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BYU Preview: Cougar Defense vs. Sooner Offense

Oklahoma’s offense scored points at a record pace in 2008 and with most of those components back for another run in 2009 their first obstacle is a BYU defense that is senior led along the line and linebacking corps but very shaky in the secondary. As with the Cougar offense against the Sooner defense this will come down to a battle of the trenches and whoever controls the line of scrimmage will have the upper hand.


BYU Secondary vs. Sam Bradford/WR’s/TE’s

FS Scott Johnson 5-11/188 SS Andrew Rich 6-4/222
CB Brandon Bradley 6-0/200 CB Robbie Buckner 5-10/175
WR Adron Tennell 6-4/199 SL Ryan Broyles 5-11/178 TE Trent Ratterree 6-3/225 WR Brandon Caleb 6-1/187
QB Sam Bradford 6-4/223



Oklahoma’s passing attack took a huge hit on Thursday with the news that All-American tight end Jermaine Gresham had suffered cartilage damage to his right knee. This doesn’t mean that the Sooners are void of other talent though because Ryan Broyles proved last season that he’s a game breaker and Adron Tennell possibly had the best camp out of all of Oklahoma’s receivers.

The Sooners may have lost one of their key components in their passing attack due to injury but at least it was only one injury. BYU had to turn their training table into a triage unit for their defensive secondary and although we’ve got starters listed it doesn’t appear that the starting positions are settled yet.


Advantage: OU


BYU Linebackers vs. OU Running Backs



OLB Jordan Pendleton 6-2/228 MLB Matt Bauman 6-1/229 MLB Terrance Hooks 6-1/227 OLB Coleby Clawson 6-3/265
RB Chris Brown 5-10/200 FB Matt Clapp 6-2/246
RB DeMarco Murray 6-1/214



Don’t let just one returning starter at linebacker fool you. Three of BYU’s four linebackers are seniors and they all have game experience. That experience will have to pay off and the Cougar linebackers will have to be sure tacklers in order to keep BYU in the game. It will be on the shoulders of these linebackers to stuff the run, pressure Bradford and contain the short passing game.


Fullback Matt Clapp has never been shy of contact and is one of the best in the country at clearing a hole for whichever running back is in the game.


Advantage: OU


BYU Defensive Line vs. OU Offensive Line

DE Jan Jorgenson 6-3/259 NG Russell Tialavea 6-3/266 DE Brett Denney 6-4/260
LT Trent Williams 6-5/318 LG Brian Simmons 6-4/318 C Brody Eldridge 6-5/265 RG Jarvis Jones 6-7/297 RT Cory Brandon 6-7/310


Running a 3-4 defensive scheme could put the defensive line at a disadvantage as they are outnumbered but apparently the Cougars are good at it. It’s from this scheme that Jan Jorgenson has become the Mountain West Conference’s all-time sack leader. They’ve become masters of stunts that put their defensive ends in position to make plays behind the line of scrimmage.


The key for Oklahoma’s revamped line is to contain BYU’s three man front while picking up a blitzing linebacker. Just by crunching numbers it should be a simple task but it certainly won’t be as easy as it looks. The OU line is going to have to be as quick as they are powerful. Oklahoma’s o-line averages 6-6/302 which is a sizable advantage over a BYU d-line that averages 6-3/262. If it weren’t for four new starters this would be a clear advantage for the Sooners.


Advantage: Even  


Other OU/BYU Game Posts

Scouting BYU: The Offense
Sooner Quotes On The Cougars
Cougars Hurting At Cornerback
How Would You Answer These Questions About The OU/BYU Game?
Cougars Want To Get Physical
BYU Preview: Cougar Offense VS Sooner Defense
Jermaine Gresham Injured Will Not Play Against BYU
Five Questions About The BYU Cougars
With A Injury To Gresham James Hanna Must Step Up
Scouting BYU: The Defense