It goes without saying that the job of coaches is to put the players in position to make a play. It isn’t the responsibility of the coach to actually make said play. That’s where the issue arises for Oklahoma’s defense. The Sooners have been far from successful on the defensive side of the ball this season, and multiple previous seasons as well, but a look at the film shows one definite certainty. Players aren’t making plays!
Missed tackles, poor angles (resulting in missed tackles), getting lost in coverage, and a plethora of penalties have highlighted Alex Grinch’s Speed Defense through the first two games of conference play. it doesn’t appear as if the struggles are schematic so that puts it square on the shoulders of personnel. After an 0-2 hole, in conference play, it looks as if personnel is where the changes will start this weekend against Texas.
One change that we’re certain is going to happen is the return of Ronnie Perkins. It was reported last week that he had won his appeal and would be available to the Sooners once again. While Lincoln Riley was mum on a return for the former freshman All-American, I think we can say with confidence that he’ll be on the field at the Cotton Bowl on Saturday.
Of course, Perkins isn’t going to keep a defensive back from dropping an interception, missing a tackle, or getting lost in coverage. That’s where the next personnel change comes into the picture. It looks like there’s a good chance that Sooner Nation will be introduced to Joshua Eaton on Saturday.
A freshman cornerback from Houston, Texas, Eaton was a 4-star recruit who was ranked by 247Sports as the #27 corner prospect in the nation and the #52 overall prospect from the state of Texas for the 2020 recruiting class.
He’s definitely lacking in experience, and the Red River Rivalry is a tough spot to be baptized into college football, but he has something that no other current corner does – size. We saw last weekend against Iowa State how much the lack of size in the secondary hurt Oklahoma’s defensive efforts and Eaton could be the first step in fixing that issue.
At 6-2/175, Eaton is taller than any corner currently listed on the Sooner depth chart. Starters Tre Brown and Jaden Davis are listed at 5-10 and Tre Norwood is listed at 6-0.
The addition of Eaton could go horribly wrong for Oklahoma on Saturday but then again can things actually get worse in the secondary? In my opinion, this is a situation where the upside changing the personnel is definitely worth the risk.
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