NORMAN -- The Oklahoma defense has been called out. Sooner defensive end David King says he has no doubt OU has the talent on that side of the ball. It’s just time to get that fact firmly planted into those thick skulls.
David King is "calling out" his defensive team mates
"I'm calling the defense out this week,” said King. “How are we going to respond to losing two weeks ago? Are we going to do a better job? And it starts with everyone getting into the mid set of 'I've got to get better'. If everyone takes on that mind set then the team takes on that mindset."
King says he’s not the only one getting verbal with the defense. He says everyone knows things need to change.
"It started last week when we went against our offense for about 75 percent of the practice,” said King. “On Thursday we went all practice against the offense. But, we've been called out by fans, by the media or whatever. And Coach Mike Stoops went before the defense and he called us out and as a defensive player you sit there and think, 'what have we been doing for three weeks and how are we going to respond.' We have not been playing we should be playing. We have two weeks to prepare for a team. We play [Kansas State] good for three quarters and then we can't make plays at the most important time of the game. Now, credit them for making those plays but at the same time we have to be better.
“We're not forcing turnovers. We're not getting pressure on the quarterback. We're not getting the sacks that we should be. We're just not doing what we're supposed to be doing as a collective defense. The challenge is, are we going to fix it or are we going to stay the same. If we stay the same, then we will be sitting here on Sunday talking about responding to a loss against Texas Tech."
Now, heading into the final days of practice, King says he’s seen a difference.
"Practice has picked up to say the least,” says King. “Guys are more on edge about being in the right position and tackling in practice. We're stripping balls, trying to get it out. We're being more aggressive. The secondary is trying to bat balls and get those interceptions. It's picked up from two weeks ago. Guys are playing like their hair is on fire, the way we should have come out of the gate playing. I really think there will be big time improvement when we go to play Tech Tech.”
While the Sooners have been concentrating on themselves these past couple of weeks, they are far from oblivious as to Saturday’s opponent. They clearly remember last year’s offensive show from Tech and know well they’ll have their hands full this week. For King and his fellow linemen, that means getting a pass rush on Tech quarterback Seth Doege.
"It's extremely important,” said King. “That's our job. We can't have the secondary back there covering for four, five or six seconds and give the quarterback all day to throw the ball or he'll pick us apart.
"As far as the pass rush goes. If I can just get that in the "D" line's head that we have to improve and we have to get better, it's a mindset. Don't come out with the attitude that we just have to get through practice but come out with the attitude that I'm going to get better today. I'm going to improve my pass rush today. I'm going to get to the quarterback today. Then I think we'll be fine."
The Sooners and Red Raider kick off at 2:30 Saturday afternoon in Lubbock.