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OU-Air Force film study: Jury still out on Sooner defense

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Modified: September 19, 2010 at 8:27 pm •  Published: September 19, 2010

/articleid/3496664/1/pictures/1142995">Photo - Oklahoma's Adrian Taylor (86) and Frank Alexander (84) celebrate after a sack on Air Force's Tim Jefferson (7) during the second half of the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Air Force Falcons at the Gaylord Family - Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010, in Norman, Okla.   Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Adrian Taylor (86) and Frank Alexander (84) celebrate after a sack on Air Force's Tim Jefferson (7) during the second half of the college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the Air Force Falcons at the Gaylord Family - Memorial Stadium on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2010, in Norman, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

The answer to that question could determine whether the Sooners win another Big 12 title.

Offense

Quarterback Landry Jones was inconsistent. When he struggled at times in the second quarter, Jones didn't plant his feet and step into throws. Jones' rhythm was better in the second half, especially the third quarter when OU built a 27-10 lead. ... DeMarco Murray is pounding out tough yards but still has a burst around the corner. ... Ryan Broyles' route running is exceptional, but he also has shifty moves. More than half of his receiving yards were yards after the catch. ... As a team, OU had 120 receiving yards after the catch. ... The play of the game was Murray's 17-yard reception on a screen pass. Not only did the play catch the Falcons flat footed, the blocking allowed Murray to score without being touched. ... The Sooners had four dropped passes, two each by Cameron Kenney and Mossis Madu. ... The offensive line will rotate eight players. Center Ben Habern and right tackle Eric Mensik are locked in. The other three spots will rotate six players. ... In his first start, tackle Jarvis Jones was flagged for a false start and holding.

Defense

Strong safety Jonathan Nelson played the option as well as anyone. Nelson left the game late in the third quarter following a helmet-to-helmet hit. Nelson wasn't on the field during Air Force's two fourth-quarter TD drives. ... Linebacker Travis Lewis had his best game (13 tackles). Like all OU defenders, Lewis got confused a couple of times but fought off blocks and pursued well to make a ton of plays. ... True freshman nickel back Tony Jefferson, solid once again, continues to show why many believe he will be a star. ... True freshman defensive tackle Daniel Noble was exploited on a couple of big plays but made plays that show why coaches like his long-term potential. ... Middle linebacker Tom Wort delivers punishing tackles but sometimes is out of position. ... Sophomore David King has earned the top defensive end reserve spot ahead of Pryce Macon and R.J. Washington.


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