Shipp's DT's more than holding their own

Sooner defensive tackle coach Jackie Shipp talks about the emergence of Lynn McGruder and this Saturday's task of stopping KSU running back Darren Sproles. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The Oklahoma defensive tackles stood tall against their toughest test to date when they more than held their own against the Texas Longhorn running game. The three-man rotation of Lynn McGruder, Carl Pendleton and Remi Ayodele were outstanding against the Longhorns.

Redshirt freshman Steven Coleman is making strides and he will start seeing more action in future games. Lawrence Dampeer continues to work on his own, but told this reporter today the will be playing for the Sooners at some point this year. Dampeer is working twice a day to get his weight in order and he says he is going to class.

Jackie Shipp coaches these defensive tackles, and today he talked to for the Two Minute Drill.

JH: How well did your guys play against Texas?

JS: "Lynn McGruder probably had the best game he has ever played since he has been at the University of Oklahoma. I think he had five tackles and one assisted. The five unassisted tackles were all tackles for losses. He did a very good job dominating his man at the line of scrimmage. And like I said, he played the best game since he has been at the University of Oklahoma. Carl Pendleton just keeps improving. He attacked the line pretty good, and in fact it was his best effort in this area all year. He is getting better and better, so both of them had good games."

JH: With only three guys in great shape in the rotation is depth really a factor?

JS: "I have to give Coach (Jerry) Schmidt credit as he has all of them in good shape. But also give those guys credit for having the heart and the mentality to go through that many plays. That is especially true when they know they have to do it and they have to go hard on every snap and give their all. They are going to give their all on the field. This last game they did a heck of a job. You couldn't ask for anything more from them."

JH: Pendleton is a 275 pound defensive tackle right now who uses his quickness to an advantage. When he grows into a 295 pound player will he be a different type of player than he is now?

JS: "Any player would be. I think back to Kory Klein his redshirt freshman year, and just look at Tommie Harris and Dusty Dvoracek after their freshman year. Guys are going to mature. They are going to get mentally stronger, physically stronger and they are going to get better. What is great about these players is that they never get satisfied. They are going to get better year-in-and-year out."

JH: How much did you like the fact that your guys didn;t let the pressure get to them in such a big game?

JS: "That is what they are supposed to do."

JH: What about Kansas State?

JS: "It is going to be another physical football game. We have to stop their running back (Darren) Sproles (9th nationally at 138.8 yards per game). Our guys are going to have to be thinking about stopping run, stopping run and stopping run. They have a physical o-Line and they are very aggressive up front. We have to be aggressive and attack the line of scrimmage and get penetration. We have to disrupt plays and make plays."

Sooners Illustrated Top Stories