OU football notebook: Travis Lewis not worried about defense

Adrian Peterson plans to attend OU-Texas game Saturday
BY JAKE TROTTER, Staff Writer, jtrotter@opubco.com Modified: September 28, 2010 at 8:24 am •  Published: September 27, 2010

Oklahoma will enter the Red River Rivalry ranked No. 97 in total defense, and No. 93 in run defense.

Linebacker Travis Lewis, however, isn't concerned.

"I have confidence in this defense," he said. "Looking at the film, we've been inconsistent and messing up little things. Those are two things you can fix. We have a lot of playmakers on this defense, so I'm not worried about it."

The Sooner defense was dominating in a 47-17 win over Florida State but was suspect in OU's other three nonconference games. Still, thanks to some big plays made by the defense, OU escaped out of the non-league slate undefeated.

"We're 4-0. I'm a happy camper. I don't care about statistics. All I care about is that we're 4-0. Last year, we were 2-2 at this time," Lewis said. "We wouldn't be 4-0 without our defense. We have just as much to do with our start as the offense. We make key plays at key times."

Among those key plays were four critical turnovers OU forced against Cincinnati, proving to be the difference in Saturday's 31-29 win. Still, Bearcat running back Isaiah Pead racked up 171 rushing yards against the Sooners, raising concern about OU's run defense.

Defensive coordinator Brent Venables noted after the game he'd be "re-evaluating personnel" but coach Bob Stoops said Monday there have been "no big shifts" on the defense this week. That includes middle linebacker, where starter Tom Wort was exploited by Cincinnati in the run game.

"There were plays I needed to make," Wort said after Monday's practice. "Definitely plays I need to be better on. I'm gonna keep working on it and giving it my all. That's all I can do."

Lewis admitted Monday that Wort needs to play better, but also came to the redshirt freshman's defense.

"He's a young guy. He's not going to be perfect. He can make mistakes. That's where older guys need to step up and guide him and help," Lewis said. "He makes too many plays to be taken off the field. I have confidence in him. I told coach 'V' Sunday, I'm proud of him. He had a rough game, but he was in there Sunday willing to get better and work at it.

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