Sooners’ new DC making early impression on players


Mar. 27—Spring practices have looked a little different for Oklahoma’s linebackers this year under new defensive coordinator Zac Alley.

Last year, individual drills would’ve been led by head coach Brent Venables. Now, Venables may stop by to see how things are going, but will move around to several position groups during individual drills.

The 30-year-old defensive coordinator will be solely focused on the position that Venables has coached for almost his entire life (27 years).

“Oh, he’s been great,” Dasan McCollough said. “We all love Coach Alley. He does make it a lot more simple for us. He simplifies it for us; we can talk to him whenever. He’s a younger guy, so it just feels more relatable too when he’s talking to us, so I’m a big fan of him.”

Oklahoma is entering its first season in the SEC, where playing exceptional defense is a must for any team hoping to compete for a conference championship.

The Sooners ranked tied for 46th in scoring defense, 109th in passing defense, 42nd in rushing defense and tied for 43rd in red zone defense. Still, there were plenty of stats that showed that the Sooners could play like an elite defense like turnovers gained (7th), third-down conversion percentage (7th), team tackles for loss (tied for 7th) and total interceptions (2nd).

They have experience returning on every level of their defense including two all-conference players in Billy Bowman and Danny Stutsman.

“The competitive depth that we have this year, it’s unbelievable and I don’t think we’ve had that since I’ve been here,” sixth-year senior Woodi Washington said. “It hasn’t been even close to (this).”

Oklahoma was going through a coordinator change when Washington first signed with the program in 2018 after the firing of former defensive coordinator Mike Stoops. Washington has been coached by Alex Grinch, Ted Roof and Zac…

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Author : The Norman Transcript, Okla.

Publish date : 2024-03-28 03:59:00

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