Defensive ends Auston English, Alan Davis, and Jeremy Beal accounted for 17 tackles and three total sacks in Saturday's 57-2 victory over UT-Chattanooga.
What may have been even more pleasing for the OU coaching staff was not exactly the overall productivity, but the speed that these three players showed coming off of the edge to put pressure on the UTC quarterback.
"I think we had really good pressure," Davis said of the ends performance against UTC. "It could always be better. From game one to game two we are going to improve that pressure from each week on, but I believe that we (do) have great pressure."
"I know we have secondary talking about ‘we didn't have a lot of tackles', and that is how we like to keep it. We keep the secondary from having to make tackles if we make tackles up front."
Davis explains that the depth and the rotation should help keep the defensive line fresh for all four quarters.
"We have a lot of great players that can play - that have great stamina - and can come in and produce," Davis informed. "Whenever Auston (English) needs a blow then I will come in or Jeremy will come in and we will just have a nice little rotation and keep everybody fresh throughout the whole game, instead of somebody being winded."
"That helps us get better each week. All of us have our different strengths. Improving on our weaknesses is going to help us a lot with trying to be the one out there that is starting each week, because coach told us that he is going to start the best one each week, so that really helps us strive to be the best we can."
The defensive unit has now turned their focus to Saturday's match-up against Cincinnati, and he explained that the Bearcats can be very dangerous when they have the ball on offense.
"We watched a little bit of Cincinnati yesterday," Davis began. They love to do the zone-read and veer read and a lot of zone stuff. They are a major 11 and 12 personnel team.
"We have are work cut out for us in this game, you know with the bigger tackles, faster quarterback, here, and a great running back, so we have our work cut out for us with the zone-read."
Davis feels that the biggest weapon against a zone read offense is staying at home.
"Just staying square on the line of scrimmage and closing that space and just reading the back and if his shoulders are out of the ‘gate' or if they are not," Davis said when asked about the keys to defending the Bearcats.
"I believe if we stay square and close that space on the line of scrimmage we will have a great night all night."
If you are not disciplined then the zone-read offense can pick you apart.
"Especially if you have a quarterback that can run," Davis admitted. "If you turn your shoulders just slightly then he is going to keep it and get on out the gate real quick. It is key to keep your shoulders square and close that space and stay square and wait for anything coming back."
Frank Alexander was involved in an altercation late Saturday night after the UTC victory and was assaulted. It does not seem like he will be back in time to ply against the Bearcats, but Davis is hopeful that he will make a speedy recovery.
"We are rallying around him. It is unfortunate that it happened. I visited with Frank the next day afterwards and he was all down talking about "I let you all down'. I was like don't worry about that man. Me, Auston, Jeremy, and Pryce are all going to hold it down and do what we have to do until you come back and play again. He was down about that, but we told him not to worry about it at all."
"I hope to see him back real soon. We need Frank out there."
Defensive end Alan Davis says that he and his line mates are preparing hard for Cincinnati and the key to slowing down their powerful offensive attack will be to put pressure on the quarterback when he drops back for a pass and stay extremely disciplined when the Bearcats run the zone-read.
Defensive end Alan Davis says that you have to be disciplined when facing a zone-read offense.