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Woodi Washington and Oklahoma DBs Are Blitzing Behind Aggressive Mindset

By Ross Lovelace

NORMAN — The Sooners are off to a hot 3-0 start after last week’s beatdown against Nebraska, and plenty of things seem to be clicking.

The defense under Brent Venables has been as advertised early on. One of the quickest turnarounds to this point, and a reason for a spike in the defense, is Oklahoma’s secondary play.

The Sooners held quarterback Casey Thompson and a fun Nebraska offense to just 129 yards through the air. One thing the players have pointed to is the added aggressiveness.

“It’s definitely a little different than last year just because of the calls we’re running,” Woodi Washington, Oklahoma’s starting corner, said Monday night. “We’re able to get into the backfield and our corners are triggering on plays and stuff like that. So I mean just that aggressive mindset, we’ve got to keep it.”

Oklahoma ranks No. 1 in the country for team tackles for loss and tied for third at 13 quarterback sacks in three games. The defensive line has improved, certainly, but a big part of the success is because of how long the quarterback is holding onto the ball.

“Rush and coverage work together,” said defensive coordinator Ted Roof. “When quarterbacks have to hold onto the ball longer, it gives your rush a chance to work when you are playing great coverage. At the same time, the rush complements that coverage.”

“Just the discipline that we’re playing with,” Washington said. “Everybody’s standing staying in their appropriate gap and then guys are just covering well. So I think it’s giving the quarterback trouble. He can’t throw the ball. So its giving the d-line a chance to get back there.”


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