Oklahoma Defensive Breakdown

Defensively, Oklahoma has their usual arsenal of talent and was praised by Kansas coach Charlie Weis at his weekly press conference. The Sooners give up an average of 300 yards per game (171 passing, 129 rushing) and 17 points per game. The Sooners defense is once again led by Mike Stoops, who is back after as the head coach at Arizona.

Defensively, Oklahoma has their usual arsenal of talent and was praised by Kansas coach Charlie Weis at his weekly press conference. The Sooners give up an average of 300 yards per game (171 passing, 129 rushing) and 17 points per game. The Sooners defense is once again led by Mike Stoops, who is back after as the head coach at Arizona.

Kansas will try to keep them off balance by keeping them guessing on who will start at quarterback on Saturday night. Whether it's Michael Cummings or Dayne Crist, the Jayhawks will face one of the top defenses they've faced this season.

The Sooners front four versatility and youth to blend with experience. On the end, senior David King anchors the right side. King started at tackle the first two games a tackle. Sophomore Chuka Ndule is young, but has 18 tackles on the year. He started his first game in the season opener at UTEP. Two seniors make up the defensive tackles in Casey Walker and Jamarkus McFarland. The two have played in a combined 65 games, starting in a combined 28. McFarland has three sacks, ranking second on the team.

Oklahoma will go with two linebackers at times and will also go with a more conventional 4-3 set. Their two main backers are two juniors in Corey Nelson and Tom Wort. Both were named to preseason watch list with Nelson being named to the Lombardi Award watch list and Wort, the Nagurski and Butkus award watch list. Both of them have 19 tackles so far this season. Junior Gabe Lynn will be the nickel back or shift and play outside linebacker.

The Sooners defense is unique in that three of their leading tacklers come in the secondary. Senior strong safety Javon Harris and junior free safety Tony Jefferson are the leading tacklers with 37 and 30 respectively. Harris has two interceptions, including a 46 yarder for a touchdown against Texas Tech, two weeks ago. Junior Aaron Colvin and senior Demontre Hurst make up the cornerbacks. Colvin has 20 tackles and two picks. Hurst was named to the Bednarik and Nagurski award watch lists.

Senior punter Tress Way ranks 10th nationally, with an average of 43.8 yards per punt and has handled both punting and kicking duties in his time at Oklahoma.

Overall, the Oklahoma defense is still a work in progress, but after the loss to K-State, signs are pointing up for them. They'll keep it simple and line up and just try to beat their man and get to the ball. It'll be the challenge of the Jayhawks offense to match their intensity and keep them guessing.


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