Q&A with Bo Pelini

Oklahoma's Co-Defensive Coordinator and Secondary Coach talks about his Sooners' matchup against the Texas Tech passing attack and the possibility of Chijioke Onyenegecha (pictured above) getting more playing time at cornerback. (AP Photo/Jerry Laizure)<br>

With Mike Leach and his pass-happy Texas Tech Red Raiders coming to Norman this weekend, Oklahoma Co-Defensive Coordinator and secondary coach Bo Pelini will be busy. The game will make the first time that Pelini has faced Coach Leach, and his defensive backs are looking for a big game.

OUInsider.com had a chance to catch up with Coach Pelini on Monday to get his thoughts on taking on the always interesting Red Raiders.

JH: We know that Antonio Perkins will start at one corner, but is Eric Bassey still the starter over Chijioke Onyenegecha at the other spot?

BP: "Both had a good week of practice last week and both started off well this week. We are going to alternate them against Texas Tech and see what happens. Chijioke is going to see a lot more action against Texas Tech this weekend."

JH: Is Oklahoma considered an aggressive defensive secondary in terms of style?

BP: "We are considered multiple. We are not much different from what Mike (Stoops) did. We are a fairly similar defense. This same defense where I was last year (Nebraska) led the country in interceptions."

JH: Are offenses really challenging you, because it looks like they are being very conservative against you?

BP: "Very much so. You see a lot of quick throws a lot of underneath stuff, a lot of screens and a lot of bubble or wide receiver screens. We haven't been challenged a whole heck of a lot down the field, but over the next couple of weeks that should change."

JH: Is Texas Tech's philosophy different? Will they challenge you?

BP: "They get the ball out of their quarterback's hands fairly quickly, but the ball will go down the field. When they throw the ball as many times as they throw it the ball is going to be downfield some during the game. I think that will be good because our guys are looking forward to that challenge."

JH: Has your lack of interceptions been just a matter of missed opportunities?

BP: "We missed a couple of opportunities, but they haven't been challenged out on the field a whole heck of a lot. But over the next couple of weeks that should change."

JH: How would you say your secondary has played so far?

BP: "Not bad but there are a lot of things that we can do better. There is always room for improvement, but we have been fairly solid overall. Obviously, we haven't given up a lot of big plays, and any time you haven't been giving up a lot of big plays you are doing something right. You don't want to be guessing and fighting it to get interceptions. The interceptions will come through the natural progression of the game. The ball will be there and we just have to go and make the plays. We had our hands on a couple of balls that we didn't make the plays on. That is disappointing, but overall we have been solid with a lot of room for improvement."

JH: You have said before that you have already played some strange type of offensive teams. And now here comes Tech, who would be put in that category wouldn't they?

BP: "They are not as unusual as Houston was. Houston was very different and very unusual. The pass routes were unusual and the motions they used. Tech has some concepts that you see quite often, but they get to them in a lot of different ways. Coach (Mike) Leach knows how to do mix it up in the passing game and he will challenge us. Obviously, you don't lead the country in passing offense every year and not know what you are doing. It will be a challenge for us, but I think we have a good plan and I think we know what we are doing."

JH: The fact that Coach Leach has been coaching in this league for a sometime give teams a better chance to get ready for him doesn't it?

BP: "Yeah, obviously Coach (Bob) Stoops, Brent (Venables) and the other guys who have coached around here for a while know him pretty well. I have never played against him, so I have never seen his offense before. However, I am becoming acquainted with him. He does some good things and they have a good offense."

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