Oklahoma vs West Virginia: Five Things from Game

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Sep 7, 2013; Norman, OK, USA; Oklahoma Sooners defensive coordinator Mike Stoops on the sidelines during the fourth quarter against the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family – Oklahoma Memorial Stadium. The Oklahoma Sooners beat the West Virginia Mountaineers 16-7. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

The Defense Continues to Bend but Not Break

With the exception of a big 77 yard run in the first quarter, the Oklahoma Sooners defense continued to keep their opponents out of the end zone. Take away that one big run, and no one has put a point on the board against these players. However, you can’t take away that play, and OU looked really bad trying to tackle Dreamius Smith on that run. Add in the fact that they rarely got into the backfield to pressure Paul Millard, and it is clear that OU still has a little work to do on the defense.

“I was just disappointed in our tackling,” Mike Stoops said. “I didn’t think our tackling was great all night.”

Blanking opponents is nice, but in this game they gave up 387 yards on offense. That isn’t horrible, but it is still a case of OU stepping up and stopping West Virginia on third downs and limiting all big plays. That might not work against a team like Texas Tech or Oklahoma State, and OU needs to start applying more pressure on the line and not let the runners get to the linebackers, which, at the moment, is a strength for the Sooners.

The defense is playing good through two, but it will be interesting to see what happens when they play a high powered offense.

Gabe Lynn Wins Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week

While that defensive line needs work, the linebackers and safeties were all over the field, disrupting the entire passing game and – outside of the one big run, stopping the running backs before they broke free. With all the talk of the linebackers, it was OU safety Gabe Lynn who picked up the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Lynn finished the game with three tackles, one fumble recovery and an interception. He also had a big time scare play when he zoned in on a West Virginia receiver who broke open for a big bomb. However, as Lynn bore in on the receiver, it caused hesitation and the ball bounced off the Mountaineers players’ fingertips, saving the touchdown. That looked to be caused by Lynn, who is becoming one of the Sooners’ most feared defenders.

Aaron Colvin Hurts Molar

Gabe Lynn was spectacular against West Virginia. However, at the moment Aaron Colvin is the only cornerback that instills fear in the defense. Neither Cortez Johnson nor Zack Sanchez separated themselves in their battle for the other side. That made it very scary when Aaron Colvin left the game with an injury, and Johnson and Sanchez were left out there to work the corners alone.

At first, announcers mentioned it could be a concussion, but it looks like it was a bit less distressing, but still very painful for the All-Big 12 cornerback. Colvin cracked one of his top molars, leaving his jaw in a lot of pain. There is no real word on his availability for the Tulsa game, but OU’s best defensive player tweeted out that he is “good.”

Follow Shawn S. Lealos on Twitter @sslealos