October 8, 2012

HD: Stoops defense ready for test inside Cotton Bowl

Stopping the run can be found atop any defensive coordinators ten commandments.

For the defensive tackles in the trenches it's much more than just a golden rule.

Saturday morning when Oklahoma meets Texas inside the Cotton Bowl senior defensive tackle Casey Walker says it will be the headline.

SCOOPHD: Post Practice Monday

"Stop the run. You can put that in bold print. Stop the run. We can play the pass late but first and foremost is stop the run because once you stop the run they've got to throw the ball," said Walker.

Returning to the Sooners defensive rotation in the trenches after missing the first two games of the season because of what he cited as 'personal reasons the Garland (Texas) native now heads 'home' to the Cotton Bowl where he'll lay it on the line for the final time.

"No. No I never had any questions about anything like that. I just had some time off," said Walker when asked if he had considered giving up his career on the gridiron.

"It hurt because I see my brothers out there by themselves. I see Jamarkus (McFarland) out there and I see David (King) out there just two deep and them being out there the whole game without a rotation or anything like that it kind of hurt me because we break out to 'brothers' everyday.

"It's like leaving your brother out there solo by himself in a war.

Defensive coordinator Mike Stoops will need Walker and the rest of the defensive tackle rotation Saturday when they face a Longhorn rushing attack that has averaged 209 yards per game in 2012.

"Well I think the big thing is we keep getting better everytime we step onto the field we start to play a little faster a little more sure of ourselves," said Stoops.

"I think our execution was much cleaner Saturday and that's good that's what you want as the season goes on you want to be able to get better."

"I think there will be a lot of carry over from last week to this week. This week will be much more physical run game but a lot of the same stuff we saw a week ago we'll see this week."

Stoops: 'Wort is our starter'

One of Saturday's stars on the defensive side of the ball was redshirt freshmen Frank Shannon.

Following Monday's practice the Sooners defensive coordinator was asked if he would be starting or replacing junior middle linebacker Tom Wort.

"Frank played exceptionally well and certainly continues to earn more playing time but as of right now Tom's our starter and we just want to bring Frank along and give him more snaps," said Stoops.

Snaps the Dallas Skyline product will be ready for.

"I just went into the game thinking I had to play harder make good plays and read my keys," said Shannon who tied for a game leading six tackles. "I just went into the game thinking when he put me out there I just had to be ready."

Now he'll try to expound on that experience as he prepares for the Sooners biggest rival on one of the grandest stages of all .

"Mentally I just go in and watch film everyday and study the film sheets. It was real fun because I hadn't played in like a year since high school so it was fun actually getting out there for a minute and staying out there. It was fun."

Kasitati suffers torn ACL

The Oklahoma offensive line took another hit Monday night as Assistant Athletics Director of Communications Pete Moris confirmed what head coach Bob Stoops had already feared.

Nila Kasitati will be shelved for the rest of year.

The redshirt freshmen suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee late in the fourth quarter of Oklahoma's 41-20 victory over Texas Tech closing the book on the Euless Trinity graduate 2012 campaign.

The loss of Kasitati is- yet another- blow to the depth of an offensive line that is already down two starters in Ben Habern and Tyler Evans who suffered a torn ACL prior to the start of the season.

It also marks the end of a season for Kasitati that had appeared to be heading in the right direction following a cardiac surgery that corrected a heart arrhythmia sidelining him for the first few preseason practices.

Head coach Bob Stoops summed up the now shockingly thin depth issue this afternoon at his weekly media luncheon.

"Feel bad for Nila he's really been coming on it's unfortunate. It just makes us more thin in there."

...More... To continue reading this article you must be a member. Sign Up Now!