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Why DE Ethan Downs and Oklahoma’s Defense Can Still Make Major Improvements This Season

Brent Venables’ defense has impressed in 2023, but OU’s head coach still believes there’s another level the unit can reach over the final six regular season games.

NORMAN — Oklahoma’s pass rush staged a small coming out part in the Cotton Bowl.

Brent Venables’ defense hit home time after time, sacking Texas quarterback Quinn Ewers five times and logging three other hurries in OU’s 34-30 win over the Longhorns.

In the previous five games, the No. 6-ranked Sooners tallied nine sacks, but the defensive line picked a big moment to put everything together.

Defensive end Ethan Downs led the way with two sacks, and defensive tackles Da’Jon Terry and Jacob Lacey both pulled down Ewers once apiece. Linebacker Jaren Kanak also finished with a sack, chipping in for a unit that has fought through plenty of formations designed to keep multiple extra blockers in to protect the quarterback.

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