Secondary Not Shaken After Big Plays

OU free safety Javon Harris

NORMAN, Okla. — When people look at the box score of OU's season-opening 47-14 victory over Tulsa, 271 passing yards is a slightly deceiving statistic for the secondary's night as a whole.

Indeed, that immediate number does not show how the Golden Hurricane obtained that total.

Tulsa racked up three massive plays, of 69, 56 and 44 yards.

The 56-yarder was a touchdown toss from quarterback G.J. Kinne to receiver Bryan Burnham.

Outside of that, the Golden Hurricane managed just 102 yards in the air.

"Defensively, it was really an excellent night outside of three plays," Stoops said in his post-game press conference. "The first touchdown was just one player who busted the call and read the signal wrong. That's what happens when you read the signal wrong and you do something when everyone else is doing something else. We gave up a couple deep balls on simple routes and need to polish some of that up."

Defensive coordinator Brent Venables called the mistakes "correctable," not showing a major amount of concern following the game.

Neither have members of the secondary since the performance.

"Overall, I think the secondary, we played solid," said field cornerback Demontre Hurst. "I think the defense played solid with the exception of the big plays. [Three] big plays probably gave them almost 80 percent of their yards, so just minus those and I think we really played a very, very good game. So, like I said, we just have to just come in, watch film, learn from it, pick each other up and just move forward throughout the season, just get better."

Same came from boundary corner Jamell Fleming.

"We did pretty well," Fleming said. "We gave up a couple big plays, but other than that, I mean, we played pretty good defense. If we didn't give up those big plays, we probably would have shut them out."

It started to sound like beating a dead horse when asking strong safety Aaron Colvin about it.

"I think we played pretty well," Colvin said. "We had a handful of plays where we gave up the majority of our yards, but I think if we cut those down, we would have played excellent."

As for the major busts, a couple of them were on free safety Javon Harris.

Harris, a junior from Lawton, Okla., started the first game of his career the other night and just didn't read his keys right on a couple plays.

But Fleming said they talked him up.

"Pretty much just don't worry about it, go on to the next play [is what we told him]," Fleming said. "You know, it happens. If you play defense, it happens, especially at DB. But just keep your head up and go to the next play because, you know, the next play's the most important play."

Colvin, though, mentioned they were also vocal with him in letting him know they expect more out of him.

"Oh, I mean, we're competitors, so we're going to get on him a little bit, tell him that we know he's better than that," Colvin said. "But at the same time, it's going to happen. And I think he already knows that, but we try to [reinforce] it to him again, let him know that we got another game next week. You got to let that go."

All things considered, the defense only allowed 44 passing yards in the first half without the one big play and 58 in the second half minus the two big gainers.

The equation is simple: cut the three big plays and this can be a very, very solid secondary.

"We know what we have to do, so we just--like I said, we just have to look at it, watch film, own up to it and just go out there and just try to execute and get better every day now," Hurst said.

They still have a week and a half to do so before their next contest against Florida State and quarterback E.J. Manuel.

Follow me at twitter.com/joeyhelmer10 or facebook.com/joeyhelmer.

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