SEATTLE — Overwhelmed by defensive pressure, Jake Locker tucked the ball and ran for his life. But he didn't get far. Seven yards down the field, Travis Lewis grabbed Locker's legs before Ryan Reynolds buried his shoulder pad into Locker's chest so violently, the Washington quarterback had the wind knocked out of him and momentarily had to leave the game.
Thanks to hard hitting and relentless blitzing, Oklahoma punished Locker and the Huskies 55-14 in its best defensive road performance in years. Before 67,716, the Sooners rolled 55-14 at Husky Stadium, emphatically ending any talk of “road woes,” and just as emphatically returning memories of the blitzing defenses that dominated college football at the turn of this century. “Our players really took the field in a strong way,” coach Bob Stoops said. “We really played physical.” The Sooner defense finished with 13 tackles for loss, four sacks and three fumble recoveries, blitzing seemingly on every down while the game was still competitive. Minus a 22-yard run by David Freeman, the defensive front, spearheaded by Gerald McCoy, demolished the Husky running game. The new-look linebacking trio of Lewis, Reynolds and Keenan Clayton boasted its collective speed, blitzing their way into the Husky backfield and chasing down Locker whenever he escaped the pocket. The defensive backfield, which has been burnt at times in recent years, didn't allow Locker to connect a pass of more than 21 yards and covered well in man-to-man coverage. And defensive coordinator Brent Venables called his most aggressive game, perhaps since taking over for Mike Stoops in 2004. “It was cool, we came in and did what we wanted,” McCoy said. View the OU-Washington slideshow
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