#1 Defensive end Charles TapperOU didn't have too many playmakers on defense last season, but Tapper has emerged at defensive end. The sophomore has started all three games this season and has provided a lot of energy and has been effective tracking down quarterbacks and in getting to players in open space. Tapper said he is excited about this weekend's opportunity.
#2 Defensive tackle Jordan PhillipsThe sophomore is finally starting to become that presence in the middle everybody thought he would be. No longer thinking about things, the scheme change has Phillips playing free and loose. And more importantly, better. The last two games have been the best in Phillips' career, who has benefited greatly from the addition of Jerry Montgomery as OU's defensive line coach.
#3-4 -- Linebackers Corey Nelson and Frank ShannonThey matter again. Last year they weren't on the field that much. And when they were, they weren't all that effective. OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops vowed that two linebackers would be on the field at all times. It's actually been three with sophomore Eric Striker in the mix, too. Nelson has developed into a senior leader, while Shannon is flying around to the football.