Ronnell Lewis practiced some at middle linebacker last week but played only on special teams. OU coaches felt Air Force's complex option required playing their nickel defense with Tom Wort in the middle. Jeremy Beal also played most of the game, limiting snaps in the defensive end rotation.
"The next guy we put out there wouldn't have played anywhere close to what (nickel back) Tony (Jefferson) could," said defensive coordinator Brent Venables. "That's a spread option attack. It's not playing physical or setting the edge like we did against Stanford ...
"(Their offense) requires you to be very fast, very athletic. You have to (cover) a lot of wheel routes and play-action passes. You have to adjust to all their multiple formations and play in space extremely well. It requires you to be much more fleet of foot than it does strength."
NO SERIOUS INJURIES FOR SOONERS
Center Ben Habern cramped up and didn't play in the fourth quarter, needing an IV after the game. Tight end James Hanna suffered a hip pointer in the first quarter and did not return. Hanna will try to practice today. Defensive tackle Adrian Taylor played very few snaps as a precautionary move.
"One fear playing a team like that is you might lose guys for the year in a senseless way," Venables said. "They're going to mow you down every single play. They don't try to knock you off the ball. It's all angle, position blocking ... This wasn't a game where you wanted Adrian getting in a high/low position."
SEVERAL SOONERS RANK HIGH
Ryan Broyles ranks second nationally in receptions (31), fourth in receiving yards per game (127.3). ... Punter Tress Way is second nationally, averaging 48.7 yards per punt. ... DeMarco Murray ranks fifth with seven TDs, 13th in rushing (123.0 yards a game) ... Landry Jones is 15th in passing yards (283.7) but ranks 47th in passing efficiency.