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Sooners defensive struggles cause for concern

NORMAN (AP)  For a while, it seemed that Oklahoma had cured its defensive ills and defensive coordinator Mike Stoops was off the hot seat.

The Sooners blew through the non-conference schedule, highlighted by a 31-16 win at No. 2 Ohio State. Oklahoma ranked among the national leaders in scoring and total defense heading into the Big 12 slate.

Two games into the conference schedule, all the old questions are back. The Sooners escaped struggling Baylor with a 49-41 win, then fell apart in the second half of a 38-31 loss to Iowa State on Saturday. The 12th-ranked Sooners hope to get back on track Saturday against Texas in Dallas.

"Defensively, I thought we had some of these things corrected, and it's not the way it is right now," Stoops said after the Iowa State game. "You've got to find ways to cover people and make plays or it's just going to keep snowballing."

At least Stoops doesn't have to worry about his job security. Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said making a change is not an option.

"No, that's not on the table," Riley said. "We have a really good defensive staff, and that's who we're going to have."

Oklahoma gave up 631 yards to Baylor, then 449 against Iowa State, with much of the damage coming in a 25-point second half for the Cyclones.

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