Wow! What a difference a week made for Oklahoma's defense. After getting abused by the quick passing attack of the Missouri Tigers last week the Sooners seemed to live in the Colorado backfield Saturday night. The penetration into the Buffs backfield resulted in much more than just the one sack that shows up in the box score. Colorado had just 91 total offensive yards in the first half and 278 total for the game. But there's much more...
The Sooners had Colorado quarterback Cody Hawkins running for his life. In addition to the sack Oklahoma recorded 5 other quarterback pressures which resulted in hurried throws and incomplete passes. Hawkins only completed 38.6% of his passes and spent a considerable amount of time picking himself up off the turf.
Oklahoma had a total of five players record a tackle in the Colorado backfield and interrupted the Buffs on offense all night long. In every defensive category the Sooners came out on top. Colorado only managed 12 first downs, were 6-19 on third down and 0-1 on fourth down. It all began up front for the Sooners though as they even held the Buffaloes to 50 yards under their season average in rushing. Things went so well for OU's defense in the Colorado backfield that we were even treated to a blocked punt.
Defensive Unit Grades
Defensive Line, A+ - It may not have resulted in sacks but the defensive ends had a strong pass rush was there on Saturday night which consistently disrupted the Colorado offense.
Linebackers, A+ - Of the five quarterback pressures recorded by the Sooner defense, four of them were by Tom Wort. Travis Lewis also finished second on the team in tackles.
Defensive Backs, B - Jonathan Nelson did lead the team in tackles with 9 while Jamell Fleming and Demontre Hurst made stops in the backfield. However, there were still a handful of blown coverages and the Sooners were fortunate that Colorado really could capitalize consistently on it.
All in all it was the much needed dominate performance the Sooners were looking for to replace some confidence lost before heading to College Station next week. Now the biggest question looming is when will this team learn to play at this level on the road?