Nathan Jeffery exposes depleted defensive line


No Stacy McGee. No Casey Walker. No Torrea Peterson. And Nathan Jeffery made it apparent.

The UTEP pass game was not as effective, but then again, give credit to the secondary for not allowing Nick Lamaison to put up big numbers. However, the defensive line struggled, and let the Miners get crucial yards up the middle.

Jeffery, just a sophomore, picked up 177 rushing yards on 21 carries. The one bright side? Oklahoma’s defense did not allow him or anyone on UTEP’s offense to score.

In Mike Stoops’ first game back, the defense did pitch a shutout. The only UTEP score came from a blocked punt, which surprise, surprise, Nathan Jeffery took to the house.

The Sooners should have not struggled like they did, but the team picked up the slack later in the game. They let a few runs get by, because of some good blocking from a big UTEP offensive line. However, this game may have gone a bit different if Nathan Jeffery, and a few other Miner offensive weapons, did not suffer injuries.

Oklahoma did wear down as easy, and they were able to keep Texas-El Paso from finding the endzone on offense. Although, it was not like UTEP never came within striking distance.

The Miners had three opportunities to put up points, but Dakota Warren and Steven Valadez missed a total of three field goals for UTEP.

The defense should be thankful they caught a few breaks, but what is going to happen when they do face a better back than Jeffery? He is only a sophomore, and even rushed for more yards against Oklahoma than he did all of last season.

Hopefully, the line can be somewhat at full strength soon. The Sooners’ two bye weeks in September may come in handy with all the off-season injuries endured this year.

Kansas State will definitely want to pound the ball, so it is a concern a young running back like Nathan Jeffery ran the ball with ease against Oklahoma. The team has some time to make the necessary adjustments, but the Sooners absolutely have to come out with more fire than they did in El Paso.