By Mike Baldwin Published: November 23, 2007
Improved defense
OSU is ranked 99th nationally in total defense, 63rd in scoring defense. It's been the Cowboys' Achilles' heel, but the defense has had its moments.

The Cowboys shut out Nebraska for three quarters, an offense that scored 73 points,. They blanked Texas A&M for one half and held Texas to 14 points through three quarters. Last week they held Baylor to 309 yards.

"We've worked really hard,” said senior defensive end Nathan Peterson. "We know we haven't had the numbers (overall) worth any great praise. But we feel we've improved greatly and have some momentum going into Bedlam.”

•Different challenge: The Sooners will play without DeMarco Murray, their leading rusher, sidelined by a kneecap injury. Allen Patrick has rushed for 637 yards. In last year's Bedlam game, a 27-21 OU win, Patrick ran for 163 yards.

"They all have different running styles but they're all good,” said OSU senior linebacker Jeremy Nethon. "They have speed and agility. When you prepare for them you prepare for a good back. All their running backs are quality.”

•What-if: If OSU hadn't squandered a 21-point, fourth-quarter lead against Texas, the Cowboys would be playing for the Big 12 South title Saturday. Nethon, sidelined by an ankle injury, watched the game from the stands with his father, a former Longhorn player.

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