September 9, 2007

Defense already in top form early in '07

Oklahoma's 51-13 drubbing of Miami produced success on both sides of the ball Saturday afternoon on Owen Field.

Sam Bradford certainly grabbed the nation's attention with his throwing accuracy and his five touchdown passes.

But the defensive side of the ball is also a major reason why the rest of the country is starting to take notice of the Sooners. Brent Venables' defense was slow to start a year ago. With returning players such as Rufus Alexander, Zach Latimer, Reggie Smith and a bevy of talented defensive ends, even Venables was scratching his head at their play early on.

But two games into the 2007 season, and even with few marquee names outside of the Oklahoma secondary, the OU defense looks as salty as any we've seen sans Roy Williams' 2001 crew.

"Probably coming off of last year, having that sour taste in our mouth, we have a lot to prove," said defensive end Alonzo Dotson. "That was the biggest motto for this team was to prove it. Don't talk about it. Let's go out there and do it."

Venables hasn't, and shouldn't label this defense as a finished product just yet. With a young group of linebackers and defensive ends who are just starting to emerge for the first time in their Sooner careers, there is still much to prove.

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