OU football: Mike Stoops has some work to do on defense

Brother Bob Stoops adds that offense had as much to do with last season's losses than the defense.
by Michael Baldwin Published: March 25, 2012

Through three quarters, the offense produced four three-and-outs and four turnovers. One turnover was an OSU defensive touchdown. Another essentially was a defensive touchdown.

OU's offense, not the defense, was the primary reason the Cowboys romped to a 44-10 win.

Considered one of the top defensive coaches in the country, Mike Stoops should impact OU's defense. But to place all the blame for three losses last season on the defense and former defensive coordinator Brent Venables isn't justified.

The defense must avoid games in which wide receivers run wide open. Bob Stoops' point is how the 2012 season plays out has many other variables other than how the defense fares under his brother.

“Hopefully, we can play better in three games, and hopefully in those games, defensively, not have the breakdowns we had,” Stoops said. “But players ultimately have a hand in that as well.

“You can coach all you want. If a guy is not capable of doing it, he's not capable of doing it. A lot of it all has to work together.”

One of the biggest frustrations for OU's staff was the inconsistency on both sides of the ball. The defense played well in marquee wins over Florida State, Texas and Kansas State but allowed 931 passing yards in losses to Texas Tech and Baylor.

The offense ranked among the nation's top-scoring teams but was inconsistent, especially after All-America wide receiver Ryan Broyles suffered a season-ending knee injury.

“In the end, the players still make plays, players still win the game,” Bob Stoops said. “Hopefully our players, whether we're coaching them better or they're paying closer attention, through teaching and work on the field can develop better skills in what we're trying to do.

“Together, it takes all of that. It doesn't take one guy (Mike Stoops) walking in here and changing it. It's going to take everybody.”

by Michael Baldwin
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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