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Bob Stoops banking on brother in 2012

7/23/2012

Bob Stoops admitted Monday that Oklahoma's defenses have not met his standards lately.

In 2011, the Sooners ranked 55th nationally in total defense. The season before that, they ranked 53rd.

Stoops is banking that brother Mike Stoops in his first season back with the Sooners will be able to restore the OU defense to the prominence it enjoyed in the early 2000s.

"I do believe in the last couple of years, for whatever reason, that our defense hasn't been quite as strong as what we've been used to in our first 10, 12 years," Bob Stoops said. "I'm excited to have Mike back for a number of reasons, not only personally, but professionally. Our track record working together and competing together has been pretty positive."

When the Stoops brothers were last together, they annually formed one of the top defenses in the country. From 2000-03, the Sooners ranked in the top 10 in scoring and total defense, and capped an epic performance in the Orange Bowl by shutting down Florida State's offense to capture the 2000 national championship.

But when Mike Stoops left for Arizona after the 2003 season, the Sooners' defense has been on a gradual decline, especially in the defensive backfield.

In five seasons with Mike Stoops coaching the secondary, OU had five defensive backs named All-America. Since, the Sooners have had just one.

After 1999, the Sooners never finished worse than 25th against the pass under Mike Stoops, and in '03, ranked second in pass defense.

In 2011, OU ranked a Stoops-era low 79th in pass defense, and surrendered a school-record 616 yards in a loss at Baylor, including 485 through the air.

"Hopefully we can make fewer mental mistakes in some areas and be a little sharper in what we're doing to play more consistently and better defense," Bob Stoops said.

"I trust Mike's judgment on a lot of issues. So I'm sure it will be a positive."

Read the rest of the Day 1 Big 12 Media Day notebook.