The Alexander Impact: Return Bolsters D-Line

The second defensive possession of last weekend's 47-17 victory for the Sooners over Florida State was a huge one and not just because it ended with a three-and-out, but because of how it ended.

Defensive end Frank Alexander, who sprained his ankle just days before OU's opener against Utah State and was sidelined for the contest, returned to action, and he came back with authority.

On a third-and-8 play from FSU's own 16-yard line late in the first quarter, FSU quarterback Christian Ponder dropped back just in time to see Alexander breathing down his neck along with opposite side defensive end Jeremy Beal.

The play resulted in a 12-yard sack, forcing the Seminoles to punt and dig themselves into a deeper hole.

It was a fraction of Alexander's 1.5 sacks on the day for a loss of 15 yards.

The other came in the second quarter when he smothered Ponder again on a third down play for a loss of three.

"It felt real good to be back man," Alexander said about the performance. "You know, [it was good] to be out there once again with my teammates and all of us getting together and doing what we've been working all year to do and that's play football and try to win a game."

They certainly did that.

As for a percentage on his health and recovery, he wouldn't go into too much detail on that Tuesday.

"I felt real good today in practice," Alexander said. "You know, I've been in a training room consistently every day three times a day getting ice and [treatment], and Jim [Hillis] and Scott [Anderson] are working on it, you know, doing just the little things to get my bones, my legs back strong from being in that boot so long, so it felt real good today."

He's definitely in an improved condition from before.

"You know, my ankle felt a little bit better," Alexander said. "It was not all weight like I was hoping it to be, but, you know, I just went out there and just wanted to give it my all."

So, Alexander's recovery is clearly coming along as planned, and he'll be full health shortly, great news for the Sooner faithful.

But there's even more good news dealing with the 6-foot-4, 251 lb. junior.

Alexander said his motivation and focus are at a high point in his career, as he racked up as many sacks in his return last week as he did all of 2009.

"I feel like right now I have a better chance of achieving my goals that I set out because I feel like now I'm more mature about things," Alexander said. "I take ownership to my mistakes and, you know, whatever mistake I make, I take it and go on and try to make myself better from that mistake. So I just feel like my whole attitude's just better about being at practice and being out there in the game, just a whole attitude thing."

That's something the coaching staff, players and rest of Sooner Nation gladly welcome.

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