Commentary

Sooners' D could be tough to crack

OU is vulnerable in some areas, but UT's offense might not be able to take advantage

Originally Published: October 5, 2011
By Todd McShay | Scouts Inc.
Ash/McCoyAP Photo/Eric GayTexas' young QBs could have trouble with the Sooners' defense.

With the Red River Rivalry approaching, I took some time to study film of the Oklahoma Sooners' talented defense and a Texas Longhorns offense that is still searching for an identity in some ways. Here's what I took away in terms of the matchup between these units and what you can expect to see when these two face off on Saturday.

Oklahoma's defense

Strengths
The Sooners have versatile personnel and the ability to use multiple fronts and schemes. They operate out of a three-man front just as often as they do a four-man front and are able to match up with three-receiver sets using base personnel, or they can go to nickel personnel and still be solid versus the run.

There are several key cogs in this machine, led by hybrid DE/OLB Ronnell Lewis, who has come on strong while playing various roles. Corey Nelson plays a hybrid OLB/S role and is just as effective rushing the passer off the edge as he is dropping into underneath coverage. Finally, defensive lineman Jamarkus McFarland is a beast against the run whether playing tackle in a four-man front or end in a three-man line.