OU Notebook: Tough defense
BY ERIC BAILEY World Sports Writer
Saturday, November 10, 2012
11/10/12 at 3:50 AM
Oklahoma's defense has given up only 12 touchdown drives through eight games this season.
It's a trend that the Sooners hope to continue in Saturday's 2:30 p.m. home game against Baylor.
"We've made teams work to move the football. We haven't given up a lot of easy plays," OU defensive coordinator Mike Stoops said. "People really have had to work hard.
"It's a compliment to all of our players. Up front, we're doing what we need to do. Our second- and third-level players have really played well. We're playing consistent. That's what I see: consistent play."
A quick comparison on how much a difference a season can make - the Sooners gave up six touchdown drives in one game to Baylor last season.
Anxious: Javon Harris won't say that he's been focused on Saturday's rematch against Baylor for months on end.
But this contest with the Bears has been in the back of his head for a little while following last year's stunning 45-38 loss in Waco.
"I've been looking forward to this game," the Sooners defensive back said. "But it wasn't like it was just a game where I thought 'I gotta get ready for Baylor.' But it's always been there."
En route to winning the Heisman Trophy, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin threw for 479 yards against the Sooners, including a 34-yard scoring strike with eight seconds left to win the game.
Preparing for air attack: Baylor's offense will test the OU secondary.
Quarterback Nick Florence leads the nation by averaging 377.4 passing yards per contest. Wide receiver Terrance Williams has been his top target with nation's-best 167.5 receiving yards per game.
"They have great receivers and like the spread the field out with a great quarterback that can run also," Harris said. "We just have to play and do what we do."
Added cornerback Demontre Hurst: "The opportunity will be there for our secondary to make big plays. There will also be opportunities for their receivers to make big plays. It's going to be a big challenge."
Red-zone update: The Sooners rank seventh in red-zone offensive production nationally, scoring on 38-of-41 attempts (92.7 percent).
The three times that OU didn't score - Blake Bell's fumble against Kansas State, the final drive against Notre Dame and when Bell was stopped on consecutive plays at Iowa State inside the 20.
OU has prospered further on "goal-to-go" situations. The Sooners have 20 touchdowns and two field goals in 2012.
At one point, OU strung together 13 consecutive touchdowns when getting inside the 10-yard line. The only two field goals came in losses to Kansas State and Notre Dame.