Oklahoma’s defense has been stellar in the past two bowl games. They helped Oklahoma win comfortably out in the desert, but they will get a change of scenery this bowl season.
Though, they will also be without Jamell Flemming. Flemming won back-to-back defensive MVP awards in Oklahoma’s two last bowl games and was drafted to the Arizona Cardinals in the 2012 NFL Draft.
So with Flemming gone, who will step up for Mike Stoops’ defense in the Cotton Bowl?
Certainly, Tony Jefferson comes to mind. He will probably have plenty of opportunities to make big plays against an Aggie offense that runs through Johnny Manziel.
However, anyone on Oklahoma’s secondary should be a threat to the ninth-ranked Aggies.
Javon Harris definitely responded to the critics and tallied five interceptions and 77 tackles. Harris has been a huge help to a Sooner pass defense that is much improved upon last season. And itt would not be any bit surprising to see Aaron Colvin or Demontre Hurst create havoc for the Aggie offense.
The Sooners biggest concern heading in to their game with Texas A&M is if they can stop the run. Johnny Manziel’s dual threat nature will make life rough on a weak OU run defense. Though, Ben Malena and Christine Michael will, also, try and become problematic for a Sooner defense that has struggled to stop the run.
Though, could a Frank Shannon or a Corey Nelson come up big and make critical stops for the Sooner defense? It is definitely possible, and maybe Tom Wort could come alive for a monster game, but no one should be holding their breath after the way he underwhelmed this season.
It is hard to replace a guy like Jamell Flemming, but right now, the best bet would probably be Tony Jefferson. The defense made some big stops against the TCU Horned Frogs after allowing 99 points combined from West Virginia and Oklahoma State.
The Texas A&M Aggies can score and if you don’t believe in the legend of Johnny Football before, wait till the Sooners see him in the flesh in Arlington. The freshman can play and will be the biggest test of the season for Oklahoma’s defense. Let’s see who will rise to the occasion.