Mike Stoops addresses OU defense

With OU's season opener Saturday, defensive coordinator Mike Stoops spoke in-depth about how his defense is coming together heading into the ULM game.

Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops was available to the media for the first time in more than three weeks and spoke in-depth about the defense is looking heading toward Saturday's game against ULM.

* Based on OU's unofficial depth chart, the Sooners will be running a 4-2-5 defense. But Stoops elaborated more on the system and how there will be multiple fronts during the season.

"We want to be multiple in everything we do," Stoops said. "We're going to mix and match everything we do based on personnel."

Stoops also explained the advantage of using a three-man front compared to a four-man defensive line.

"It gives you more diversity coming from different edges," Stoops said. "It gives you more pressure opportunities."

* Another question asked throughout camp has been the role of linebackers. There were times in 2012 when the Sooners didn't have one linebacker on the field.

Stoops said that won't be the case this season.

"I would imagine we'll see two linebackers on the field at all times Saturday," Stoops said.

He mentioned how linebackers Corey Nelson and Frank Shannon have had solid camps and have been consistently performing well. Stoops said he needs them to be playmakers for the defense.

* You can't talk defensive line without mentioning Quincy Russell. There will be no easing Russell into the rotation. With OU's lack of depth on the line, Stoops doesn't have that luxury.

"Quincy is getting better," Stoops said. "Again, it's a lot to grasp in a week. I'm sure his head is spinning a little Hopefully we can get him to the point by Saturday that he feels like he can go out and play and not think.

"He has a great motor. He's a big, strong physical guy who can move exceptionally well. He's growing into the position."

Stoops didn't say Russell would start but did say he is hopeful for Russell to get 20-30 snaps against ULM.

* OU is already starting in a hole for ULM as it was confirmed defensive tackle Chuka Ndulue and cornerback Cortez Johnson will not play because of one-game suspensions.

Stoops said most likely it will be redshirt freshman Zack Sanchez who will get the start at cornerback, while Ndulue is a little bit different because of all the multiple looks the defense will show.

* Stoops said freshman Matt Dimon will see time at defensive end and defensive tackle. He is set to be at tackle for Saturday and should see some playing time.

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