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Key Players on Defense: Texas Edition

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Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Sooners face a wounded and potentially fractured team in Dallas on Saturday. The Longhorns are reeling, but that doesn't mean they can't be dangerous. The Sooners defense will once again be called on to deliver a big performance against Jerrod Heard and the Longhorns.

Here are three players which must come up big on Saturday to ensure the Sooners success this weekend.

Eric Striker - This goes without saying, but with the Sooners will be facing a mobile quarterback who struggles making reads and progression in the passing game. Striker will be called on again and again to not only rush the passer, but also contain the edge on what will surely be an offense featuring zone reads, QB roll-outs, and designed runs. Striker has a tendency to cheat which could leave him vulnerable on the edge.

Devante Bond/Obo Okoronkwo - Bond's status for the game is still in jeopardy after suffering an ankle sprain against WVU. Whoever starts opposite of Striker will have basically the same task in front of them. Rush the passer and contain the edge.

Dominique Alexander - I don't really see the Longhorns having success with a multi-layered passing attacks, featuring exotic routes that are designed to pick apart a secondary. I don't see them being able to stretch the Sooners defense with lots of success around the edge (especially if Daje Johnson is out). There is one area where the Longhorns could find success, and that is up the middle. Should the Longhorns sell out to trying to control the clock and amass rushing yards up the middle, Dominique Alexander will find himself in need of a great game in order for the Sooners to be successful on Saturday.

Who are your key players on defense this Saturday?