant. The Sooners led 31-0 before the Bulldogs scored their first points on a field goal with only seconds remaining in the first half.

"They, together, were really good," Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said Monday. "A bunch of three-and-outs, got great pressure on the quarterback, eliminated the run game. Really had no mental problems. All of them together were really sharp. I was really pleased with that group."

The Sooners took extra pride in stopping Tech's run game. Oklahoma held Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech's star running back, to 42 yards on 16 carries. The Sooners aren't shy about saying they believe they're elite up front.

"We take that to practice every day," inside linebacker Dominique Alexander said. "No one should be able to run the ball on us. If we stop the run game, it makes the offense one dimensional, and they have to throw the ball. We believe that we do have the best front seven in the country."

The Sooners were dominant, even after linebacker Jordan Evans was ejected in the second quarter. Dominique Alexander, Oklahoma's other starting inside linebacker, said Caleb Gastelum stepped in and played well in Evans' place.

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