OU football: Sooners' run defense can't afford slow start against Texas Tech

In the two games since senior linebacker Corey Nelson's season-ending injury, Oklahoma's run defense has been significantly less productive.
by Jason Kersey Published: October 21, 2013

“Frank has to worry about getting Frank lined up, and then tries to help other people,” Mike Stoops said. “That's just familiarity of what you're doing. You have to know what you're doing before you can help anybody else. That's kind of what has happened; we're having a hard time helping each other because we're recognizing and seeing things late, then you really can't help anybody else out.”

True freshman Dominique Alexander and sophomore P.L. Lindley have each taken on greater roles since Nelson's injury. Lindley was recruited as a linebacker, but switched to defensive end early in his career.

After Nelson's injury, OU coaches moved him back to linebacker. He made two tackles and recovered a fumble in the Sooners' loss to Texas two weeks ago, then made his first career start last weekend at Kansas.

“Just overall — the problem we've been having as a team — just knowing my assignments better, reading formations, knowing what they're coming out in and knowing how to line up to them and play each fit differently,” Lindley responded when asked what he felt he needed to improve on personally.

Bob Stoops refused to blame the run defense's struggles on Nelson's absence.

“I don't want to say because it's an excuse and at the end of the day, he's not there and he's not going to be,” Bob Stoops said. “The other guys have to be able to do it.

“But I don't believe it's just them. It's stuff we should have been able to line up to because we anticipated it, worked it, we walked through on Friday and then we don't handle it.”


by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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