OU's offense helping its 'D' in practice

Sooners' new attack more closely resembles is Big 12 opponents

Everything about Oklahoma offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley’s attack screams Big 12 Conference. The speed, the style, the tempo: All of it mirrors that of Oklahoma’s league.

It has TCU’s spread look. It has a tempo that mirrors the Baylor Bears’ fast-paced offense. There are even glimpses of Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

A change in the offensive scheme will be a positive for the Sooners’ attack. It’ll also be big for Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops and his defensive unit.

“It’s going to help us play spread teams more,” Stoops said. “. . . Obviously, our team was a running team a year ago. We were good against the run, and we weren’t very good against the pass. It’s interesting how those two statistics went hand-in-hand with offense and defense.

“You get good at what you prepare against all the time. Hopefully, that helps us.”

Stoops laughed off concerns that the Sooners will struggle against the run this year because of the pass-first attack of the offense. No matter the defense’s strength, gauging a quality defense is changing rapidly as well.

Oklahoma was widely considered to be a worse defense last season than it was two years earlier. However, it allowed fewer yards per play, created just one fewer turnover and posted a better red-zone touchdown percentage in the 2014 season than in 2013.

Obviously the most telling stat was that Oklahoma allowed 70 more points last season than in 2013. The answer is clearly to allow fewer points, the question is still exactly how to do that.

“These teams that are so good in that space and have good, athletic receivers, quarterback, running back – it is a different game,” Stoops said. “You’re just put in isolated situations a lot more now than you ever have. . . . There’s a give and take to everything you do. It’s difficult but I still think we certainly can play better than we did a year ago.’

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