So, remind me again who has the best defense in the Big 12?
Your Oklahoma freaking Sooners, that's who!
Mike Stoops accomplished a virtual pants'ing of Mack Brown and Bryan Harsin in front of a national television audience. It. Was. Glorious.
It would take someone much more intelligent than myself to put into words just how much Mike Stoops has accomplished with this Oklahoma defense. To say they were dominant today would be an understatement of epic proportions. Until late into the fourth quarter, every point Texas had put on the board was an absolute gift from the Sooners. Stoops' defense was filthy Saturday afternoon in the Cotton Bowl and brought a hyped up Texas offense crashing back down to reality.
Was there a person on this planet that could have predicted just how well Oklahoma's front four played on Saturday?Where the heck did that come from?!? Believe me, I'm not complaining in the slightest it was just so stunning I couldn't help but be taken aback. The Sooners got pressure like they have not done all season and it very clearly rattled David Ash and the Texas offense early and often. They may have only recorded one sack, but it was more about the hits Ash took after his throws. Those kind of plays don't result in a loss of yards obviously, but over the course of a game they add up and take a toll on their victim.
As for that mighty Texas run game, the OU front seven held up better than I ever could have hoped for in this game. In a best case scenario I'm not sure anyone could have predicted what we saw Saturday. The Texas run game was virtually nonexistent and once Oklahoma built a substantial lead it only made things much more difficult for Jonathan Gray and Joe Beregon. It was obvious the Horns missed Malcolm Brown in a big way as neither Texas running back could find anything resembling a running lane. Again, you have to credit the guys up front for Oklahoma who were are active in this game as any in recent memory.
We could single out individual guys, but we'd literally be just naming off guys who played. Jamarkus McFarland and Casey Walker were fantastic. David King, Chuka Ndulue, and R.J. Washington were terrific. Corey Nelson and Tom Wort were outstanding. We could go on, but I think you get the point.
Nowhere is Mike Stoops' impact more noticeable than in the secondary. Which makes sense given that (1) it's his position group of responsibility and (2) it's the unit that had the most room for improvement following last year. It was never an issue of lacking talent, but there have been a number of theories as to why they struggled so much in 2011. Whether it's the simplification we've heard so much about, at this point it doesn't really matter. All that does matter is where he as them playing now and that, my friends, is at an elite level.
Saturday certainly was no exception. Their coverage was spot on throughout the game completely taking the Texas wide receivers out of the game. So much so that that the Texas offense managed just two plays from the OU side of the field. The result of those two plays? Two David Ash interceptions. Aaron Colvin's pick of Ash by the way was the kind of play you see on Sundays. Tony Jefferson was all over the field, as usual, while Javon Harris played smart and disciplined and Demontre Hurst was his typical reliable self.
It simply cannot be overstated just how dominant this Oklahoma defense was against a talented Texas offense. Sure, Texas got some garbage yards and points but by that point it was simply about them trying to save face. I think it's safe to say they failed.
I said it in the game thread, but it bares repeating again here. Saturdays just don't get much sweeter than this, my friends. Savor it. Savor it for as deliciously sweet as it was.
In the words of the esteemed rapper Ice Cube - "Today was a good day."