The Edmond Sun

November 21, 2012

Sooner Sports Minute: Defense has become over reliant on Jefferson and Harris

By John Shinn
The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — Safeties Tony Jefferson and Javon Harris have been the pillars of Oklahoma’s defense. The tandem has combined for 153 tackles through 10 games with Jefferson collecting 91 of those. They also made seven of the Sooners’ 11 interceptions with Harris pulling in five.

However, a major reason OU’s defense struggled last Saturday against West Virginia was both missed some tackles on West Virginia’s Tavon Austin. Jefferson accepted a lot of the blame for OU giving up a school record 778 yards in the 50-49 victory.

OU coach Bob Stoops said this week OU’s defense has become over reliant on the tandem.

“Like I keep saying, we’re asking them a little bit too much sometimes to make some tackles in some areas where it’s pretty difficult,” he said. “So that’s where we’ve got to make some adjustments in how we’re playing some of our guys up front in front of them, too. We’ve got our hand in it as coaches, too, to try and make some adjustments to give those guys a fair opportunity, too. He’s being a little too hard on himself. It’s a little bit of, there are some plays he probably could of made, but there are some, too, that are pretty tough with the guys we had out there.”