Georgia vs. Oklahoma: College football standouts discuss Sooners’ defensive strengths

The Oklahoma offense and Baker Mayfield  get so much attention that the defense gets discounted in many quarters. It’s easy to forget the defense was constructed under Bob Stoops, the recently retired coach who has a defensive background ― and a national championship ring.

The final score of the 2001 Orange Bowl, which gave Stoops and the Sooners the national title: 13-2.

But that was before the Big 12 exploded into an offensive showcase. The last Big 12 defense to finish even in the top 20 nationally was TCU in 2014 ― and the Horned Frogs were only 18th. This year TCU is 19th heading into the bowl season. No Big 12 defense has finished in the top 10 since 2011.

Oklahoma enters the 2017 bowl season ranked 57 th nationally, yielding 384.8 yards per game, which is mid-tier in the Big 12 (fourth out of 10). So what should Georgia make of the Sooners’ not-quite-respected defense when they meet in College Football Playoff semifinal on Jan. 1? We spoke to some stars on other teams who have faced the unit:

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