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Tuesday, January 15, 2013
Decisions that defined OU in 2012: No. 4

By Jake Trotter

From QB Landry Jones staying to defensive coordinator Mike Stoops arriving, the storylines were many for the 2012 Sooners. But sometimes, the small decisions turned out to be big ones that defined the season, too. With that in mind, here are the five decisions that probably made the biggest impact on Oklahoma's 2012 season.

Julian Wilson
Julian Wilson played dimeback for the Sooners this season.
The Sooners knew the 2012 schedule was back-loaded with the best offenses in the Big 12. And so the Stoops Brothers prepared to stop it, installing six- and seven-defensive back packages to combat the spread attacks of Baylor, West Virginia and Oklahoma State.

Turned out, the plan backfired.

Once unveiled, not only did the Sooners not stop any of those spread offenses, their tinkering with the defense ruined it for the rest of the season, as OU failed to regain its footing defensively.

OU managed to outgun the Bears, Mountaineers and Cowboys but couldn’t do anything to slow Texas A&M in a 41-13 loss in the AT&T Cotton Bowl. In that game, the Sooners tried to use linebackers again. But by then, the continuity of the defense had been shattered.

Frustrated with his playing time in part due to the scheme, middle linebacker Tom Wort stunningly declared for the NFL draft, even though his prospects of being drafted at all are slim.

After a strong start to the season, OU finished outside the top 50 nationally in total defense for the third consecutive year.