Sooner defense not at all happy with performance

BY TRAVIS HANEY, Staff Writer, thaney@opubco.com Published: September 26, 2011

NORMAN — Late Saturday was the time for Oklahoma's defense to be angry about how it played. Monday was the time to correct.

The Sooners defeated Missouri by 10 points, but they were left feeling unsettled by allowing 532 total yards to the Tigers.

Well, it wasn't the yardage specifically that had coordinator Brent Venables and linebacker Travis Lewis, in particular, peeved; it was the fact they knew the job had not been done well, in part due to a poor week of practice.

Florida State was an exemplary outing for the Sooners. Missouri resulted in frustration.

Here comes Ball State, with Texas on deck.

“Hopefully we'll learn from the mistakes that we made, whether it's mentally or physically or emotionally,” Venables said. “It's probably a little bit of everything. But we did not play like we're capable of playing. Certainly we didn't play for four quarters with the type of focus and purpose and attitude that we did the week before.”

As Venables noted, OU lost three key battles within last week's game. Missouri finished with more – a lot more - rushing yards, 263-162. The Tigers had more big plays, “explosive plays” in Sooners vernacular. MU also had no turnovers, to OU's two (both interceptions).

“When you lose two of those three,” Venables said, “you normally lose.” Because of that, he said the Sooners took coaching well after the game — and again Monday when it came for film review and a return to the practice field.

“We don't have a bunch of dummies around here. They know,” Venables said. “This was indicative of a bunch of guys who knew they were fortunate to win and didn't play like they're capable of playing. They've taken the accountability, and they've owned it. I have no doubt they'll move forward.”

Missouri's coaches said afterward that putting receivers in motion helped the Tigers figure out matchups against OU's man coverage. Once in those one-on-one situations, Mizzou's receivers simply beat the defender. The Tigers had pass completions of 32, 29 and 45 yards on their first three possessions, two of which ended in touchdowns to establish a 14-3 lead.

Big plays have been problematic all year for OU's defense, even though it's not as if one coverage or scheme has been suspect. It's one player on one play, but it's happening on a regular basis.

OU coach Bob Stoops continued to say Monday that Missouri should be given more credit in all this. James Franklin and Henry Josey both ran for more than 100 yards. Part of that was OU. Part of that was Franklin and Josey being talented.

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