April 1, 2006

Dominant Defense

As Oklahoma finished their second major scrimmage of the spring, one thing was apparent on Owen Field after the day was through - the Oklahoma defense has a chance to be very good.


The Sooners finally found a way to create turnovers as they picked off four passes on the day, four against backup quarterback Joey Halzle, and one interception of starter Rhett Bomar.


"We just told them to chase the ball, play hard and good things will happen," said defensive coordinator Brent Venables following the scrimmage. "You'll find yourself around the football more. It's development of our awareness and our positioning and it's continued to get better. Our guys are playing smarter and we're in better position and we're playing hard. So it all works hand in hand."


It was a rough day for the OU offense as Halzle had his first substandard outing of the spring during scrimmage situations. With Adrian Peterson still sporting a blue jersey, and Allen Patrick taking a lot of reps at running back, the Sooners are shorthanded on offense.


And at times, it appeared Patrick was too gassed to make a major difference for the offense.


"Allen played well today but he's doing a lot and maybe getting tired," said offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson. "He gets a chance to make some plays and he gets eight and ten yards, but it was blocked for eight and ten yards. He gets a chance to make more than that and I think he's a little tired and gassed and I think he's a better player than how he played today."


Wilson did note Patrick for his ball security during today's scrimmage. He did have two fumbles in last week's scrimmage.


As for the overall scrimmage, Bob Stoops said it was clear the defense had the better day.


"Being the head coach you can't really cheer offense or defense. It's just hard but I don't think there's any question as I watch it, defensively we're just so much further ahead of where we were a year ago at this time," said Stoops.

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