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Hurts So Good

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National Spotlight

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The Greatest Rivalry

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Hard Work

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The Draft

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NFL Bound

Looking Back: Billy Vessels

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OU finished off a memorable 2016 season on high note

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Sooners hire new offensive coordinator

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King's Corner

Sugar Bowl Review


OU to meet Alabama in Sugar Bowl

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Josh Heupel Q&A

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Patience Rewarded

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Taylor-made for Oklahoma

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Attention Getter

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Proud Heritage

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Boomer Bio; James Winchester

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Strictly Striker

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Locked In & Loaded

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Landry Jones Q&A

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Sooner Stars Set To Return

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Red River Tradition

Red River Tradition

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Quarterback Race

Quarterback Race

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Getting His Kicks

Making The Right Moves In Recruiting

Bradford looks sharp in workout

No Doubt About It

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Boomer Bio: Ronnell Lewis

Norman Bound

Showdown In The Sun

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Jay Norvell Q&A

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Adrian Taylor doing just fine

Joseph Ibiloye Q&A

The Real Deal

Road Warrior

Meet Dusty Dvoracek This Saturday!

Casey Walker Q&A

Best of The Red River Rivalry

Bradford To Start Against Baylor

Facebook & Football

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Keith Jackson Appearing this Friday in Norman

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Top Targets

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Tisdale and Griffin

Wayman Tisdale Dies

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Blake Griffin earns Naismith Award

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The Wait Is Over

Outlook for 2009

Outlook for 2009

Staying Put

Bradford, Gresham, Williams Coming Back

Make Room For Sam

Lendy Holmes Q&A

Bradford Wins Heisman

Heisman Material

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Sooners Headed To KC For Big 12 Title Game

Sudden Impact

Sudden Impact

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Gerald McCoy Q&A

Offensive linemen Roundtable

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Boomer Bio: Mossis Madu

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Travis Lewis Q&A

Auston English Q&A

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Bob Stoops Q&A

Boomer Bio

They’ve Got It Covered

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Big Dreams

Plenty Of Things To Chew on this Offseason

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Looking Ahead

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Manny Being Manny

The Big Easy

Super Sidekick

English Lesson

Revved Up & Remodeled

Firmly Committed

A Cut Above

The Definition of Rivalry

On The Rise

Irresistible Force


Bradford Named Starting QB

Venables Verbatim

Sooner Spectator & Teaming Up

Final Chapter

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Welcome Back Little Joe

Wilson’s Defensive Wisdom

Reggie Smith Q&A

Malcolm Over The Middle

Fantastic Five

Thompson & Alexander To Sign Autographs



OU’s Greatest

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Dual Threat: Stephen Garcia

Thirty Reasons Why OU will beat Texas

Double Duty

Kody Cooke: A Conversation

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Welcome Back

Quick Five With Nic Harris

Road Warrior

The Opposition

Defensive Backing

Recruiting: Crimson Bloodline

Wilson Weighs In

Replacing Runnels?

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Top Shelf: Austin Box

Rufus Revelations

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A.D. Unscripted

OU will miss Sampson

OU Scrimmage Report

Joey Halzle Q&A

Gray, OU prep for The Dance

Moore is Better

Sooners eye stretch run

Haskell remains a lost treasure

Boomer Bio: Patty Gasso

Sherri Coale Conversation

Taylor Made

Future Considerations

McCoy becomes a Sooner

Michael Neal Q&A

Recruiting: Dominique Franks Q&A

Strong Willed

Football Recruiting Notes

Remembering Billy Ball

Enough Gloom & Doom

Back In Business

Endowed Scholarships Announced

USC or Texas: The Lesser of Two Evils?

Stoops is not leaving OU

Sooners down Ducks in Holiday Bowl

Biding His Time

Kelvin Sampson Q&A

Next Stop Division I

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Chris Messner Q&A

Bob Stoops' take on Bedlam Victory

Terrance Anderson's Journey

OU vs. Tech: The Answers

OU vs. Tech Matchups

Road Warrior

Stoops talks about OU's 36-30 win

OU vs. A&M matchups

OU Coaches’ Roundtable

Recruiting: Derek Burton

Boomer Bio: Juaquin Iglesias

Carl Pendleton Q&A

Sooners topple Huskers in Lincoln

OU-Nebraska Matchups

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Sooners top Baylor

OU vs. Baylor Matchups

Recruiting: Offensive Line

Recruiting: Adron Tennell

Sooners top Jayhawks

OU vs. Kansas Matchups

Boomer Bio

A Pleasant Conversation

Texas tops Oklahoma

Red River Rivarly Matchups

Dusty Dvoracek: In The Trenches

Sooners Roll Past K-State

OU vs. K-State Matchups

Recruiting: Replenishing The Backfield

Boomer Bio

Sooners give one away

Recruiting Demarco Murray

C.J. Ah You Q&A

The Answers: OU vs. Tulsa

Not Pretty, But Sooners Win

Spectator Sneak Preview

Bob Stoops' take on TCU loss

Texas Christian Sacks Sooners

Moses leads Sooner tight ends

Rufus Alexander Q&A

Thompson gets nod at QB

Birdine Lost For Season

Sampson to Visit Kuwait for Hoops with Troops

Walk-on making noise at WR

Travis Wilson Q&A

Clint Ingram Q&A

Sooners open fall practice

Brent Venables Q&A

Sooner single-game tickets go on sale Monday

Questions about Sooners' aura not surprising

Joseph talks about summer workouts

OU at Big 12 Media Days

Kim Named to U.S. Walker Cup Team

Sooners name Golloway

Stephenson decides to stay at Wichita State

Stephenson takes OU head baseball job

Soon to be Sooners

New Sooner Nic Harris excited about new digs

2005 Season Preview Issue Available Now!!

Letter from the Editor

Q and A

Ever Elusive

Sooner Selections

Ole Miss powers past Sooners

OU's Weekly Sports Report

OU inks JUCO point guard

OU's Kim wins Big 12 Golf Title

White and Vermeil talk about first day of rookie camp

White gets a chance with Kansas City

Red Rallies to Down White

Big crowd expected

Prelude To Greatness?

