Sooner Football Notebook

The latest news and notes from Monday's practice as the Sooners begin preparations for Saturday's matchup against Houston. Junior running back Kejuan Jones (pictured left) says nobody was happier than him to see the success of Adrian Peterson against Bowling Green. (AP Photo/Jerry Laizure)

Sooner right guard Davin Joseph has a dinged knee and his status for this week is up in the air as the Sooners begin working on Houston Monday. It is nothing serious and he does not need any extended care, but his status for Saturday won't be determined until later in the week.

Joseph was having a great game until the injury and he graded out the highest among the offensive line. Jammal Brown was next followed by Wes Sims. According to OU offensive line coach Kevin Wilson, Sims had several plays where he was totally dominant. Chris Bush also graded out very well as he took Joseph's spot in the second half.

Bush also played some at right guard giving Kelvin Chaisson a blow in the second half when he rolled an ankle. Chaisson's injury is not considered serious. Chaisson did not have a great game against Bowling Green. And today, Coach Wilson said if Bush did not have to spend so much time covering for Joseph at right guard that he was going to throw open the competition at left guard between Chaisson and Bush this week. But now, Coach Wilson may have to put that off a week.

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The Sooners have a great team with a number of good players, and that is very evident on the defensive side of the ball. The Sooners have a different roster of players for their base defense where they use Gayron Allen at WLB and Clint Ingram and Demarrio Pleasant at SLB, along with Lance Mitchell in the middle.

However, when the Sooners face a passing team or a passing down, they will put Rufus Alexander in at WLB and go with Brandon Shelby as the fifth DB in place of the SLB. The Sooners will use that same group along with dime defensive back Jason Carter when they want six DBs on the field.

Against Houston this Saturday, the Sooners may play their base defense more because Houston does line up in a two back set quite a bit and they actually try to run the ball more than they throw it. Coach Brent Venables has been saying all fall camp that he wants to run his base defense more against teams that can throw, because he has SLB's can cover in the passing game. We will see if that plays out this weekend.

"Hopefully, we are pretty adaptable with our defensive personnel against any type of offense we play," said OU Head Coach Bob Stoops. "For the most part, we can put in the type of players that can match-up. I believe that we have enough skill at different positions to be able to do it."

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While most of the media and fans that went or covered the game on Saturday believe that the Sooners defense didn't play all that well, that is not the case of the Sooner defensive coaching staff, who believe that in giving up a couple of scores and a total of 269 yards against a team that averages close to 500 yards in total offense a game, that they actually played pretty well. "Bowling Green's quarterback Omar Jacobs made some plays against us, but for the most part we had three to five breakdowns in coverage that he was able to capitalize on," said OU Co-Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables. "That was a credit to him. Some of it was due to some new guys on the field and some it was due to guys missing time at practice. They were rusty and facing some things they haven't seen. For the most part, it was good execution on their part and really we had some really good execution on our part throughout the game. We had some missed tackles in the game. We gave them three third down convertions by alignments or assignment mistakes. These were basic things that are easily correctable. Our defensive performance was very promising to say the least, especially right out of the gate.

"The effort was good and the toughness was good," Venables continued. "The pressure was really good all day playing against an offense that is designed to prevent you from sacking the quarterback. They build that wall around him and they tell that quarterback that if it is not there the first time then don't wait for the second time. They want him to get rid of the ball unless he can scramble and buy time, and he was able to do that at times. For the most part, we played very good defense on Saturday."

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Finally, there has been and there be more talk about AD (Adrian Peterson) replacing Kejuan Jones as the feature running back of the Sooners. And now, more and more reporters and fans are making predictions when AD will become the main man in the Sooner backfield.

Well, I am here to tell you that OU is going to play at least two running backs all year and they might find a way to play three. So, Jones isn't going anywhere, especially after rushing for a career high 148 yards. And he says, contrary to popular belief, he hopes AD has great success in every game he plays this year. Remember, it was Kejuan who was the first player off the bench to greet AD after the freshman's first TD run.

"I don't think people realize that I don't hate AD," said KeJuan. "Why should I hate somebody that is on my team? He is a great athlete and there is no reason why I should have hatred towards him. He is learning and he is a great guy. He came to the best school in college football and I never once didn't want him to come here. In fact, I wanted him to be here. All he has done is make this team a lot better, and that is all he is going to do. For me not to congratulate him when the players went out there is out of the question. I would think that would make me not a good guy if I didn't go out there and congratulate him."

"I have always been that type of teammate anyway, and it doesn't matter if they play my same position or not," Jones continued. "I am going to be the first one to congratulate him, just like Quentin or Renaldo were always the first to congratulate me. When Quentin or Renaldo made a touchdown, I was always the first player to congratulate them. We are always trying to help each other, despite competing against each other because we all want to reach that next level."

So, no matter how the competition materializes over the next few weeks, I don't think you are going to be able to create any animosity between the Sooner running backs this year. I think you can also book it that Jones is not going to go to the bench this year. I think it is safe to say that at the very least he and AD will share the position this year. Always remember, that right now Kejuan is far and away the best pass protector among the running backs.

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Senior cornerback Antonio Perkins, who was injured after a punt return in the third quarter, practiced today and Coach Stoops said he will be ready for Saturday.

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