OU defense goes back to basics, dominates Texas

by Michael Baldwin Published: October 8, 2011

Even when Harsin pulled out a trick play the Sooners were ready.

“Those plays work all the time because they get leverage on you,” Venables said. “We weren't going to let them get comfortable that way.”

Texas never got comfortable.

The Longhorns didn't reach the red zone until late in the third quarter when they marched to the 14-yard line. And that opportunity turned into disaster.

Three plays later the Longhorns faced a fourth-and-49 and punted:

* Ash fumbled the snap on first down, losing four yards.

* He was sacked by Tony Jefferson for a 15-yard loss on second down.

* Ronnell Lewis sacked Ash for a 20-yard loss on third down.

“Straight domination,” Hurst said. “Our defense came ready to play. We really showed up today. I feel we can play this way the rest of the season.”

The Sooners held the Longhorns to 259 yards and one offensive touchdown which was scored in the waning minutes of a rout.

OU's defense has been solid in wins over Florida State and Texas. The only concern was Missouri 532 yards.

“We can't ride that rollercoaster,” said linebacker Tom Wort. “If we have another game like we did against Missouri we might get beat. After Florida State we kind of had a hangover. We can't have that.”

But outside of Missouri game, this defense has shown it might be one of the top units in the Bob Stoops era.

Venables doesn't like to compare different units. He would never make an evaluation until after the season. But he was extremely pleased with Saturday's performance.

“Our guys were impressive today. I'm not going to downplay that,” Venables said. “They played great, with focus and purpose and great leadership... The defenses that have given us a chance to play in the national championship are the ones that have gotten better.”

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by Michael Baldwin
Reporter
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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