Breaking Down The Offense

Spring football eases pain

On Sale at Newsstands March 1!
To The Point
Sooners banking on new wave of defensive talent to make them a better all-around football team

Look back on the Rose Bowl and what do you remember?

Lincoln Riley's cool end-of-the-first-half trick play where CeeDee Lamb threw a touchdown pass to Baker Mayfield. Right?

Maybe Rodney Anderson carving up the Georgia defense for 201 yards and two touchdowns. Or Marquise Brown catching and running his way to 114 yards and another score.

You remember all of that offense. Makes sense. It has become Oklahoma's calling card. What can Riley think up next? What playmaker might he use this time?

But rewind just one more second to a defensive play from that game.

With seven minutes to go and the score tied 38-38, Georgia running back Sony Michel took a handoff wide left. He eluded defensive lineman Amani Bledsoe and then broke the tackle attempt of cornerback Tre Norwood.

Michel reached his 45-yard line, when Caleb Kelly measured him and drove his shoulder into the runner's midsection, dislodging the football. Steven Parker picked it up on one hop. He kept his balance along the OU sideline, cut by Georgia receiver Javon Wims inside the Bulldogs' 30 and sprinted for the end zone to give the Sooners a 45-38 lead.

It was the one moment in the game's second half that made you think OU would win, that convinced you the Sooners were headed for the national championship appearance. A defensive play created by a five-star linebacker and a four-star safety.

Kelly was part of a 2017 recruiting class that included quarterback Austin Kendall, running back Abdul Adams and receiver Mykel Jones. Parker came aboard in 2014 along with classmates Joe Mixon, Samaje Perine, Michiah Quick and Justice Hansen.

Both defenders were important pieces of their respective classes, but fans still gravitated to all of that offensive talent that came with them. That’s how it works every National Signing Day, particularly in this era of fast-break, last-team-with-the-ball-wins football.

Fans gravitated to Riley's new offensive toys over the two recent signing days — to Tanner Mordecai, a quarterback with the kind of spark Riley saw in Mayfield, and T.J. Pledger, a four-star running back from the talent mill known as IMG Academy.

That's fine.

Just know that the true worth in OU's Class of '18 will be more accurately measured on the defensive side of the ball.

That's what Riley, Mike Stoops and the Sooners need worse than those offensive toys right now. They need a defensive infusion. They need more of what Kelly and Parker provided in that striking fourth-quarter moment in Pasadena.

Observers see OU's defensive plunge the past few seasons and they see Stoops, along with his brother, Bob, before the retirement of last summer, tinkering with scheme to get it right again.

But it isn't scheme. Not really.

It goes back to something Mike Stoops said on the early Signing Day back in December…

"If you play a 4-3, you've got to have guys that make plays up front. In the 3-4, you've got to have guys make plays on the edges. It's pretty simplistic. You want to be in a four-man front, you need Gerald McCoy, you need Tommie Harris. You need guys that can disrupt games either on the edges, and they have to have some size and agility and speed to go with it.

"Those are important qualities," said Stoops. "Your ability to get off the football and penetrate the line of scrimmage and do all those things. You try to play to players' strengths. We've been trying, but you don’t want to just do something to do it."

The Sooners simply haven't had players the caliber of McCoy or Harris in the middle of their defensive line, which every coach will tell you is ground zero for formidable defense. They have had productive edge players — Ogbo Okoronkwo, Eric Striker and Charles Tapper, among others — but then they haven't had enough thumpers behind them.

OU needs more players that running backs and receivers feel. They need more of what Torrance Marshall, Roy Williams, Rocky Calmus, Lance Mitchell, Brandon Everage, Curtis Lofton and Quinton Carter once provided.

There was a presence about all of those guys, an attitude. More than that there was playmaking.

The kind of play Kelly and Parker made in the Rose Bowl? You used to see that a lot more often. The Sooners need you to see it more often again.

The hope is Brendan Radley-Hiles can provide it. Jalen Redmond can provide it.
DaShaun White, Ron Tatum, Ronnie Perkins, Michael Thompson, Starrland Baldwin, Nik Bonitto and Miguel Edwards can provde it.

They all have four or five stars next to their names as they report to OU to play defense. Now that must translate.

This new wave of talent isn't going to magically transform scoreboards. We’re too far down the road to put the game back in control of defenses. Even Alabama gives up 45 now and then.

The idea here is simple impact. It is to give Stoops and OU's defensive staffers more to work with as they tweak alignments that give them a better chance.

On paper, the Class of '18 has the potential to give the Sooners a much better chance. Let’s see what happens from here.

(Editor's Note: To read more or subscribe, call 405-364-4515)