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Defensive Recap - Oklahoma

This was a much better performance on all fronts from the UC defense. I know it is a crazy thing to say that after a game which saw said defense give up almost 500 yards in total offense but it is the god's honest truth. The defense was in better positions to make plays last night than it was against NC State. Instead of a few people playing at speed, once again everyone was playing fast.

  • JK Schaffer is a man possessed right now, coming off a 16 tackle performance against NC State JK added 13 more tonight, and one truly spectacular interception that set up a touchdown. He is the heart and soul of the defense right now.
  • Derek Wolfe continues to get all the attention from opposing offensive lines, and he continues to produce 5 more tackles and a TFL while fighting through constant double teams
  • John Hughes contributions should also be mentioned. The pair of Hughes and Wolfe were instrumental in limiting Oklahoma to just 82 yards rushing on 43 carries.
  • Chris Williams drew the start at Free Safety last night over Drew Frey. I like Frey's tendency to play as the ultra physical, ultra aggressive down hill playing safety, but a defense can't have two players doing that. Until last night that's what it had with Wes Richardson and Frey, two players who both want to mix it up in the box, and Richardson has done it better.
  • Williams played extremely well considering that it was his first ever start, against a top 10 team, in front of the largest home crowd in UC Football history, on national TV. That young man came to play.
  • Dominique Battle was injured again last night, he just can't seem to catch a break in the injury department this year. Cameron Cheatham came on in his stead and was more steady than he was in his last starting stint against Fresno State.
  • There was a point about midway through the third quarter when UC went into a nickle package. They never left it the rest of the game. From that point on Oklahoma had 6 drives, the longest of which was 44 yards and ended in JK's INT. Oklahoma gained a total of 77 yards on 31 plays, just 2.4 yards per play.
  • That nickel package should be the base grouping for the rest of the year IMO.
  • My call for more aggressive defensive schemes was not heeded. Once again it was almost exclusively cover 3 and cover 2 looks. Very basic, very vanilla and very easy to beat. Unless that changes in the coming weeks any QB that is merely competent is going to put up a lot of yards through the air.
  • Dan Giordano had a good game at DE, 6 tackles, 1.5 TFL's, 1.5 sacks and two QB hurries. The defense is going to need more performances like that from him because getting pressure on the passer with the front four is still a major, major issue.
  • All in all, this was a much better performance than what has been displayed to date against much better competition. There are still some questions about the defense as a whole, but I have little doubt that UC can win Football games with this defense.

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