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OU Defense Shows Up To Play But Gets Completely Hung Out To Dry

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Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

For whatever issues you may have with Oklahoma's performance Thursday night against Baylor, you cannot say the defense failed to show up.

Were they perfect?  Certainly not.

Did they do the one thing (miss tackles that would inevitably lead to big plays) that we all said they couldn't afford to do? They did.

Did they have some mind-numbingly frustrating penalties, penalties that led directly to Baylor points?  Yep.

But for the better part of the first half they were able to do something no other defense had been able to do and something no other defense might do all year, shut down this Baylor offense.

However, they could only do so much and because their offense was an abject failure eventually they wore down.

Following one of those incredibly costly penalties just referenced, an Eric Striker offsides on a 3rd & 9 with Baylor backed up in their own end, the dam simply broke wide open with the Bears extending their lead to a pathetically (for OU) insurmountable score of 17-5.

Oh, and then instead of taking a knee and regrouping at halftime those in charge thought it would be a good idea to come out throwing with under a minute to go.  Bang, Blake Bell interception.  And the defense is right back out on the field.

It almost seems unfair to evaluate this Oklahoma defense for anything that transpired after that Striker offsides penalty.  Again, they did literally every single thing anyone could have asked of them up to that point.  But the game is sixty minutes for a reason and while there is no denying they were up to the task initially, they bent for as long as they could then eventually broke.

Not sure what else can be said, but here are some quick hitters.

* It's hard not to understand Charles Tapper's frustration level late in the game, but doing what he did that led to his ejection is never acceptable.  He took to Twitter to apologize for it and he'll likely receive some type of deserving suspension for it.

* A defense already ravaged by injuries suffered even more Thursday night.  Julian Wilson left the game late once again seemingly favoring his shoulder.  Jordan Evans was hurt on special teams, but said on Twitter that everything was fine.  Aaron Colvin left the game at some point in the second half and there has been nothing we've seen regarding what the injury was.  There was some question prior to the game whether or not Frank Shannon would play, then he did and played pretty well leading the team in tackles.

* It was not a good night for most of the Oklahoma secondary.  There were multiple instances of miscommunication that left Baylor receivers wide open.  They repeatedly fell victim to 'pick' plays run by the Baylor offense and amazingly failed to adjust on virtually every single occasion until Bob Stoops' pleading with officials led to an offensive penalty bailing them out.

* The play of the safeties was particularly disappointing especially considering how important they were always going to be in this game.

* If there is anything to be encouraged about after a game like this, it's that the future is very bright for this defense.