Nov 9, 2013; Ruston, LA, USA; Louisiana Tech Bulldogs running back Kenneth Dixon (28) runs past Southern Miss Golden Eagles defensive back Kelsey Douglas (6) in the first quarter at Joe Aillet Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Oklahoma football: OU defense must stop Kenneth Dixon

Oklahoma’s run defense will get its first test of the season early. Louisiana Tech may not be a marquee game, but OU cannot take the Bulldogs lightly.

The main reason? Kenneth Dixon will be in the backfield behind starting quarterback Cody Sokol. Dixon was a monster in 2012, scoring 28 touchdowns and running for 1,194 yards.

2013 wasn’t as kind to Kenneth Dixon. Injuries slowed the running back down, though, he was close to rushing for 1,000 yards back-to-back seasons.

If he can maintain his health and gets back to his ways in 2012, he’ll be a playmaker for Louisiana Tech.

He is not the fastest back, but Dixon is a tough runner—almost in the same mold as a Brennan Clay. Kenneth Dixon has the ability to be a threat to Oklahoma’s defense.

While he is undersized, Dixon will be a good test. Oklahoma does bring back Chuka Ndulue and Charles Tapper. Plus, Jordan Phillips is back from an injury that kept him out for most of the 2013 season.

While Eric Striker is a superb pass rusher and possesses insane speed off the edge, Oklahoma’s linebacking corps should be ready for a challenge as well.

The Sooners will be without Frank Shannon, who led the team tackles in 2013. Jordan Evans is poised to start Saturday in Shannon’s place. Evans doesn’t possess a great deal of experience, but this is a veteran defense who’s been able to learn under defensive coordinator Mike Stoops.

The big question for Louisiana Tech is if they can get the blocks for Dixon to run wild. Bulldogs quarterback Cody Sokol certainly hopes so, as this week’s season opener will be his first start at the FBS level.

If the offensive line can’t hold up, it could be a long day for Louisiana Tech. However, the potential is there for Kenneth Dixon, who was a part of a 2012 Bulldogs squad that went on the road and knocked off Illinois and Virginia. They were, also, close to beating Johnny Manziel’s Texas A&M Aggies in 2012, but fell short in the last minute.

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Tags: Football Oklahoma Sooners

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