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OU football: Defense plays well despite 22-21 spring game loss

Other than struggling against the run at times early in the game, and one long pass play, OU's defense played well Saturday afternoon under returning defensive coordinator Mike Stoops.
by Michael Baldwin Published: April 14, 2012

The scoring system slanted toward the offense, which scored in traditional fashion (touchdowns and field goals).

The defense scored on three-and-outs (two points), missed field goals (three points), sacks (two points), fourth-down stops (three points) and turnovers (three points).

The scoreboard says the defense “lost” but one stat underscored that the defense played well Saturday afternoon.

The offense had 18 possessions and scored only two touchdowns — Reynolds' catch and Thompson's eight-yard pass to Danzel Williams with 31 seconds left.

OU's defense didn't force any turnovers. But on the offense's other 16 possessions, the defense forced 12 punts.

“Our defense had a big chip on our shoulder throughout the spring,” said linebacker Corey Nelson. “We had to let everybody know that last year wasn't really good and this year has to be better than last year. I feel all spring the defense played well with an aggressive attitude.”

The defense was in its base scheme most of the game but did blitz late.

“Believe it or not, we were trying to win,” said Mike Stoops, smiling. “We (even) kept blitzing at the end to try and get our two points. They finally figured that out and ran the ball.”

The defense viewed Saturday's game as a spring final exam.

So what was their final grade?

“Overall, not giving up big plays and executing our defense, I'd give us around a B-plus,” Hurst said. “We still have some things to work on, technique, small things. Once we get those ironed out we'll be where we want to be.”

by Michael Baldwin
Redhawks, Barons, MLB, NFL 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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