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Defensive Breakdown: Oklahoma Sooners

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This Saturday, the Mountaineers will travel to Norman to battle against the 5th ranked Oklahoma Sooners at noon on FOX. The Sooners are coming off a big 34-27 win against their rival, the Texas Longhorns, as they did what the Mountaineers couldn’t do and that was slow down Sam Ehlinger. The Texas quarterback was sacked nine times, which tied an Oklahoma school record for sacks in a game. Texas was held to 310 total yards which included the Sooners having 15 tackles for loss, which was the second-most ever against Texas. Under head coach Lincoln Riley, and defensive coordinator Alex Grinch, the Sooner defense has established itself as one of the top units in the country.

In six games so far, Oklahoma is allowing 340.3 yards per game and has only given up 15 touchdowns. This is due to Grinch’s new scheme that he brought over from Ohio State. He replaced Mike Stoops in January after Stoops was fired after the 2018 Red River Showdown when Texas put up 48 points on the Sooners. Grinch was on Mike Leach’s staff at Washington State from 2015-2017 and has been on record for saying that Grinch was one of the smartest defensive-minded people he had ever coached with, and Leach has been coaching since 1987.

Injuries:

  • S Robert Barnes is battling an undisclosed injury and it is likely that he will use a medical redshirt
  • DE Jordan Kelley is likely to miss the remainder of the season while recovering from an ACL injury
  • DB Tre Norwood will miss the entire 2019 season due to a knee injury

Names to keep an eye on:

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Photo by: Kevin Jairaj-USA Today Sports

  • Kenneth Murray (Linebacker) – Murray, a junior, leads the team with 42 tackles. The Preseason Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year also has six tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks
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Photo by Matthew Emmons-USA Today Sports

  • Jalen Redmond (Defensive Tackle) – Redmond, a sophomore, is tied with Ronnie Perkins and Neville Gallimore with three sacks each
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Photo by Kevin Jairaj-USA Today Sports

  • Ronnie Perkins (Defensive End) – Perkins, a sophomore, has five tackles for loss
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Photo by Kevin Jairaj-  USA Today

  • Neville Gallimore (Defensive Tackle) – Gallimore, a senior, has been disruptive and has helped free his teammates up to make plays and has 15 tackles of his own and 5 of them are tackles for loss
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Photo by Kevin Jairaj-USA Today

  • Delarrin Turner-Yell (Safety) – Turner-Yell, a sophomore, leads the secondary with 35 tackles. Cornerback Parnell Motley leads the team with six pass breakups

This will be a tough match up for the Mountaineers. If Austin Kendall does play, he is injured, and if Jack Allison or Trey Lowe play, they aren’t as experienced. West Virginia will have to rely on their running game and experienced backs to help them move the ball down the field. Doing so won’t be all that easy considering the backfields year long struggles and will now be without senior Martell Pettaway. The offensive line will have a hard time against this young and strong defensive line and will have to play a near perfect game if they want to keep it close with the Sooners.

Please follow me on Twitter @John_Pentol_ and be sure to subscribe to WVSportsNow.com for all West Virginia Mountaineer news and updates!

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