OU ready to slow down Joshua Dobbs

Sooners' linebackers know stopping the Vols' quarterback is key Saturday

When Tennessee came to Norman last year, the Oklahoma Sooners didn’t get a taste of current Volunteers quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who a few defensive players feel is the most important part of this year’s version of the Volunteers attack.

Oklahoma was victimized last year by mobile quarterbacks, being gashed by the “pop pass” utilized by Kansas State – whether it was a legal play or not.

Stopping Dobbs is the first step.

“I think that’s their whole offense,” Oklahoma linebacker Eric Striker said of Dobbs. “If we can get him, that’s the key to stopping them. They want to do everything through him. With his ability, he’s very versatile. We’ve got to contain him and stop him, and I think we’ll be successful.”

Containing Dobbs, who was nearly the third Tennessee ball carrier to exceed 100 yards in the season opener, is a multi-step process for Oklahoma.

It’s not so much the direct runs that could cause problems for Oklahoma. The scramble drill usually is the biggest threat to a defense. The Sooners have learned a little about defending a mobile quarterback capable of a “pop pass.”

“We’re always talking about never coming down on a guy until you pass the line of scrimmage,” Oklahoma linebacker Jordan Evans said. “You have to really do that. If he can run outside the pocket, he can create more plays. If he runs outside the pocket and you come down too quick, he’ll dump it over you.

“You have to minimize the gains. If he does run it, and you’re there, make the play.”


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