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OU football: Sooners about to find out if Texas Tech's defense is legit

COMMENTARY — If Texas Tech's statistical defensive ranking is legitimate, the OU Sooners and the rest of the Big 12 are in trouble. We'll find out Saturday night in Lubbock.
by Berry Tramel Published: October 2, 2012

Tech's defense held up well against the Sooners, with a 41-38 upset in Norman.

“Last year I thought we played pretty good,” Tuberville said. “Played the best defensive game we played all year against Oklahoma last year, and still gave up 38 points.”

Tuberville was known for his defenses while head coach at Ole Miss and Auburn. So after last season – when Tech's season ended with losses of 41-7 to Iowa State, 52-20 to Texas, 66-6 to OSU, 31-27 to Missouri and 66-42 to Baylor – Tuberville dismissed Chad Glasgow and hired Kaufman, who had been Tuberville's coordinator at Mississippi and spent last season at North Carolina's coordinator.

“Kaufman's done an excellent job,” Stoops said. “They're disciplined in what they're doing. Aggressive, physical up front. They're covering you tight.”

Tuberville said Tech's newfound defensive prowess is built upon confidence.

“Confidence of knowing they're all on the same page,” Tuberville said. “It's not rocket science. What we do is very simple.”

Kaufman has instituted the gap-control system that Mike Stoops apparently put in at OU.

And now it comes down to Tech's new defense against the OU offense and the struggling Landry Jones.

The rest of the Big 12 would love to see the Sooners go 0-2 in the conference and stay in their offensive slump.

But it comes at a price. Shut down the Sooners, and the dormant Texas Tech defense will have grown fangs.

Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at