When the Oklahoma defense takes the field on Saturday, it will be facing the next edition of a very potent Baylor offense. It was a year ago that the Bears and Robert Griffin III torched the Sooners for 479 yards and four touchdowns.
In 2012, RG3 is gone but replacement Nick Florence has been just as effective. He leads the nation’s best offense into Norman on Saturday. It’s an offense that averages more than 580 yards a game while Florence if throwing for just over 377 yards a game.”
"We're going to have to play great technique and our coverage has got to be better than it’s been,” said Oklahoma Defensive Coordinator Mike Stoops. “We'll have a lot of opportunities but that's why you come here to play and that's to be challenged.
“We try to make our system as bullet proof, player friendly and as adjustable as it can be. That's what I think our system is now; it's more adjustable to personnel, adjustable to schemes and takes a lot of the alignment concerns out of the way. And that's another concern with Baylor. Their tempo is faster than any other team we've played so far. This system will help us get lined up but that's only half the battle with these guys."
Oklahoma safety Javon Harris was the victim of several Baylor big plays last year. Hardly a day goes by that he doesn't think about that game.
“I know what happened last year, but at the same time it’s a whole new year,” said Harris. “For a player like me you can’t help but look back. I’m just trying to take what I’ve been doing this year and go into this game and do the same thing.
“Back in two‐a‐days I used to watch the Baylor game every day to use it as a confidence booster. I know what happened; I lost my spot after that game. Going into this game, we want to prove people wrong.”
While the Sooner secondary will certainly have its hands full with the Bears, just as important for Oklahoma will be getting pressure on the quarterback.
“My biggest concern is sacking [Nick Florence]; it really is,” said Defensive End Chuka Ndule. “I don’t know what else I can do. It’s just to make sure I don’t miss when I get back there. That’s it.
“I feel like I’m improving. I feel like I’m better off than I was before. But at the same time, there are things I need to improve right now. My main concern is staying positive and finishing the season. We've still got five more games left, that’s a chance to improve in those games and get ready for next season.”
Remaining solid in the secondary and getting pressure on the quarterback, that adds up to a very rounded and mistake free performance that will need to come from the Sooners.
“He’s doing what a quarterback [Nick Florence] is supposed to do,” said Cornerback Demontre Hurst. “Throw the ball to the receivers, trusting his receivers to catch the ball and score. He’s a pretty good quarterback and he can run too so that’s a big threat for us. You've got to keep him off‐balance and get pressure on him and make him throw some bad passes.
“I think they’re top‐five in the nation on offense. We looked up their stats today and watched some film and they’re very explosive. They have a great receiving corps and they like to throw the ball around. The opportunity is going to be with our secondary to make big plays and their receivers are going to try to make big plays, too. It’s going to be a big challenge and going back to last year, we definitely don’t want the same results.”
It’s a rare afternoon game for the Sooners. Kick-off is scheduled for 2:30 on Owen Field.