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.
"Coach 'V' ate him up pretty bad, but Tom has stayed positive."
Not everyone in the Sooner State was pleased to see Texas lose 34-12 to UCLA.
"I did not want them to lose," said Lewis, who found out about the upset on the team bus ride to the Cincinnati airport.
"I was really disappointed. I wanted them to be 4-0. I was not excited about it."
TWO MINUTE DRILL
Cornerback Jamell Fleming, who left in the first half at Cincinnati and did not return with an ankle sprain, did not practice Monday. Stoops said it's "too early" to tell if Fleming will be able to play against Texas. If Fleming can't go, true freshman Aaron Colvin will make his first career start. ... Defensive tackle Casey Walker, who suffered a knee sprain at Cincinnati, has been ruled out against Texas. ... Jimmy Stevens will continue to be OU's place-kicker, Stoops said. Stevens made of 1 of 2 tries at Cincinnati, both attempts from 42 yards out. ... QB Landry Jones was named the Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week for the fourth time in his career for his 370-yard, two-touchdown outing against the Bearcats. ... Former Sooner running back Adrian Peterson said he plans to use Minnesota's bye to go visit family in Palestine, Texas, then go to the OU-Texas game.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
Safety Jonathan Nelson, on his touchdown-saving forced fumble of Cincinnati receiver D.J. Woods at the goal line: "At the last second, I don't know how I saw it, but he was carrying the ball a little bit loose. He was running really fast. Usually when you're running that fast, you don't have great ball security. So I tried to secure the tackle with one hand and just poke it out with the other. (Quinton Carter) was right behind me and was able to recover it. So it worked out."