“If you can’t play defense, people will beat your ass.”
Legendary Oklahoma coach Barry Switzer made that statement to the Tulsa World three days after the Sooners lost to Kansas State last year. And the King is right.
The Sooners played horrible defense in 2012—ranking 45th in total defense by giving up nearly 379 yards a game and 40th in scoring by allowing 24.2 points per game. In four of the Sooners' final five games, OU’s defense yielded an average of 581 yards and 43 points.
A good D should have at least one great linebacker or down lineman. The Sooners have been devoid of a hotshot linebacker or down lineman the last few years. Tom Wort, who announced Wednesday that he is leaving OU to declare early for the NFL draft, and Corey Nelson were major disappointments this year. Travis Lewis was the last linebacker to make an all-conference team in 2009, and Curtis Lofton was the last All-American linebacker at OU in 2007.
Nearly every year, a linebacker tops th...