CNHI News Service
Year Two of return
This will be OU’s second season since Mike Stoops returned for his second stint as defensive coordinator.
“I feel like we’re more comfortable. I feel like guys are out there and we’re flying around because we know what coach Mike expects,” OU cornerback Aaron Colvin said. “He just expects you to go out there and play hard and make plays. As a defensive back, that’s what you’re taught to do. You’re taught to go out there and lock up your dude and make plays. Coach Mike, he allows you just to go out there and play and I love that about him.”
The top priority for OU’s defense this season will be stopping the run. It allowed 5.2 yards per carry last season, the highest average of the Bob Stoops era.
The OU coach said Tuesday some of the were personnel, but others were schematic.
“Some of our schemes were stronger in pass coverage and pass defense overall. That part worked and was positive. But we hurt ourselves too much in the run game,” Stoops said. “We’ve got to adjust some of that and be better at what we’re asking our guys to do, overall on defense and up front. Then there’s times there where guys needed to physically be in a better position to make the play. It’s always a combination of all of it.”
Perhaps even better with a quip than Briles is West Virginia coach Dana Holgorsen, who was asked about some coaches across the nation – like Alabama’s Nick Saban – who have expressed, dubiously perhaps, their belief that injuries are up in the college game as a result of so many uptempo offenses.
“Yeah,” Holgorsen said, “I’d tell them to get over it because it’s not going to change. It’s going to the NFL for crying out loud … Don’t see it changing any time soon, so you you better learn to adapt to it.”
Mack makes news
Hearing from Mack Brown that Texas plans to join the pack and go to an uptempo, fast-break offense is no small thing on many levels.
It means Texas is once again going with a new scheme or approach on at least one side of the ball and it clearly puts more pressure on quarterback David Ash, who’s experienced at this point, but has yet to thrive. Still, the most interesting thing was Brown’s belief that the new approach would help his defense even more than his offense. There’s even merit to his reasoning.
“Last year, I saw … defenses in our league having trouble getting defensive calls in the game because nobody was substituting (because) the ball was being snapped so quickly,” he said. “I also saw that players were getting very tired across our league on defense … We felt like it was areal disadvantage to our defense that they didn’t get to see tempo at any time during practice.”