Venables Talks Baylor Win

NORMAN, Okla. -- The Oklahoma defense held Baylor to six rushing yards on Saturday. After the game OU Defensive Coordinator Brent Venables talked about the unit's performance.

On the overall defensive performance
[I] thought our guys responded really well in the second half. [I] thought they made a few plays on us obviously in the first half, they threw some balls. They did a better job of competing for it. We had a couple of breakdowns, but guys came back and played a lot cleaner game in the second half.

On if they played pretty good assignment football
For the most part, I think that when we didn't, they really took advantage of it, so it will be good for us to be able to teach from in regards to just being yourself a couple of key times, but that's to take nothing away from them. They came in and did a few things that kind of surprised us and again probably threw it a little bit more than they had in the past and did a good job on throwing the ball, going up and competing for the ball.

On OU stopping them on key fourth downs early
That's their nature though. That's coach Briles and that system. You know, they cross the 50, you better be prepared to play in four down territory even, you know, [if] it's extended. That's just how they play.

On Jonathan Nelson's performance in coming in for the injured Quinton Carter
He did well. He came in and did really well. He did well. Yeah, and then we've been working him as a backup safety, so he's been working that in practice. You know, he hasn't gotten in the game at it, but again [he] came out and knew what we were doing and played well.

On Carter's status
He says he'll be fine, but we'll see.

On the offense and defense complementing each other
Yeah, outside of that one time after again we let them down there, outside of that, we really did. They possessed the blal, and we did a lot better job getting off the field and playing a field position game and just playing well together particularly obviously the second half.

On the linebackers' play
Yeah, again, outside of when they scored that drive, we had a couple things that happened, but overall [I] thought that they were pretty good.

On actually closing a game out defensively and what was different
I don't know. I just don't know. I'm just happy that we played better in the second half and played a lot cleaner game. It's just part of the game. Sometimes it goes your way, and sometimes it doesn't. I don't think that there was a monkey on our back. We didn't feel that [but] just [needed to] play how we're capable of playing. Don't play like superman. Just do what you're asked to do, and read and trust your keys and assignments, play with techniques and fundamentals. It really is [important]. In our two losses, it came down to that, and again, I thought we played, again, when we were more focused on just doing our responsibilities in the second half, we did a lot better.

On if the criticism of the defense has been too harsh
No. We don't look at it like that. You know, our guys sit in this room, and we go out to that practice field, and we know how we're capable of playing. And we play like we can play, make the plays you should make and [we win]. And you know, in both of our losses, we left some plays out there on the field, and it's one thing again, we pay our due respect when people make some plays.

Sometimes that happens. Sometimes they throw it really well. Sometimes they make a great catch. Sometimes they block you. You know, they practice, and they've got guys on scholarship, too, so the people we play have good coaches, but [we need to] control the things that we can control and play to our ability and don't make the mental mistakes or [just] have better awareness. Again, so in both of those losses, there's plenty of things that we could have done better, and so, I don't think that we subject ourselves to listening to outside. It's really not a reflect of how we feel. If we felt like we played a perfect game those two games and we still lost, that would be one thing, but our guys aren't that naïve, and us coaches, we don't have our heads in the sand, so the criticism is, again, well deserved.

We're not able to get off the field, and that's our job. Our job is to get off the field. If you're not going to get off the field in critical situations, you need to find a way to do that, so trust me there's nobody that's getting more criticized or being more critical of themselves than us in here, us as players, us as coaches, and [we're] taking responsibility for it. It's not like we're looking the other way or sitting here trying to make excuses for ourselves because that doesn't happen, hasn't happened and won't happen.


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