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Sooner defense: Gerald McCoy's numbers aren't much, but he's having an All-American season
When stats don't tell story

By Jake Trotter Modified: September 29, 2008 at 7:32 am •  Published: September 29, 2008
NORMAN — On TCU's first offensive play, running back Ryan Christian faked like he was receiving a handoff, though to his detriment faked too well.

That's because Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy blasted through blockers and, thinking Christian had the ball, slammed him to the ground.

In the final stats of OU's 35-10 beat down of TCU, McCoy's name couldn't be found.

In fact, punter Mike Knall had more tackles than McCoy, with one.

But by requiring so much attention and inflicting so much havoc, McCoy allowed fellow defensive tackle Adrian Taylor to have a career night with two tackles for loss and two sacks.

By tying up interior blockers, McCoy allowed OU's three linebackers to lead the team in tackles.

And for those reasons, McCoy is playing better than any Sooner defensive tackle since Tommie Harris manned the middle five years ago.

"Gerald, he's on his own planet,” defensive coordinator Brent Venables said. "Cory (Bennett) has done some pretty good things, and Adrian has really done pretty good.

"But Gerald is playing at a different level.”

McCoy should vie for Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and, provided he stays healthy, All-American honors, despite being only 10th on the team in tackles.

But like Harris, who battled constant double- and triple-teams during his college career, McCoy's value can't be measured with statistics.

Instead, his worth should be measured by how much better he makes his teammates.

And so far, McCoy has been awesome.

Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy, right, brings down Chattanooga's Shaun Kermah during the first half of the Sooners' win over the Mocs on Aug. 30 in Norman. McCoy should be a candidate for Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year. By sarah phipps, the oklahoman

OU at Baylor
When: 11:30 a.m. Saturday

Where: Floyd Casey Stadium, Waco, Texas

TV: FSN (Cox 37)

Radio: KOKC-AM 1520, KRXO-FM 107.7

Breaking down Baylor
→Location: Waco, Texas

→Enrollment: 13,886

→Mascot: Bears

→Conference: Big 12

→Record: 2-2

→Last game: Two weeks ago, the Bears had Connecticut on the ropes in East Hartford and led in the fourth quarter, but the Huskies scored a late touchdown to rally to a 31-28 victory.

→Best player: Freshman quarterback Robert Griffin is among the nation's leaders in passing efficiency. He's thrown for 756 yards, completed 60 percent of his passes and tossed seven TDs with no interceptions. He's also rushed for 334 yards and five more scores.

→Why they could win: The game is in Waco, Texas, and the Bears seem to be an up-and-coming team under first-year coach Art Briles. Griffin is an exciting player, able to make plays with his arm and his feet.

→Why they could lose: The battle for supremacy on the offensive and defensive lines should be a landslide in OU's favor. Also, Wake Forest QB Riley Skinner picked apart the Bears' secondary earlier in the year. Imagine what Sam Bradford will do.


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