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OU notebook: Sooners' defense starts slow, finishes slow

BY MIKE BALDWIN, Staff Writer, mbaldwin@opubco.com Published: September 25, 2011

NORMAN — Oklahoma's defense surrendered 532 yards but most of the damage came on four touchdown drives, two early and two late.

“We gave up a lot of yards and two scores late. That part at the end is disappointing,” said coach Bob Stoops. “You should be able to stick with it and be able to do a lot of the same things you've been doing. They didn't change their offense all of a sudden.

“Whether it's focus or intensity I don't know. But give Missouri credit. They're going to put up yards and points on everybody.”

Here's a look at how many yards the Tigers gained on each drive and the end result.

1st Quarter

Yards - result

Drive 1: 76 yards, touchdown

Drive 2: 6 yards, punt

Drive 3: 76 yards, touchdown

Drive 4: 29 yards, punt

2nd quarter

Drive 5: 4 yards, punt

Drive 6: 33 yards, punt

Drive 7: 7 yards, punt

Drive 8: 52 yards, missed FG

3rd Quarter

Drive 9: 27 yards, punt

Drive 10: 5 yards, punt

Drive 11: 52 yards, missed FG

Drive 12: -3 yards, punt

4th Quarter

Drive 13: 89 yards, touchdown

Drive 14: 73 yards, touchdown

HABERN LEAVES WITH INJURY

Center Ben Habern, a preseason All-Big 12 selection who has played well during the Sooners' 3-0 start, left the game early in the third quarter after suffering an arm injury. Habern watched the fourth quarter in a white t-shirt and shorts, wearing a sling on his right arm.

“It's something with his forearm,” Stoops said. “Until I know exactly what it is I'm not going to speak on it.”

Speculation was Habern might have suffered a broken arm and might be sidelined a while. But after the game, there wasn't a definitive diagnosis.

Starting left guard Gabe Ikard slid over to play center, while veteran Stephen Good played left guard the remainder of the game.

“Gabe did a good job,” said quarterback Landry Jones. “It stinks that Ben went down. You hate for someone like Ben, one of the better guys on our team, to struggle with injuries quite a bit. It really stinks for him but we're going to have to move on. Gabe is going to do a great job for us in the future.”

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