Oklahoma defensive coordinator Mike Stoops understands he has a difficult task this season as the Sooners defense will face Big 12 foes Oklahoma State, West Virginia and Baylor, which rank Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in total offense.
Each of the three teams has a quarterback who can test a defense with his arm or legs, a trait that Stoops holds in high regard.
“The quarterback run game is always the difference,” he said. “In the NFL it’s usually the difference, guys that can scramble and create plays with their feet are always going to create problems. You can’t just rush and let them run wild, you have to set edges, you’re rolling the dice, if he gets outside you have other issues.”
West Virginia’s Geno Smith is a Heisman favorite with his 1,728 passing yards, 20 touchdowns and 98 rushing yards in four games. Baylor’s Nick Florence has stepped up admirably in following last year’s Heisman winner, Robert Griffin III, with 1,585 passing yards and 153 rushing yards through four games. J.W. Walsh of Oklahoma State, passed for 301 yards, two touchdowns and an interception and ran for 57 yards in the Cowboys’ 41-36 loss to Texas on Sept. 29.